You’ll have to take the word of HoopsHype for it, but somewhere behind the wall of ESPN Insider, there’s the following nuggets about UNC freshman Harrison Barnes:One player who may decide to stay in school is North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes. Despite Barnes’ terrific play of late, one source close to Barnes told me he’d really like to win an NCAA championship for the Tar Heels. “He’s the sort of guy who cares about more than just going to the NBA,” the source said. “He wants to leave his mark.”
Barnes came into his freshman year as the nation’s top recruit, and a pre-season All-American. He didn’t exactly astound from beginning to end as expected, but as of late, has shown that he’s more than worthy of being a high lottery pick. If the Tar Heels continue their tournament run in style, Barnes could shoot even further up mock drafts.
Of course, every player has to say he might stay until he leaves. Especially when the college season is still going on. So fine, maybe we shouldn’t make too much of a source close to Barnes saying, supposedly, “yeah, he might stay”. But with a lockout looking more and more likely, a player like Barnes might be more inclined to listen to his NCAA conscience. Why spend a year neither playing nor getting paid, when you could be playing for a title?
It doesn’t hurt, either, that Barnes’s stock really has nowhere to go but up. It would be ironic if this proved to be the way the NBA could convince underclassmen to stay in school.
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