Bloomington – Harrison Barnes didn't necessarily have the goal of establishing himself as one of the elite players in the 2010 class.
Instead, the Ames (Iowa) H.S. simply wanted to put in the time to fulfill his potential, wherever that might take him. But after some head-turning performances this spring on the AAU circuit with All-Iowa Attack AAU squad, it's elevated him to the upper echelon of the Class of 2010 rankings.
"Once I realized I had the ability to be one of those elite players, then it became one of my goals," Barnes said. "Now, the goal becomes that you want to be No. 1."
As of now, the 6-6, 190-pounder comes in at No. 11 in Scout.com's recently released 2010 rankings. He's also the third-ranked small forward, trailing only Ft. Wayne's DeShaun Thomas and Illinois-bound Jereme Richmond. He turned plenty of heads with his play this spring at events like the Real Deal on the Hill, the King James Shootout and the Jayhawk Invitational.
"I think I've shown people I can score, that's probably my biggest strength, plus my spot up shooting," Barnes said.
Indiana has taken notice of those abilities. Barnes said the Hoosiers officially offered him a scholarship Thursday (May 29), making them one of five programs that have offered along with Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland and TCU.
"Up until (Indiana) offered me, I didn't know they were interested, but apparently they had been following me for awhile," Barnes said of the IU offer.
IU Assistant Coach Tim Buckley has been the coach who's been keeping a close eye on Barnes this spring. Buckley likely first became aware of Barnes when he was an assistant to then-Iowa Coach Steve Alford two years ago, and then continued to keep tabs on him when he was on Tom Crean's Marquette staff.
That's resulted in an early offer from the Hoosiers for the 2010 standout.
"I know they have a rich tradition and I know a lot of good basketball players go there," Barnes said. "I also know they're looking to build a championship team."
Barnes appears to be the type of player that help in that endeavor. As a sophomore at Ames H.S. he averaged 17 points per game and eight rebounds, helping the team to a 20-3 record.
It's no surprise that he's a top recruiting priority for the two big in-state schools, Iowa and Iowa State. Barnes has already made an unofficial visit to Todd Lickliter's Hawkeye program, and he has strong ties to Iowa State as well. Not only does he live on the other side of town from the Cyclone program but his father, Ron Harris, played at Iowa State from 1981-84. Harris ranks 14th on the Cyclones all-time scoring list (1,446 points), eighth in steals (169) and 17th in assists (258).
Despite those strong ties, Barnes said everyone is on equal footing at this point.
"I'm looking to explore all my options," Barnes said.
Barnes Talks About Indiana Offer
Peegs.com Top Stories
Kevin Wilson Radio Show recapKevin Wilson had his weekly radio show tonight and Peegs.com has a recap of what the IU head coach talked about.
Following the Future: IU commits in actionPeegs.com recaps how each member of the 2017 Indiana recruiting class performed in their most recent game, and what is next on the schedule for every Hoosier commit.
Video intro: McRoberts not your usual walk-onAs a former Division I scholarship player and younger brother of a long-time NBA veteran, Zach McRoberts may be ready to help more than your typical walk-on
Video intro: Sophomore walk-on Quentin TaylorIndiana sophomore walk-on Quentin Taylor compares this Indiana team to last year's Big Ten champions and looks ahead to his future after his IU career.