EBoss Road Show - Barnes Leads Ames Rout

After spending most of the latter half of November and almost all of December on the recruiting trail, the Road Show enjoyed a week or so off. Friday night, it was time to jump back in the saddle with a trip up I-35 from Kansas City to Ames, IA.

The reason? Top five junior Harrison Barnes and his Ames (IA) High teammates were looking to hold serve at home and protect both their undefeated season and number ranking in the state of Iowa against rival Marshalltown (IA) High and Iowa bound junior Chanse Creekmur.

While Barnes got off to a slow start, his teammates lifted him in the first half before the six-foot-seven inch wing asserted his dominance in the second half leading Ames to a 69-40 blowout win in front of a packed house.

FRIDAY NIGHT NOTABLES

Harrison Barnes - Things didn’t start off so great for Barnes. Facing a changing zone defense, he looked a little too juiced early as he ended up short arming a lot of early looks while missing his first five shots from the field. Thanks to a stickback, a two handed jam finish after sneaking behind the zone and a spinning move to the hoop just before the buzzer sounded to end the first half. The field goal improved Barnes to 3-10 from the field while added a couple of free throws to give him eight points along with four rebounds a pair of assists and a steal as Ames went to the half with a 31-25 lead.

After the intermission, the Ames star came out looking to dominate the action as he asserted himself with and one finishes, some monstrous dunks and a few of his patented pull-up jumpers from the mid range. By the time he was done, he’d gone for 22 points (8-16 FG, 6-7 FT) grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists as Ames ran away and hid from the state’s 8th ranked team in the second half.

A very versatile player, Barnes chose to operate from inside out using his athleticism and length to score at the rim after missing a few early jumpers. While the jumpers didn’t fall as much on Friday night as they had last summer when he built his tremendous national reputation, it’s pretty clear that the jumper will be a weapon. He gets tremendous lift, has a high release and shoots with plenty of arch and rotation. Also improving as a ball handler, Barnes looks much more assertive off the dribble and his left hand is coming along very nicely. Despite what could even be considered a bit of an “off” game by his standards, Barnes is firmly establishing himself as the top wing prospect in the country for the class of 2010 and a potential contender for the overall top prospect in that class.

Chanse Creekmur - Few players in the country are armed with a jumper that is as smooth and sound as the 6-6 junior. Already committed to Iowa, the slender wing was very quiet for stretches and seemed to struggle with Barnes’ length and athleticism when matched up one on one on either side of the floor. Finishing with 12 points and three rebounds, Creekmur ended up with a quiet night but that doesn’t mean he can’t play. He’s a perfect fit for Iowa’s system and will give them a shooter with some much needed size and good (not great) athleticism and a nice overall feel for the game. The most important thing for him at this point is to lock himself in a weight room and pack on as much strength as possible.

MORE NOTES FROM AMES

As good as Barnes is, it would be a huge mistake to label Ames as a one man team. Solid from top to bottom, the Little Cyclones benefit from terrific coaching from head man Vance Downs and a group of kids that know their roles. Senior point guard Abou Palo is quick and sets up his teammates while senior forward Jesse Pritchard provides toughness and versatility. Iowa State coach Greg McDermott’s son Doug is a crafty 6-7 junior who comes off the bench to provide a skilled inside/outside scorer and pint sized junior guard Michael Weber is a kid who plays with incredible heart and toughness and helps to lead his team. … Finally, props to the Ames High crowd and student section. They had the gym packed to the rafters and provided a great atmosphere for a high school basketball game. It’s really amazing how much of a difference a good crowd can make. …

  • Total teams watched- 120.
  • Total games watched- 70.
  • Total miles traveled- 12,476.

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