'An Absolutely Phenomenal Weekend'

The nation's top prospect – Harrison Barnes – has begun taking official visits. He kicked off the process by heading to Chapel Hill (N.C.) this past weekend.

"Obviously there's a lot for me to process, but my initial feeling is that it was an absolutely phenomenal weekend," Barnes told InsideCarolina.com late Sunday night.

"My family really enjoyed it," he said. My mom thought it was a surreal experience to see Michael Jordan, her idol. Jordan Ashley [my sister] really enjoyed it too."

Barnes, who hails from Ames (Iowa) High, was at UNC's alumni game festivities Friday night, and caught performances from NBA stars like Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse and Antawn Jamison.

"Vince Carter stole the show, that's for sure," Barnes said of the game.

"Since there were NBA players and alumni I was only allowed to exchange a cordial greeting with them, but just watching them play and the history of Carolina in front of my eyes and all the tradition, it was a great experience."

On Saturday, prior to heading to North Carolina's football game, Barnes played pick up ball with the UNC team and their current commitments.

"It went well," said Barnes, ranked the No. 1 senior in the nation by Scout.com. "The Carolina team is going to be extremely good this year and I think a lot better than people think. It was a great experience playing with them."

"[The games] were very intense," he added. "I matched up with a number of people from Dexter Strickland to Will Graves to Justin Watts. I was messing with all of them."

During the pick up games Barnes played alongside UNC commitment Kendall Marshall and also spent time with the Heels' other 2010 commit, Reggie Bullock.

"Yes, him and Reggie were there," he said referring to Marshall and Bullock. "It was a great time hanging out with those guys and being around them. We've gotten to be real good friends hanging out over the summer."

After playing pick up ball, Barnes spent some time with the current team, which was something that he was hoping to do, since he didn't meet with them during his unofficial visit.

"I would say it was good for me to hang out with the team," Barnes said. "Last time I was there I visited the campus a lot and met with the academic people, but I didn't get to hang out with the players and see what their experience was like."

"On this trip it was great for me to be around them and see them in their element and interact with them and talk with them about Carolina basketball," he added.

The football game was also where last year's Tar Heels received their National Championship rings.

"In front of the packed house and the packed football stadium when they got their rings there was a loud applause and to see how happy everyone was pretty unbelievable and impressive."

The trip also allowed Barnes to spend some quality time with the Tar Heels head coach.

"I would say that definitely since the beginning of my recruitment our relationship has grown leaps and bounds," he said referring to Roy Williams. "It was nice to sit down and spend some time with him and just continue to build the relationship."

As for upcoming visits, Barnes still has yet to set another official visit date, but is in the process of doing so.

"Right now I'm just taking it how it comes," he said. "I have a lot of in-home visits set up and I'm just going to go from there and take it one step at a time."

So could Barnes decide during the early period?

"It's a possibility, but I'm just not quite sure yet."

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