Nope, Barnes is converted Texan, an all-american kind of guy. Regardless, he's big in Canada. So big that he's being trusted with one of the nation's finest natural resources: basketball talent.
Last year, two native Canadians – Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson – made the McDonald's All-American team. Both signed with Texas. In November, point guard Myck Kabongo (Scout.com No. 8) will put pen to paper and officially become a Longhorn.
Kabongo rocked the 2010 NBA Camp and rolled strong with Canada's U18 national team. He moved himself into the Top 10 and in turn, in contention to be Canada's third all-american in past two seasons. Maybe because he was so good and conducted himself as an all-american on and off the court, more programs than just Texas wanted him to be their point guard.
In July, rumors began swirling that something was amiss and Kabongo, who will be at Canada-friendly Findlay Prep next season, might open his recruitment. Categorically not true if you listen to Myck.
"I never once said that I was going to de-commit or anything like that," Kabongo said.
Still, the rumors swirled. Speculation that since he and Joseph occupy the same position, Kabongo might be looking to go elsewhere. Again, not true if you believe the point guard who rose at 6 a.m. last June to get an entire NBA Camp out of bed for a morning workout.
"I think (it started) probably because people think me and Cory might not be able to play together. But Cory and I have played together for so long. He can play the two and I can play the one. The truth is that I can play with Cory and would rather play with him."
Kabongo, Thompson and Joseph were teammates on Grassroots Canada, an outfit that won at a high rate when all three were around. It's well documented that the trio likes to win. Joseph got his national title captaining Findlay Prep and Thompson and Kabongo were once teammates at St. Benedict's.
All of this brings us back to the start: Rick Barnes is big in Canada. Texas fans, be sure to scratch out an extra two minutes for introductions the next few years. There's a new tune playing in Austin and it might be wise to learn the words.