Posted on: April 18, 2011 9:21 am
Harrison Barnes announced on Monday that he will return to North Carolina for his sophomore season.
"Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision, but I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina," Barnes said. "I'm here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports. ... I look forward to meeting the challenging journey in the NBA, but [right now] I'm focused on being a student-athlete, and my decision is to continue this part of my journey at the University of North Carolina."
Barnes would've been considered for the No. 1 overall pick had he entered the 2011 NBA Draft, but his decision isn't shocking considering he's always seemed different and more well-rounded than most other top-tier prospects. The 6-foot-8 wing averaged 15.7 points last season while leading the Tar Heels to an ACC regular-season title and the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. His return means North Carolina will be the consensus preseason No. 1 team.
"I'm very proud of my son and his decision," Barnes' mother, Shirley Barnes, told CBSSports.com on Monday morning. "Next season should be exciting."
Posted on: April 6, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 4:44 pm
Tyler Zeller and John Henson have decided to pass on early entry into the NBA Draft and return to North Carolina next season, coach Roy Williams announced Wednesday.
"John and Tyler certainly considered their options, but in the end it came down to how much they enjoyed not only college basketball, but being part of the collegiate experience both on and off the court," Williams said. "I spoke to about 10 NBA teams on their behalf and gave them that information, but their individual decisions are less about the NBA and more about what they wanted to do right now and the experiences they are enjoying."
Williams said Harrison Barnes is still weighing his options.
The freshman wing is a projected top five pick.
"Harrison is not as far along in his decision-making process as were Tyler and John," Williams said. "I am still gathering information on him from NBA teams and hope to provide him with all of that information by the end of next week."
Zeller averaged 15.7 points and 7.2 rebounds last season while Henson averaged 11.7 points and 10.1 rebounds.
They helped North Carolina win the ACC and make the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:30 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 10:39 pm
It was more than four months ago when I named Harrison Barnes the preseason National Player of the Year.
I was wrong.
And no matter how this season ends, I'll still be wrong because the National Player of the Year will be Jimmer Fredette. Or Jared Sullinger. Or Nolan Smith. Could be any of those three ... or even JaJuan Johnson, I guess. But it won't be Harrison Barnes, and I came to terms with that a while ago.
But I hope you now at least see why I did it.
Surely, you now see why I did it.
Barnes buried a 3-pointer in the final seconds Wednesday to give No. 13 North Carolina a 72-70 win over Florida State. It was the latest nice moment for a freshman who's had a bunch recently, another big shot for a kid who is finishing as strong as he started slow. Barnes is averaging 17.9 points and 6.4 rebounds during UNC's past 10 games. Wednesday's clutch shot ensured the Tar Heels will have an opportunity to play for an outright ACC championship against Duke on Saturday. But what I found more impressive than the shot was the idea that led to the shot.
It was a straight isolation play at the top of the key.
You know how a coach will give the ball to Kobe Bryant or LeBron James late and just tell him to go make a play and win the game? That's basically what Roy Williams did with Barnes. Williams got Barnes the ball at the top and asked him to win the game, and he did. It was the latest bit of evidence that suggests Williams trusts Barnes immensely, and an undeniable sign that Barnes is blossoming into everything he was supposed to be.
Granted, he still won't be National Player of the Year.
But Most Outstanding Player of next week's ACC tournament suddenly seems like a reasonable goal.
Posted on: May 4, 2010 10:54 am
Edited on: May 4, 2010 10:54 am
Scout.com and Rivals.com have both finalized their Class of 2010 rankings.
Harrison Barnes tops Scout.com's list.
Josh Selby tops Rivals.com's list.
I'll go with Barnes because he's the total package -- a high-level talent and high-quality young man. There's about a 0.01 percent chance he won't be a successful college and NBA player. Or a Senator. Or President. Or something similarly awesome. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you Barnes might be the single most impressive high school kid I've ever met. He deserves whatever he gets in life, including the No. 1 overall ranking in his class.
Anyway, here's the Top 10 for each:
----- Scout.com's final Class of 2010 rankings -----
Posted on: November 18, 2009 3:51 pm
Here's Wednesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: On Friday you wrote that if Harrison Barnes chose UNC you would elaborate on your "reasons" why you changed your prediction to UNC at the last minute. I'm curious as to what these "reasons" were.
First. let me apologize for my empty promise, because I did write last Friday that -- against the advice of most recruiting experts -- I was picking Barnes to sign with North Carolina , and that if I was correct I'd share why I changed my mind from Duke. Naturally, I was correct. But I never shared why I changed my mind, and a bunch of you have asked me to do it, and, well, here you go.
