"The connections that I was able to make with Coach Williams and his staff were very significant because it allowed me to see them in person and see what their university is all about," he continued. "With all of that and their rich tradition of cranking out pros I was very impressed."
Following the NBA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville (Va.), Barnes, his mother and sister drove to Chapel Hill on Sunday and he participated in two days of Roy Williams' Basketball camp, which included some pickup ball. Then on Tuesday Barnes got the full tour of UNC.
"I went and visited the campus and got to see some of the dorms and I got to see the business school and meet with the people involved with that," said Ames (Iowa) High standout, currently ranked No. 1 overall in the rising senior class by Scout.com. "I got a tour of the facilities and then I also got to have some personal time with Coach Williams."
"[Coach Williams] expressed that he wants me to let him know where I'm at with the recruiting process and just wants to continue to build a relationship with me," Barnes said.
It's no secret that North Carolina was a bit late to Barnes' recruitment. But the Heels have slowly crawled into contention and only helped themselves during the unofficial visit.
"UNC was not one of the initial people that started recruiting me, so they jumped into the race a little later, but I would say they've really made an effort to build a relationship and make a connection," Barnes said.
"I would say the visit helped a lot because I was able to be around [Roy Williams] and watch him interact with his players and his staff, so it was good to see that and I would say our relationship is developing."
After getting to know the coaches and seeing North Carolina's campus first hand, what is it that sticks out about the Tar Heels?
"I would just say that they have a lot of connections and they obviously have a very rich tradition," Barnes said. "They also have a lot of people in the pros and a lot of other successful people that have come from that university so that would allow me to have a lot of connections once basketball is over."
The 6-foot-6, 190-pound wing has his list narrowed down to UNC, Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, Kentucky, Florida, TCU, Iowa State and Minnesota. Once the summer is over, he plans to narrow it further.
"At this point in time I'm still focused on the rest of the summer," Barnes said. "I only have a few events left. I'm going to focus on that and once that is over I'm going to cut down my list."
Barnes will participate in both the Paul Pierce and LeBron James Skills Academies in the next couple weeks, before closing out the summer with the Howard Pulley squad at the Nike Peach Jam. At this point he said he has no plans of playing during the second evaluation period in July.