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In Which I Again Try to Dampen the Enthusiasm for Harrison Barnes Slightly

Gary Parrish has already blown the "Let's keep UNC away from the hype machine for a while" plan out of the water by going and naming Harrison Barnes his preseason player of the year, despite him having played the same number of minutes in college basketball as, well, me. And while most Carolina fans get excited about this, I just get a pit in my stomach.

It's not that I don't want Barnes to have a player of the year season. Or even, for that matter, that he doesn't have the head to handle the preseason hype, when by all accounts, he does. It's just that too much of the talk about this team is centered around the expectations that everything is fixed now and last year is but a distant memory, and I don't think that's the case. I'd much rather they stay under the radar as befits an NIT team than be immediately blinded by the glare of flashbulbs directed as a freshman. Kevin Durant and John Wall didn't take their teams very far in the NCAA's, after all, and I'd prefer a solid team to a one year blip. So can we settle down and let the season start before chasing madly after the next hot thing?

On the bright side though, if people keep deciding he's POY, the media ban on talking to freshman is going to make for some really boring basketball previews this year. Well, more boring than usual, at least.