Like most of the elite prospects in the 2010 class, Harrison Barnes is taking a methodical approach to his recruitment. Two official visits are in the books, and three more visits are on tap before Barnes makes a fall time decision.
A 6-foot-6, 209-pound wing player from Ames (Iowa) Senior High School, Barnes is quite confident he will be ready to pull the trigger prior to the early signing period next month.
"After my five official visits I'll have a very clear idea of where I want to go," said Barnes. "The two visits I've already taken have been big in shaping my views of the schools."
The first of these two visits was to North Carolina. The most recent visit was a trip to Oklahoma last weekend. The Sooners certainly made some headway with Barnes during the visit.
"I'd never been to Oklahoma's campus before, so I went there with an open mind," Barnes said. "It was a great experience. Coach Capel is a great guy, and our relationship as really developed over time. I also had a good time with Willie Warren, Tommy Mason-Griffin and Tiny (Keith Gallon). They are great guys."
The biggest buzz in Barnes' recruitment, however, occurred on the last day coaches could conduct in-home visits at the beginning of this week. Both Duke and North Carolina came calling for a pivotal chance to persuade their top recruiting target.
"Originally Duke had planned its visit earlier," said Barnes. "With North Carolina there was some confusion about whether I had open gym at school that day. I had told them around three weeks ago, I didn't have open gym. We had some additional questions for them, so we just had them come to the house."
There has been a growing consensus amongst those that follow recruiting that Barnes' recruitment is coming down to a Tobacco Road showdown between ACC powers Duke and North Carolina. Barnes, as expected, put the brakes on that line of thought.
"That's not true," said Barnes. "After my Oklahoma visit, they still have a good shot. With UCLA I still haven't visited, and I have a lot of interest in them with the unbelievable tradition there. And Kansas is in my backyard, and I love KU. Coach Self and me have a great relationship."
The next visit for Barnes will be Kansas for their midnight madness festivities. Then he will go to Duke the following weekend. His visit to UCLA was originally scheduled for this weekend but has been changed to the last weekend in October.
Harrison Barnes scouting report:
A well put together wing prospect, Barnes is both a threat on the perimeter and around the basket. He has a smooth shooting stroke from three, can attack the basket off the dribble and has a feel for passing the ball. He rebounds the ball well and can score in the post. Defensively, he can guard up to three positions. The complete nature of his game makes him an elite prospect in the class of 2010.