Mar 25, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Travis Releford (24) controls the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes (40) defends during the first half of the finals of the midwest region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
Just as I did previously for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, I asked the SBNation bloggers about their respective teams and players. The good folks at Carolina March were kind enough to give us their perspective on Harrison Barnes. Keep in mind that this is the opinion of someone who got to see him play every game for the past two season. Here's his take without any edits and such.
It's safe to say no player has arrived in Chapel Hill with quite the
fanfare as Harrison Barnes. From a highly-watched signing announcement
to the ridiculousness of being named a preseason All-American before
setting foot on the floor, Barnes was under a microscope like few
other players in the college game.
So what did we learn in the two years of the Barnes era?
First of all, that any transition from one level of play to the next
is unpredictable. Barnes took half a season (and a change in point
guards) to adjust to the college game and Roy Williams' style of play.
He can at times have a level of timidness, prioritizing a team offense
over taking over the game like you'd expect the go-to guy to. He can
also be a force of nature, dominating the opposing team and reeling
off eight and ten-point runs on his own.
His statistics don't tell the whole story, in part because of the team
he was on and their style of play. He was never going to pull down
many rebounds with UNC's front line as dominant as they were, and he
was never going to rack up many assists. When he got the ball, the
play typically called for him to score or kick it back out to reset
the play; Kendall Marshall handled the distribution.
He rarely turned the ball over, and his defense showed sporadic
flashes of dominance but also disappeared for stretches. But he could
take a game over like few players I've seen in Chapel Hill. Those
moments were incredible to watch; their absence when you expected them
was often frustrating.
In the end, I don't think a team can go wrong drafting Harrison
Barnes. He has by no means reached the limits of his potential, and
few players will work harder to improve. He can be overly criticized
for being mortal, and I don't think he'll make the immediate impact a
few lottery picks will, but he'll have a long career and outdo most of