Of course having head coaches making such gestures should be somewhat routine for Barnes, who has steadily seen his stock rise over the past three years from a top prospect, to the top player in the class of 2010. And while many players have tried to knock him from that perch, none have succeeded.
"I've definitely learned a lot this summer and over the last year. I've been able to use basketball as a vehicle to meet some amazing people and see some great places. Being number one overall has allowed me to grow as a player and a person as well. You have to learn to play through adversity."
That growth was fully on display this summer as Barnes suited up for Team USA in the Nike Global Challenge. It was at that event that the 6'7 forward believed he delivered his signature performance to date.
"I would say the game against Serbia was the best I played this year. I had 46 points and felt like I really was able to showcase my entire game. It was a marquee game for me, and I felt like I was able to come through."
The event certainly grabbed the attention of the national media which immediately began running any number of features. It also grabbed the full attention of the recently crowned National Champions in Chapel Hill. Over the course of a few months the Tar Heels have made a push to get into the race for Barnes and solidified their presence with an official visit last weekend.
"I had a great time there. It was great to see the past and present of North Carolina basketball. I got a chance to meet the coaches and players - all of whom were very accommodating. Being the first visit, it gives me something to measure the others with."
And, according to Barnes, the first round of measurements will commence sooner than later.
"I've got some in-home visits that I'm planning now and my next official looks like it'll be to Duke on 23rd of October. After that we'll see what gets scheduled."
Whether he chooses to make an early decision or one in the Spring, Barnes does know one thing: when he schedules his press conference and makes his decision it'll be quick and without regret.
"When I look back at the recruiting process I think I'll be satisfied with the way I handled it and with my decision. I will have taken the proper amount of time and I know I will have picked the right school for me. I won't hesitate, and I will have the self-assurance of knowing I put in the work and researched it thoroughly."