Family Atmosphere A Theme For Barnes' Visit

Heading into his visit to Durham, Ames (Iowa) High standout Harrison Barnes attempted to have an open mind with no preconceived notions. Now, after returning home from Cameron Indoor Stadium and all that surrounds it, Barnes admits he had some idea of what to expect - and how Mike Krzyzewski's program measured up.

"We were a little late getting into the airport, so we actually didn't get to practice until after it had started," said Harrison Barnes. "They were working on attacking the rim and pushing the ball. You can tell Coach K likes to use his players' strengths in the system from year to year. He's trying to put them in a situation to succeed, which is probably why Duke is where they are as a program."

"After practice we had dinner with Coach K and Mrs. Krzyzewski. We talked about a lot of different things - it was just a chance to sit down and get to know him more. We really didn't talk too much about basketball in the sense of Xs and Os - it was more about how basketball is a vehicle that can take you different places in life. But if you let it become your life, then you are going to miss out on a lot of things."

The game is certainly a vehicle that appears to have a lot of miles remaining for the 6-foot-6, 195lbs small forward who visited Kansas last weekend and has offers from virtually every high major program in the country. And yet the next destination is not likely to be decided until after he completes his junior season at Ames.

"I've started thinking about how the visits [to Duke and Kansas] went, but there was a lot of information there and I think it'll take time to sink in and process. I enjoyed both visits, and am glad that I took the time to make the trips."

Barnes wasn't the only recruit visiting Cameron from 2010 either as Duke bound prospect Andre Dawkins made the trip from Virginia while 2009 commits Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee were also there. The apparent goal was for Barnes to get a feeling of how he'd fit in with the program's future should he decide to be a part of it.

"[Coach K and I] talked a little bit about what kind of players they are and how we would compliment each other on the court. I am the kind of wing player who can help out on the inside when the team is looking to play smaller and faster, and I can also play on the perimeter when the team goes bigger. All of the interior players are versatile and the guards are very good. It makes life really interesting for a small forward in that you can play all kinds of roles and improve in all facets of the game."

Such an approach sounds an awful lot like what the nation saw when Krzyzewski took the reigns of Team USA in China, and what appears to the be strategy for the Blue Devils in the upcoming season.

"That's what they are talking about doing - playing the same way Team USA did. We talked a little about that, but the major focus was how basketball took Coach K and his family all over the world this summer. It sounded like a great experience."

So, after spending two days with Coach K and his program, does Barnes have an initial reaction?

"I liked the overall atmosphere of the program and the school. You can tell that the players are supported on all fronts - they are improving their games, but they are also getting the kind of education that will allow them success no matter where they end up. In general the players are close and the overall atmosphere of the program is that of a big family - from the players to the coaches to the support staff - everyone is on the same page."


Blue Devil Digest Top Stories