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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 11:59 am  |  9 responses

Barnes, UNC Starting to Heat Up

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Unlike last season, North Carolina appears as though it is going to be able to survive its early struggles. With Tuesday night’s 106-74 win over Boston College, the Tar Heels have now won nine of their last 10 games and are tied for first in the ACC with a 6-1 conference record.

Coming to life during that resurgence has been freshman Harrison Barnes. The preseason All-American struggled mightily out of the gates, but he has finally started to get into a groove. Barnes has scored at least 25 points in his last two games after not scoring more than 19 in any other game this season.

After all the early bust talk for him and his team, Barnes is quietly navigating the Tar Heels through conference play.

From The News and Observer:

“Coming into the season, after the Puerto Rico tournament, I thought there were a lot of question marks just about our team, and how well we were going to do in the ACC,’’ said Barnes, who also had six rebounds and an assist. “I think we quieted all of that extra talk, we went out there, we played basketball – it hasn’t always been pretty, but we grinded it out.”

North Carolina was quickly labeled a disappointment earlier the season, but a quick look at their losses suggest their record is nothing to be ashamed of. Of the Tar Heels five losses (Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Texas and Georgia Tech) only the 20-point loss to the Yellow Jackets is a real head-scratcher. With the team’s next three games against Florida State, Duke and Clemson, the Tar Heels will have a chance to show whether its non-conference issues are really behind them.

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  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    ….they lookin like a beast again….still too backcourt heavy but they seem to have figured a few things out….can’t wait till they see the Dukies at Cameron

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    If they keep feeding Barnes the ball and he keeps his confidence up, he can be really good. You hear the announcers say it all the time: ‘He has all the tools, he has a great skillset’, and he does. I wasn’t a believer in Barnes first and with his subpar play to start the season, I would’ve seen that as evidence but I actually believe in Barnes now because I can see the potential, but please Barnes just stay in school for atleast one more year and develop, like Blake did, or else he’ll end up like Marvin Williams.

  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    UNC could be stacked next year if Barnes and Henson stick around. James McAdoo and PJ Hairston combined with what they have now. Dopeness.

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    Henson and Bullock looked good last night too! Bullocks’ outside touch made BC get out of that zone and it was all she wrote!

  • HAMMER

    UNC vs the dookies. Best rivalry n U.S. sports. Red sox/yankees has cooled down altho it could heat up again this season

  • add

    Barnes needs to stay for 1 more year of college at least, if he had such a hard time transitioning from high school to college it will be twice as hard when he goes into the NBA.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Slam Diary writers never bust.

  • http://nobulljive.com/ Enigmatic

    Ryan’s right. Except for –
    Ronnie Fields (not his fault)
    Ray Young
    Andre Barrett
    Eddy Curry
    Bassy
    Marvin (debatable)
    Eric Devendorf

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I think the NBA system will suit Barnes more, he has to declare this year, with such a weak draft he could still be top 5.

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