clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hype Machine Rolling: Harrison Barnes NPOY?

So says CBS Sportsline writer Gary Parrish who is buying Harrison Barnes stock like it was the dot com era.

Harrison Barnes is the Preseason National Player of the Year.

And, yes, I know he hasn't played a game in college yet.

But that doesn't matter much because I've seen Barnes enough over the past two years to know greatness is coming -- just like I knew greatness was coming with Kevin Durant back in 2006-07, with Derrick Rose back in 2007-08, and with John Wall last season.

Combine that with my belief that preseason awards should be predictors of things to come, and you'll understand why I tabbed the North Carolina freshman with this honor, and why I did it without hesitation.

Barnes is the total package.

He has a work ethic to match his skill set, plus just about every intangible imaginable. He's smart and humble, focused and kind. The only possible negative is that Barnes is so unique for his age that it's unclear how he will fit in with his teammates because he started acting like a mature professional well before he graduated high school.

"He's interesting," UNC's Tyler Zeller told me last month, and I knew exactly what Zeller meant.

College coaches who recruited Barnes loved him because -- as one who missed on the Iowa native once told me -- "When you talk to him you feel like you're talking to an adult. You forget he's a kid. He's off-the-charts."

Parrish has a penchant for making these types of declaration about freshmen. I am of the mind that it is difficult to know a freshman's full potential until you actually see them tested against college competition. As Parrish notes, he said the same things about Derrick Rose and John Wall who both panned out as expected. Barnes will likely be the same deal. If that is the case, it is going to be a blast to watch. More importantly, adding Barnes to the talent UNC already has along with Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall means the Heels will be back in business.