School: North Carolina | Year: Sophomore | Age: 19 | Born: May 30, 1992
Position: SF | Height: 6’9” | Weight: 225 | From: Ames, IA | Best Case Scenario: Luol Deng, Rudy Gay
Harrison Barnes is a long, athletic wing that possesses great footwork and foot speed. He has very good acceleration and burst to create space to get shots off with a man on him, and his first step and athleticism make him a threat driving from the wing. Barnes possesses prototypical dimensions for the small forward position, although lacking an elite-level wingspan and athleticism, he has an excellent frame that should allow him to add extra mass and strength.
Barnes is very skilled at dribble-penetrating and navigating around multiple defenders. Possessing great patience, Barnes does not try for things that are not there and this is seen in his very low turnover rate. Barnes tends to rely on his jump shot, but he has the ability to have success scoring mainly off of driving to the rim.
Barnes is a good defender, having a good, low, balanced stance and very quick hands. He is very strong and has the quickness to hang with the best small forwards of the NBA. He has the potential to be an excellent wing defender at the next level.
Barnes is an excellent shooter when not square with the hoop, as he makes adjustments in the air and his tremendous balance and body control allow him to make nearly any shot on the court. However, Barnes can rely too much on taking very difficult, contested shots, and he has experienced some struggles when simply catching and shooting. He appears to be most comfortable when shooting off of the dribble and using step-back moves to create sufficient space to get shots off with a defender in his face.
When driving, Barnes does not shy away from contact and has very soft touch, even when getting hit in the air. He is great at finishing when getting fouled.
Barnes has a very good attitude and work ethic. He had previously faced virtually no adversity in basketball until his freshman season at UNC, when he experienced a tough shooting slump in the earlier portion of the season. He has excellent shooting form and his midrange game is already very polished.
Harrison Barnes is a very smart, mature individual and possesses great demeanor and body language on and off the court. During games, Barnes rarely displays his emotions and appears to never get rattled, especially in clutch situations. Barnes’ attitude and superior work ethic will help to bring out his potential as he moves on to the NBA.
Barnes has an extremely high ceiling but his drive and work ethic will decide if he becomes a complementary player or a true number one option on an NBA team.
An area of improvement for Barnes is his play with his left hand, and he needs to be able to be as effective driving left as right. He will need to continue to polish his shot, learning to take more shots when square to the hoop. He tends to rely too much on his jump shot, and needs to flow his offense through driving to the hoop. Needs to learn how to find his teammates better as he has a troubling assist rate this season.
Follow Harrison Barnes on Twitter @HBarnes
Photo Credits: Starcasm