Harrison Barnes Staying At North Carolina?

March 31, 2011 – 12:36 pm by Ryan Phillips

After Jared Sullinger emphatically announced he was returning to Ohio State for his sophomore season, some people were surprised that the super-frosh wasn’t taking his talents to the NBA. Well, there might be an even more shocking return announcement coming shortly.

North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes would definitely be selected with one of the top five picks in the 2011 NBA Draft, and is even in the mix to be the No. 1 pick. But apparently the 6’8, 210-pound forward may not be satisfied with his time in Chapel Hill thus far. According to Barnes’ mother, her son set some goals for himself when he arrived at UNC and wants to complete them.

After losing to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament on Sunday, Barnes mentioned that his emotions were pretty much the same as when his high school team lost three years ago. When that happened, Barnes was apparently crushed for three months. Following that loss he led Ames (Iowa) High School to back-to-back state titles over the next two years. Well, the same thing could be happening with the Tar Heels.

ESPN’s Chad Ford has claimed Barnes would really like to win a championship with the Tar Heels and that he’s the kind of guy who cares about more than just NBA riches.

If Barnes returns, along with Tyler Zeller and John Henson (who are both expected to return) there’s almost no doubt North Carolina would be the odds-on favorite to take home next year’s national championship. Also, the potential for an NBA work-stoppage will certainly weigh heavily on the decisions of many top prospects.

From where things stand right now we put the chances of Barnes staying at 50-50. A week ago we would have guaranteed he was gone. That’s good news for North Carolina fans.

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  1. 10 Responses to “Harrison Barnes Staying At North Carolina?”

  2. If you knew anything about Harrison Barnes, you would know that while still in high school, he realized he could not play baketball all his life so he went to college to get a degree as well as play basketball. Do your homework before you right an article.

    By Smiley on Mar 31, 2011

  3. Smiley,
    Um, if you actually read the article you’d see that I said he’s a guy who cares more about the NBA and that he could be coming back for that reason. I mean Jesus, did you ever read it before posting a comment?

    By Phillips on Mar 31, 2011

  4. smart move for harrison barnes…they must educate their players at UNC

    By Thomas K on Mar 31, 2011

  5. Smiley,
    I agree with Phillips… his article was shedding light on Harrison caring more about college and winning a national championship than the NBA. I wonder too if you read the article. Oh, and it’s “write”, not “right” when you’re referring to journalism. LOL Good for Barnes, he seems like a highly intelligent person and I really hope he comes back to UNC next season. With PJ Hairston and Macadoo coming next year, the Heels will be a force to be reckoned with!!! GO HEELS!!!

    By Kelly Kelz on Mar 31, 2011

  6. Barnes is a great player , he still needs to work on his ball handling and playing without the ball. Then he will go # 1 for sure.

    By Alan L. on Mar 31, 2011

  7. When Barnes officially visited UNC, he spent his first full day with the academic department (Business School) and stated that “they showed me how I could graduate in three years.” That was the turning point for him. He was looking for a) a top-rated business school, with a b) good basketball program, that could 3) get him through school in three years. The next day he visited with the coaches. It was not too long after that that he announced his decision. I don’t know why the media has forgotten/overlooked this. I suppose they assume he’s like many of today’s athletes – using college as a stepping stone to the NBA. But I have always felt he would stay at least two years, if not three because of the way he treated his official visit and what he said immediately afterward. He is not like many of today’s athletes. He believes strongly in a quality education. I expect him back.

    By Frank Hamrick on Mar 31, 2011

  8. Frank,
    I agree that Barnes is a different kind of guy, that said, if you’re guaranteed to be a top five pick, even college coaches will often tell you to go pro. That’s because of the chance of injury, etc. I fully expect Barnes to get his degree from UNC, but it might not be while he’s a student athlete there.

    Everything I’ve heard over the past few days says that he’s struggling with the decision but would like to come back. That doesn’t mean he will. He’s almost certainly assured of being a top three pick. The NBA’s impending work stoppage could actually be the thing that ultimately pushes him to return to school.

    The thing here is, it’s not that he doesn’t WANT to go back to UNC, it’s that when you’ve got as high a grade as he has, he could be cheating himself by not entering the draft. That’s the consideration.

    In the end, I think he returns to school.

    By Phillips on Mar 31, 2011

  9. LMFAO! Smiley tried to get smart and the idiot can’t even spell. Maybe that’s why people should stay in school.

    By Max Longwell on Apr 1, 2011

  10. It would be great for Barnes to stick around and enjoy college. He could have his parents take out an insurance policy in case of injury. Nothing will replace college memories. Ask Psycho T. It worked out well for him.

    By Anonymous on Apr 1, 2011

  11. He should stay just because how stacked they’ll be with. With two Top 10 recruits coming in this could be one of the greatest college basketball teams EVER!! With a bench that has Bullock, Hairston, MacAdoo, and MacDonald. That also weighs on if Henson and Zeller do come back as well. The depth on the bench would be unbelievable. But the BIG 3 (Henson, Zeller and Barnes) has to be intack to win this championship. Duke could have a strong team as well with Austin Rivers, Kyrie Irving and the Plumlee brothers. Kentucky could be ok, if Knight and Jones return. UCLA could be ok also if the Wear Brother become productive. My dark horse pick is Syracuse.

    By The Sports Fanatic on Apr 6, 2011

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