I was at Kansas for "Late Night in the Phog."
So were Harrison Barnes and his mother and his sister.
I had the joy of spending about an hour with the family on that Saturday morning, right after Kansas finished practicing. Harrison wanted to get a workout in, so he worked out while I sat with his mother, Shirley Barnes, and we chatted for a good long while. The conversation reminded me why Harrison is such a well-adjusted young man, because his mother is simply tremendous. Smart, funny, engaging, informed. If every high-level recruit had a mother like Shirley Barnes, recruiting wouldn't be nearly the circus it has become.
Anyway, we talked.
And though I never asked her to share secrets (mostly because I knew she wouldn't), the one thing that stuck out from the totally casual conversation was how she seemed genuinely blown away by Roy Williams' decision to offer her son, wait on her son and promise not to recruit anybody else at his position, no matter what. As some of you may know, this is not how North Carolina normally operates, because it doesn't have to operate that way. UNC offers a kid, he accepts or the Tar Heels move on to the next best kid. They don't wait because they don't have to wait. Eventually, and usually sooner rather than later, an elite prospect accepts, and that's why North Carolina is North Carolina, the reigning national champions.
But for Harrison Barnes, Roy Williams was willing to wait.
This seemed to matter to Shirley Barnes.
And when I told her that Duke has taken a similar approach with certain prospects in recent years, Shirley reminded me that Duke was actively recruiting Roscoe Smith, i.e., another elite small forward from the Class of 2010. I just remember being struck by that comment, how she seemed impressed by UNC's decision to focus solely on her son while Duke recruited both her son and Smith. She brought it up, not me. And when I walked out of the gym I just felt, for the first time, that North Carolina was the team to beat for Barnes.
It's possible I read too much into those comments.
It's possible I read them perfectly.
Either way, that's why I thought what I thought.
And now, I think, we can all move on.
Posted on: November 13, 2009 4:48 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2009 5:05 pm
Harrison Barnes committed to North Carolina on Friday, choosing the Tar Heels over Duke, Iowa State and three other schools. The 6-foot-6 wing from Ames, Iowa is widely considered the top prospect in the Class of 2010 because of his physical gifts and the impressive way he handles himself both on and off the court.
Barnes informed UNC coach Roy Williams and the current Tar Heels via Skype.
“I just wanted to let you know I’ll be joining you guys next year on the squad," Barnes said. "I can’t wait.”
Barnes' commitment ensures North Carolina will have another monster class; MaxPreps.com already had it ranked eighth nationally, even before Barnes signed. Meantime, the development is a tough blow to Iowa State, which had hoped to land the hometown product. Barnes' mother, Shirley Barnes, actually works at ISU. But the local connection wasn't enough to keep Barnes from signing with North Carolina.
"HB is a great kid," Iowa State coach Greg McDermott Tweeted shortly after the announcement. "I wish him well. I am disappointed just like our fans. Time to focus on a group of guys that love Iowa State! "
Posted on: November 13, 2009 3:10 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2009 3:11 pm
Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Gee what a shock. YOU picking against Duke . A true rarity.
I didn't predict/guess that Harrison Barnes will announce for North Carolina because of anything that has to do with Duke. I have my reasons, and one of those reasons is because one of the coaches involved in the recruitment (not a UNC coach, by the way) told me he thinks it'll be the Tar Heels. I also have another reason, and I'll share that one with you later, if I'm correct.
In the meantime, here's a text I just got from a coach involved in the recruitment:
"I honestly have no idea."
Pretty suspenseful, huh?
Posted on: November 13, 2009 8:07 am
Edited on: November 13, 2009 8:09 am
Harrison Barnes will announce his college decision Friday at 4 p.m. ET.
At this moment, nobody seems to know where he's headed.
Officially, the nation's top recruit is considering Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and UCLA, but most believe -- and I've forever reported -- the choice will be Duke or UNC. For the longest time, I've thought Barnes would pick Duke, team with Kyrie Irving and help Mike Krzyzewski get back to the Final Four. And he still might. But my final prediction is that Barnes will sign with North Carolina and become the next great Tar Heel.
To be clear, that's my prediction/guess, nothing more.
If I'm right, I'll explain why I switched to UNC later today.
If I'm wrong, we'll forget all about this and just remember that I predicted Duke a long time ago.
Either way, it's happening at 4 p.m. ET.
Far as recruiting announcements go, it doesn't get bigger.