A year later: Harrison Barnes

  • 07/09/2008 7:16 pm in

barnes.JPGAbout a year ago today, I was at the Kentucky Hoop Fest in Louisville watching a bunch of different players including Derek Elston, Ray McCallum Jr. and Stephan Van Treese. In between games, I walked over to a court with a friend and we watched about half of a game involving a team from Iowa.

There was one particular kid who caught my eye. He was long, athletic and surprisingly polished for a 15-year old. He was making it look easy. After watching him completely dominate for about five straight minutes, I finally walked over to one of the parents to ask who he was.

“That’s Harrison Barnes,” the parent told me. “Iowa State is all over him.” The parent went on to explain to me that Barnes was from Ames and his Mom worked at Iowa State and his Dad once played for the Cyclones.

I continued to watch Barnes for a while longer and when I got home that night, I looked at the recruiting rankings for one service that had already evaluated the 2010 class. Barnes was No. 115. So much for the legitimacy of those rankings. If there were 114 better 15-year olds better than Barnes, I wanted to see them.

Fast forward to a year later and Barnes is one of the hottest names on the national recruiting scene. He’s in the top 10 nationally with both Scout.com and Rivals.com. USC, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa State, Iowa, TCU, Duke, Maryland, Texas and Tennessee are among the long list of schools in pursuit. Indiana fans should be thrilled that the Hoosiers are in on this kid. Not only is he an outstanding player, he’s also a great kid.

Barnes is at the Hoop Fest again this year and Indiana assistant coach Tim Buckley will certainly be there watching him. As will Inside the Hall all day on Friday. We’ll get our first look at Bobby Capobianco, Jordan Hulls and another look at Barnes.

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  • This is great for IU. Coach Tom Crean and his staff are doing a great job targeting these high major, high character players. Some other recruiting tidbits, Josh Smith, possibly the top post player in the class of 2010, has interest in IU, although it may be hard to get him out of the west. Derrick Favors, perhaps the top post player in the class of 2009, has mentioned IU with the list of schools that has interest, although it may be hard to get him out of the south. While IU won't be very good this upcoming season and perhaps even next season, it's very apparent that it's not going to take as long for Crean to rebuild IU as some might think. While there may be a logjam in the back court for the next couple of years, it's good to see that the coaching staff is making an effort to target post players, which has been one of IU's weak spots for the past decade or longer. As for next year, some of the top targets include Derrick Favors, Roger Franklin, Christian Watford, Dante Taylor, Stephan Van Tresse, Shawn Kemp Jr., Jamil Wilson, etc. Even with everything that has happened this year, i'm still looking forward to this year and will be at many of the games (especially the game against UK at Rupp Arena, and i will be decked out in the cream and crimson with my face painted, lol). I believe this years team will surprise, as there are a lot of good to great shooters on the team (Dumes, Roth, Williams, Story).

  • I've seen Watford and Franklin play and i'm impressed with both, although i'd take Franklin over Watford in a heartbeat because of his work ethic, character, toughness and last but not least, his talent. With that being said, one player i have not seen is surprisingly Stephen Van Tresse. What are his strengths and weaknesses, what kind of impact could he make and does he have any upside or is he more of a role player like Capobianco and Pritchard.

  • Sweet! Sic 'em Crean

  • HoosierSmitty

    This is the hardest thing about growing up and getting more involved in recruiting than I ever was as a kid. I get all excited about players like this and then eventually deflated when they choose to go elsewhere. Not that this kid won't come to IU, but the chips are stacked against us, it appears. Hopefully it works out, as Crean has already shown he can pull off some minor miracles.

    Regardless, I still love to hear about these guys, and if it weren't for ITH's great coverage, I wouldn't even have the chance to get pumped about some of these guys, whether they wear the cream & crimson or not.

  • I think there is plenty of time to get in on Barnes — he'll only be a junior this year — but Crean and staff are definitely facing an uphill battle in his recruitment. He's arguably the hottest name out there right now and I just got a phone call telling me that over 40 coaches were watching him play tonight out at Male high school in Louisville. Anyway, it's nice to see that IU is in the mix for a talent like this and it looks like the coaching staff will make a habit out of pursuing (and landing) top flight prospects.

  • Which walk-on makes the biggest impact this season…

    Daniel Moore.
    Brett Finkelmeier.
    Kory Barnett.
    Broderick Lewis.
    (Anyone else i forgot).

  • JerryCT

    Lewis becasue he will have to play given our guard vs bigs situation.

    Can Taber revert to walkon if NCAA whacks our scholarships ??

  • hoosier07

    whether we land him or not, I agree with Smitty. Excited or let down, either way i love coming to ITH everyday and reading about the best recruits out there considering Indiana. If this is any kind of foreshadowing as to where TC intends on bringing this program, I think we're in for a GREAT future….

  • i agree. Purdue wasted a scholarship on John Hart from Beech Grove (a kid that IUPUI asked to walk-on), and IU got a better player in Lewis without having to use a scholly.

  • Daniel Moore- why? His name reminds me of a good ol country boy who worked when he was a kid. 😀

  • pacino

    Bobby Capobianco isn't a role player! He has polished up his game so much. His outstanding play for Indiana Elite has gained him national respect. I was at Pitt a couple of months ago and watched him single handly take over games. He has lost a lot of wait which is good because it has made im quicker in his low post moves and he has already been working with strength coaches to add more muscle mass to his strong frame. His one downfall is that he is only 6'8 but I think if he continues to polish up his game and get stronger he will be a definate threat at PF on the Big Ten level.

  • JerryCT

    Lewis becasue he will have to play given our guard vs bigs situation.

    Can Taber revert to walkon if NCAA whacks our scholarships ??

  • hoosier07

    whether we land him or not, I agree with Smitty. Excited or let down, either way i love coming to ITH everyday and reading about the best recruits out there considering Indiana. If this is any kind of foreshadowing as to where TC intends on bringing this program, I think we're in for a GREAT future….

  • i agree. Purdue wasted a scholarship on John Hart from Beech Grove (a kid that IUPUI asked to walk-on), and IU got a better player in Lewis without having to use a scholly.

  • Daniel Moore- why? His name reminds me of a good ol country boy who worked when he was a kid. 😀

  • pacino

    Bobby Capobianco isn't a role player! He has polished up his game so much. His outstanding play for Indiana Elite has gained him national respect. I was at Pitt a couple of months ago and watched him single handly take over games. He has lost a lot of wait which is good because it has made im quicker in his low post moves and he has already been working with strength coaches to add more muscle mass to his strong frame. His one downfall is that he is only 6'8 but I think if he continues to polish up his game and get stronger he will be a definate threat at PF on the Big Ten level.