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What Harrison Barnes Did After The Game Friday

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Considering Harrison Barnes thought 6-10 shooting at Late Night warranted some extra shooting after the game, it was pretty much assumed the UNC freshman would hit the gym after the Heels dispatched Barton on Friday night. Assumption correct.

Via Adam Lucas:

After Friday night’s exhibition win over Barton, though, a new sound joined the cacophony. Harrison Barnes had just finished a 2-of-9, 6-turnover performance. And so as soon as Roy Williams finished addressing his team in the locker room, Barnes didn’t take
a shower and get dressed. Instead, he grabbed a basketball and left the locker room, walked down a hallway, took a right turn, and entered the practice gym.

He refused any assistance from managers who offered to rebound for him, and he pointedly did not turn on the lights. He plugged in some music, a selection of angry rock tunes that seemed to capture his displeasure at his UNC exhibition debut. And then, he dribbled. For 10 minutes…20 minutes…at least a half-hour. No one was sure exactly how long he stayed there. Just that as
the other Tar Heels filed out of the building into the chilly night, the pounding of Barnes’s music—and his basketball—could still be heard in the practice gym.

He had a very similar response to his performance in a loose 20-minute scrimmage played as part of the Late Night festivities. And when the freshmen took a shellacking in their first pickup game on campus during summer school, Barnes returned to the Smith Center at 2:30 a.m. and shot until he was sure a similar outcome wouldn’t happen again.

Lucas notes that Late Night was not the first time Barnes took to the practice gym following what he considered a poor performance. After his first pickup game at UNC, Barnes went for a 2:30 AM shooting session at the Dean Dome. I really hope Barnes plays better this Friday because I am really afraid he might take to biting the heads of live chickens next.

In a word, Barnes is driven to succeed, driven to be as near perfect in his personal execution of the game as a player can be. That in itself is not unusual. A lot of players put in extra work but for Barnes it is not totally about the extra work. In some respects it is about venting anger and frustration over the way he played. It also about the compelling need to do something in an effort to correct what went wrong. Playing poorly bothers Barnes tremendously. Losing angers him to the point he feels the need to take immediate steps to ensure it does not happen again. Barnes takes his own failures and that of his team personally.That means he will push himself when he plays poorly but it also means there is the potential for him to make great plays on the court.

In other words we may have found a player who is just like Roy Williams. After last season where it seemed like players did not really give a crap at times, seeing this kind of drive from Barnes is a welcome sight.

After Friday night’s exhibition win
over Barton, though, a new sound
joined the cacophony. Harrison Barnes
had just finished a 2-of-9, 6-turnover
performance. And so as soon as Roy
Williams finished addressing his team
in the locker room, Barnes didn’t take
a shower and get dressed. Instead,
he grabbed a basketball and left the
locker room, walked down a hallway,
took a right turn, and entered the
practice gym.
He refused any assistance from
managers who offered to rebound for
him, and he pointedly did not turn on
the lights. He plugged in some music,
a selection of angry rock tunes that
seemed to capture his displeasure at
his UNC exhibition debut.
And then, he dribbled. For 10
minutes…20 minutes…at least a
half-hour. No one was sure exactly
how long he stayed there. Just that as
the other Tar Heels filed out of the
building into the chilly night, the
pounding of Barnes’s music—and his
basketball—could still be heard in the
practice gym.