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College, NBA Draft / Apr 18, 2011 / 10:00 am

UNC’s Harrison Barnes Returning To School For Sophomore Season

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes (photo. Kelly Kline)

We had heard this might be true. But now it’s official. Harrison Barnes, the ACC Rookie of the Year, will be coming back to Chapel Hill for another season, giving up a shot at the NBA to pursue a national championship and to continue to mature and improve his game at North Carolina.

The 6-8 Barnes told the basketball world in a statement that:

“As an 18-year old, I’m in the early stages of my life journey,” Barnes says. “I’m honored and blessed for the chance to play in the NBA. And because of my family, teachers, passion, and work, I have the ultimate dream of one day playing and experiencing a fulfilling career in the NBA.

“Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision. 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.”

He was expected to be a high Lottery pick, and was probably going to be one of the top five players selected after averaging nearly 16 points a game for UNC. Barnes had improved greatly as the year went along, his game and mentality maturing to the point that he might’ve been the team’s best player during the last few weeks of the season.

But with his return, the 2011 Draft takes another hit. Once you get past Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, the talent drops off significantly. This one is shaping up to be possibly the worst draft class in the last decade. Still, take a look at the 2012 Draft. That’ll more than make up for it.

On the other hand, North Carolina is loaded next year…

Do you think Barnes made the right choice?

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  • http://www.livingcheapla.com hakasan

    good decision… with the potential lockout… better to stay in a program that’ll keep you working on your game…

  • JAY

    Jared Sullinger
    Perry Jones
    Tristan Thompson
    and now Harrison Barnes

    ^^ 4 potential lottery picks electing to stay in school is truly making this draft class weaker with every passing day.

  • Abe504

    Man, my Wizards aint gonna get nobody in the draft if they don’t get teh top 2 picks, terrible draft

  • shaw32

    Whens the last time the top rated high school recruict came back as a sophmore?

  • JaKobe

    Got respect for Barnes, it takes a lot of strength to turn down the money. Hope he stays healthy so he can go get it when he’s ready. Problem is it’ll all be in vain because my #BoyzNBlue already have next years title on lock, and are the TRUE greatest college basketball family. #BigBlueNation

  • beiber newz

    THE KINGS ARE TIGHT !!!!!!!!!

  • beiber newz

    i like tyreke evans, barnes, and cousins more than i would like evans/cousins with kyrie.

    thats just me

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Again, don’t judge a Draft class until we’ve seen them in the League. I’m not saying 2011 can’t be a repeat of 2000 (Kenyon, Stromile, D-Miles, Fizer, Mike Miller were the Top 5), but there’s no way to tell right now.

  • i am a witness

    DAM that 2000 draft top five make ya wanna hurl!!!!!!!!

  • beiber newz

    peple sed curry class was weak. i luv their class

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    That 2000 class was weak but the 2001 class was full of underacheiving bust outs. The leagues goes in waves like that. this 2011 draft will show you which GMs actually do their job and aren’t just friends of the owners.

    @DIME,
    While Kyrie and Derrick Williams are nice, please don’t exlude UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt from the top players list. This kid has the talent to be a monster in a few years. I personally don’t think he was ready to come out, but he did. He won’t have as much impact his rookie year, but by year 3, he’ll be a problem.

    As for Harrison, great job on being a student athlete and generally a smart person. Enjoy your time at UNC and bring home that chip.

    UNC’s front court of
    Barnes – SF
    Henson – PF
    Zeller – C
    J-Macadoo – PF

    is going to be a effin problem.

    Then you got Marshall feeding all them, oooooohhhh can’t wait for the 2012 season to start

  • The Lost Apostle

    This is just pure stupidity. Even if there is a lockout the contract is still guaranteed whenever the league starts up again. I don’t care how much you love college – you can’t leave 10 million on the table and risk an injury. Its risky and dangerous and the people that are encouraging these players to stay in school should be ashamed.

  • rkirby

    The Lost Apostle must be a Duke fan

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Apostle — It’s not always a 100% business decision. Maybe Barnes simply likes being at UNC and isn’t ready to begin his professional life yet. Maybe he wants another crack at winning a national championship. Or maybe he just feels like he’s not all the way ready for the NBA yet.

    Obviously, most of the people advising Barnes will have a vested interested of their own, be it his coaches (stay), his friends (go), his UNC teammates (stay) or his personal trainer (go). But at the end of the day it’s his choice, and trust me, Barnes is mature enough to make it on his own.

  • http://www.DarkWingPro.com DarkWing Productions

    Its like we’re getting a sneak peak at what it’d be like if players were mandated to stay 2 years, instead of 1. I personally am all for it. I like to see players develop at the college level, instead of just doing a 1-year tease.

  • Dre

    Lost Apostle is just lost if it is locked out then they do not get a chance to sign a contract. No business is conducted until the lock out is over. He knows what he wants to do and is very calculating about it. Also people… top draft picks in football and basketball sign insurance policies to protect against career ending injuries. I guarantee you that he has one now. Jakobe… I’m sorry but the real Blue nation the Tarheel Blue nation got the championship next year on lock. The best basketball family in basketball is UNC.

  • Okene Edward

    Thats a gr8t decision kid, get that education now, improve ur game and then enjoy ur nba career when u re truly ready. Go do ur thing kid nd God bless ur game.