Two weekends ago, Harrison Barnes made a trip out to the West Coast to participate in the Pangos All-American Camp. After playing in the Long Beach based event, the 6-foot-6 swing -- and scout.com's top ranked basketball player in the class of 2010 -- fit in a few visits. After a trip to UCLA, Barnes and his mother made their way up to Palo Alto.
After meeting with the staff and touring the school, Barnes left impressed.
"Not only are they one of the top colleges in America, they have one of the top business schools," said Barnes. "It's really unique and it's clear that they really push their students academically."
Given the way the NCAA governs contact between prospective student athletes and coaching staffs, unofficial visits are particularly important because it gives a staff and player a chance to actually get to know each other. That sentiment is one that Barnes echoed when talking about meeting with coach Johnny Dawkins and his staff.
"It was very good because we've never really had much time to talk face to face," said Barnes of meeting with Dawkins. "It was nice to get him and his coaching staff a little bit and what's special about Stanford."
One of the highlights of the visit for Barnes, was the opportunity to meet with "Professor Rice".
"To be able to meet her, that was an unbelievable experience," said Barnes of meeting with Condoleezza Rice who he deemed "the third most powerful person in the world" at one point . "There was a little bit of pressure."
"There's only a first time for a first impression," said Barnes. "The first impression lasts with me for a long while so it's going to really be important for me when thinking about all of these schools."
A competitive student who has already taken several AP level courses, Barnes is serious about his education. The potential to leave school early is there, but for now he's planning on getting a degree and says that not much has changed with his approach since blowing up and ascending to the top of the class of 2010.
"I don't think much has changed," said Barnes. "I'm still looking for a school with a very good business program and somewhere that will be able to compete in basketball. I want to have a career in business after basketball. After winning a state title, I want to win another one and then try to add a national title at the college level."
Next on the agenda for Barnes is a trip to the prestigious NBPA top 100 camp. To say that he's looking forward to challenging himself against the nation's best is an understatement and despite his top billing, he's still attacking things as if he's an unknown player looking for respect. "I still think I have a lot to prove and I'm going to play with a chip on my shoulder," said Barnes. "I still want to go out there and prove my worth to people. I want to show everybody how much I've improved and what I'm all about."