1-on-1 with Harrison Barnes

AMES, Iowa --- After announcing his decision to attend UNC, answering questions from local media and signing his letter of intent, Harrison Barnes sat down with Inside Carolina's Evan Daniels to discuss his recruitment.

Talk about the process from the get go with North Carolina?
I would say they were one of the last schools to get involved in my recruiting process and with that being said they knew that they had to make up a lot of round. I would say Coach Williams has worked just as hard, if not harder, than any of the coaches that recruited me. In the end that really put them over the edge with how much he pursued me. We built a great relationship over that time and we became great friends and I just cannot wait to play for him. I think going down on that official visit and just being there for the alumni game and seeing both the past and present mixed together was a great experience for me.

How did the Tar Heels overcome their late start?
There was a little bit of tension because I thought they were jumping in just because everybody else did, but over time I figured out that they were in the recruitment just for me.

Tell me about your relationship with Coach Williams?
Our relationship definitely grew over the summer. I had a few rough camps and my game wasn't quite as fluid as I'd like it to be and he gave me a lot of encouragement and I think over the entire recruiting process we built a very strong relationship.

What was the point that put UNC over the top?
What really brought them to the forefront was my official visit there. That was a big stepping-stone for them and seeing how Coach Williams really did want me for who I am, not for my status and the fact that I was the No. 1 player and they should recruit me. It was more about making it personal and building that relationship. That's what I enjoyed.

Did UNC's business program play a role?
North Carolina has an unbelievable business school in the Kenan-Flagler Business School and I cannot wait to begin the academic plan that has already been laid out for me.

Did your godparents that live in North Carolina impact your decision to want to play there?
It's actually funny - the state of North Carolina was good luck because I have so many people down there.

How did Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall play a role in this decision?
I think they are both great. I'm privileged to be able to go play with them and that was definitely part of the decision. I look forward to being life long friends with them.

Not many people know that your middle name is Jordan – named for Michael Jordan. How did that factor in?
We (our family) definitely have an affinity for Michael Jordan, but that didn't factor into our decision.

Who was the best in-home visit?
At this point I think it's safe to say that North Carolina had the best in-home. I just enjoyed Coach Williams coming into my home. I think they had the best combination of the relaxed approach, but at the same time they got their business model across. They weren't too laid back, but it wasn't strictly business.

Best mail out you received?
I think it's the best when the school photoshops you into something else. Those are cool.

What was your favorite moment during the process?
I would say my favorite was meeting John Wooden. Just being able to sit down with him at 99, not many people will be able to say that they did that. So just to be in his presence and here him joke and talk about his history was unbelievable.

When did you make the final decision?
We had an inclination in our mind for a little while, but it was just a matter of getting to this day and signing the papers.

How'd you keep your decision a secret?
We just kept it all in family. There was no need to tell anyone else because there was no one else that needed to have an opinion in my decision. For this decision it only needed to be them.

What do you think of UNC's roster for next year when you arrive?
I think it'll be solid. I'm looking forward to playing with John Henson, Dexter Strickland, Ed Davis if he doesn't leave, Tyler Zeller, Leslie McDonald, I'm looking forward to playing with all of those guys.

Can you all win it all your freshman year?
I believe (we can). But I haven't been at the college level so I'll have to address that when the time comes.

Did you think this announcement would get this big?
I knew there would be a lot of people there, but I didn't realize I would have the whole gym full.

On a larger scale, did you ever think your recruitment would get this big?
I would say it's an unbelievable feeling and I've just got to keep it rolling. You can only dwell on this so long and then practice starts on Monday, so it's a great transition for me.

You have such a strong desire to be the best. What drives you?
I just want to reach my potential and I think my potential is the best. Every day I go out there I always have something to prove when I step on the floor.

What's the difference between Harrison Barnes of two years ago and the Harrison Barnes of today?
The things I know and the things I've been exposed to. I've done a lot of things that I wanted to accomplish and there's also still a lot of things that I want to accomplish. One of the differences from the Harrison Barnes two years ago I would say is that my drive has increased. I'll be excited to see where Harrison Barnes is now two years from now.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope that I'll still be playing basketball. I don't know how much success I'll be having, but I hope that I'm still playing.

Harrison Barnes Profile

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