Barnes Storms Onto the Scene

Harrison Barnes has always known he can play. So have those in the Midwest familiar with his game. However, it wasn't until the past few months that the rest of the country figured out just how good the six-foot-six inch wing from Ames (IA) High is.

Thanks to a series of big showings on the travel circuit and at events like the Nike Hoop Jamboree and the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Harrison Barnes has gone from relative unknown to potential top 10 player in the class of 2010. So far, he’s enjoying every moment of it.

“I think it’s nice to be getting to invited to the events like I’ve been,” said Barnes. “You get to measure yourself against the nation’s best and really test where you are. I’m not doing too bad and I realize that you can play with these guys.”

Not surprisingly, Barnes phone has been ringing off the hook with coaches looking to make their pitch. Having heard from over 20 schools, Barnes mentioned places like Kansas, Georgetown, LSU, Iowa, Iowa State, Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota and many others.

Between all the travel and calls, Barnes says it’s been hard to sort it all out.

“Right now with all of this traveling it’s really not on my mind. It’s really hard to focus on,” Barnes told Phog.Net. “The last couple of weeks I’ve only been home for a day or a day and a half. When I am home I usually just rest or maybe go out with friends. When I can I’m shooting and I’m making sure that I take care of my body and eat right. I like to travel though. You go to these nice events and work on your skills.”

Speaking specifically about Kansas, Barnes says that he’s spoken to a pair of staff members and that the Jayhawks interest really got turned up after he played in Lawrence during a May event.

“I talked to Coach Dooley and I talked to Coach Self,” said Barnes. “They started recruiting me pretty aggressively after the Jayhawk Invitational.”

When asked about his interest level in Kansas, Barnes admitted that he’s intrigued.

“I’d say that I have a lot of interest in them,” said Barnes of Kansas. “They’ve got a good school, good facilities, a good basketball team of course and it seems like they’ve got a good coaching staff too.”

Being from Ames, Barnes is also intimately familiar with the Iowa State program. Not surprisingly he’s starting to feel some pressure from those around his hometown to stay home but he’s not going to let the pressure influence what he does.

“Obviously there’s pressure when there’s a lot of people around you saying ‘Oh you’re going to Iowa State,’ “ said Barnes. “Then you tell them you don’t know and they get that look on their face. You just have to do what is best for you and look out for you at the end of the day.”

With a full summer left ahead of him, Barnes is taking things in stride and isn’t likely to cut his list down until after his traveling settles down and he can really investigate schools. When it does come time to cut things down and eventually make a decision, though, there’s one Ames resident who won’t be putting any pressure on him. His mother.

“She’s going to let me make my final college decision and support me wherever I decide to go,” said Barnes. “That means a lot.”

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