Barnes Returns to Chapel Hill

The headliner of North Carolina's 2010 recruiting class – Harrison Barnes - made a trip to Chapel Hill last week for UNC's game against Duke.

Although his trip was cut short, Barnes, a standout at Ames (Iowa) High, took in the game, met with the coaching staff and spent some time with 2011 Tar Heel commitments P.J. Hairston and James McAdoo.

"My flight got delayed a lot going into Carolina," Barnes said. "By the time I got there I got the chance to watch the game and after that I went back to the hotel and I was out. I didn't really have too much time to lounge around."

"But it was good for me to go there and watch Carolina play and be able to sit down with the coaches after the game and interact with the players," the 6-foot-7, 195-pound wing added.

Following the game, Barnes also got to spend some one-on-one time with his future coach.

"It was good," he said of his conversation with Roy Williams. "Coach Williams had come down to see me earlier during the season for one of my games. But it was nice to see a Carolina game up close and personal and get to talk to him afterwards."

While watching the Tar Heels in person, Barnes got a feel for the current North Carolina team, and he's hoping to contribute to one of their biggest weaknesses – perimeter scoring.

"That's one thing I'll be trying to focus on during my short off-season - working on my perimeter skills - so I can help Carolina the best I can, since that's what they are lacking," Barnes said.

"I would say the biggest thing Carolina's struggling with right now is lack of experience. They lost their four best scorers, but also four leaders of the team so it's hard to bounce back from that."

To go with Barnes, the Heels are bringing in McDonald's All-American recruits Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock. All three prospects are perimeter oriented and should help give UNC a bump in talent at the guard spots.

"I would just hope that we can go in there and we would be the only three inexperienced players; everyone else will have at last a year under their belts," said Barnes. "Hopefully we can bring more depth to the perimeter and increase our wins."

Barnes is currently in the midst of an impressive senior season, where he's averaging 27 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

"The season so far has been great. We are 20-0 with two games left this next week to finish off the regular season and then we start the postseason shortly after that. The team is playing great basketball and it should be interesting and fun the next couple games."

Individually, Barnes said he's playing up to his expectations, but he'd like to see his passing improve.

"Right now I'm playing good basketball," he said. "I'd like to see myself distribute a little bit more and get more assists per game, but I would say overall I feel like I'm playing well."

Last week Barnes was selected to the 2010 McDonald's All-American game, which will take place in late March in Columbus (Ohio).

"For me it was a dream come true getting selected as a McDonald's All-American," Barnes said. "I know tons of professional basketball players that have gone through the McDonald's game. There's such a rich tradition there and I'm just glad to be apart of the game and be recognized as one of the best players in the nation."

Harrison Barnes Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories