University of North Carolina freshman forward Harrison Barnes has earned a spot on the Associated Press Preseason All-America team, the AP announced on Monday. Barnes is the first freshman to earn a spot on the team since its inception prior to the 1986-87 season.
"This is indicative of the great respect that Harrison has nationally, and it's an unbelievable accomplishment for a freshman," UNC head coach Roy Williams says. "I know Harrison would agree, however, that it would be even more exciting to make the All-America team that's picked after the season.
"So far in practice, he has shown the ability to grasp things that we are teaching very quickly, he has tremendous concentration and I fully expect that he is going to be a very important player for us from day one."
I know. No one besides people who were in Bahamas and those camped out courtside in Greensboro on Sunday have seen the kid play in a UNC uniform. However, there is also an incredible level of unanimity in the general opinions expressed by smart people and those who write columns(not necessarily one in the same mind you.) We are also talking about a player who every recruiting ranking out there had #1, well except for Rivals.com who ranked Josh Selby at #1 and Barnes at #2 presumably because they are complete idiots or lost a bet. I hope it is the latter because I would hate to think they are dumb enough to think a player(Selby) who two different services had as low as #12 should top the rankings ahead of a player(Barnes) who everyone thinks is the 2nd coming of <insert NBA star here>.
Interesting enough this is the first time a freshman has ever been tabbed for first team All-America in the preseason. People were obviously high on John Wall last season but not so much they tabbed him for this honor.
Exit question: Given Duke's Kyle Singler is also on the AP All-America team, can we assume the matchup of Barnes vs Singler in at least two games this season is going to be off the scale epic?