The Tarheels are going to be stacked next season.
After an up and down freshman season, Harrison Barnes was considered a sure-fire lottery pick, but he announced that he is going to head back to North Carolina for his sophomore season (via Draft Express on Twitter).
“Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision,” Barnes said in a released statement. “But I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina. I’m here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports.”
Barnes, the 6’8” swingman, entered the season considered the likely No. 1 pick overall. But after he struggled to adapt to the college game at the start of the season — he shot 37 percent through 17 games — his stock dropped. But he found a groove, new point guard Kendall Marshall and he clicked, and by the end of the season Barnes was doing things like dropping 40 on Clemson in the ACC Tournament. Barnes finished averaging 15.7 points per game. He has a very polished game for someone so young.
He moved back up and likely would have been a top-10 pick this year.
He likely will be a high lottery pick in what should be a very deep 2012 draft.