Tag Archive: Harrison Barnes



The frist ever game to be played on a ship will take place this Friday! The game will be on a Navy carrier on Veterans Day in support of the duties and sacrifices all service men and women give freely to this great country, America. 

The first ever Carrier classic is between, highly favored to win the National Championship, North Carolina and Michigan State.  Needless to say this should be an interesting season for the Spartans. Having lost almost all of their starters and leading scorers from a season ago should lead to a frustrating season for Spartan fans.  But, never count Tom Izzo out. He’s one of the best NCAA coaches and has potential to surprise the doubters, which includes me. 

Let’s take a look at this matchup.  The Tar Heels have a loaded team.  They literally lost just under 10 points per game from a season ago (Justin Knox and Larry Drew II who together averaged 9 ppg).  They also have an incredible freshman class coming into Chapel Hill this season.  With Barnes and Zeller teaching the young guys what it means to be a Tar heel and to lead this team NC fans will have a lot to cheer and brag about.

Now compare that to the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans had a promising team last season and high expectations but, they didn’t perform well and lost a few games in non-conference play and were slaughtered by a Purdue Boilermaker team that was hosting the College Gameday staff.  On top of that disappointing season the Spartans also lost practically their entire team. Draymond Green returns, which should give some light and hope, to lead this dwindled down group.  The Spartans, in their entire returning class, have a lousy 38% of their scoring returning.  Compare that to the Tar Heels who have 93% of last years scoring coming back. 

With many unanswered questions on this Spartan squad this is not the way I would want to start the 2011-2012 season.  Taking on this tough and favorable North Carolina team could lead to a beat down.  I see the Tar Heels walking away with the first Carrier Classic Trophy: ( Pictured Below). 

 


The ACC is set to have an epic season battle for 1st place.  Too bad this battle will only be between two teams this year, North Carolina and Duke.  Although, Virgina and Virginia Tech have chances to pull some upsets against these two teams to make things interesting.  The rest of the ACC? Honestly, it’s one huge toss up to see who will finish between 4th and 12th.  Here is how I see it playing out in the ACC.

1. North Carolina

The Tarheels are ranked  #1 in all of the preseason polls.  I hate to follow the mainstream here but it’s hard to argue that North Carolina has the best team on paper.  Some would argue for Ohio State but lets get real.  North Carolina is returning all of their top 7 scorers from a year ago. This includes both Plumlee brothers and Tyler Zeller.  They’re also bringing in 2 ESPNU 100 recruits to add support. 

                                                                                                     2. Duke Blue Devils

I see Duke being an extremely difficult team to beat this season. They’ll definitely give North Carolina a run for their money.  The only set back Duke has? Losing Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler.  However, Duke is bringing in 5 extremely high quality recruits. Did I mention those 5 recruits were high quality? Try having the pleasure of bringing in 5 ESPNU 100 recruits in a single season. Good things are bound to happen. 

 

3. Virginia Vavaliers

Virginia has a pretty solid team this season. They’ll battle every game and give Duke and the Tarheels some nail biters! Though the Cavaliers lost Mustapha Farrakhan (second leading scorer with 13.5 ppg last year) they’re bringing in two ESPNU 100 recruits.  Experience and young talent will allow them to compete in the ACC this year.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies

The loss of Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen will really hurt the Hokies this year. But, they’re bringing in 3 ESPNU 100 recruits that’ll help them suceed this year.  Due to the lack of talent and experience elsewhere in the ACC this year I put the Virginia Tech up this high.

5. Miami Hurricanes—-> The Hurricanes have solid experience coming back to lead this bunch.

6. Maryland—-> Maryland lost many keys to success from last season but they have a stud returning in Terrell Stoglin. He’ll be able to carry this team to at least a 6th place finish in the ACC this year.

7. Boston College Eagles—> Losing most of their staff from last season they’ll struggle early on.  But, I see their recruiting class catching stride late in the season and pulling the Eagles out of the depths of the ACC.

8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons—> The Deacons are losing some good talent from last year.  Luckily Travis McKie is returning and looking for a breakout season.  They should be alright but will struggle with ACC oponents this year.

9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets—> The loss of Iman Shumpert will hurt the Yellow Jackets significantly.  They do have 1 ESPNU 100 recruits coming in but, it won’t be enough to catapult this team into the top half of the conference.

10. Florida State Seminoles—> Losing one of the most feared defensive players and rebounders in the league from a season ago, Chris Singleton, should have a huge negative impact on this Seminole team.  Antwan pace (ESPNU 100 recruit) should be able to put points on the board but his lack of defensive and overall college experience will keep him from having the same impact as Chris Singleton had.

11. North Carolina State Wolfpack—> Not much going for the Wolfpack this year.  They’ll struggle throughout the entirety of the season.

12. Clemson Tigers—> The Tigers only have one double-digit scorer per game returning from last season. They’ll struggle just like the Wolfpack this season.


The North Carolina/Washington game was an exciting game to watch from start to finish.  I didn’t get a chance to watch either team very much during the regular season or during conference tournaments.  However, I took a few notes that I think were key to success and failure. I’ll also get to the controversial call at the end of the game.

Harrison's 22 point performance helped the Tarheels escape a close game to advance to the Sweet 16

1st, I’m not very impressed with UNC.  I am impressed with Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and Kendall Marshall.  Barnes can score and create his own shots like nobody else I’ve seen this year, maybe I shouldn’t forget about Kemba and Jimmer? Barnes literally took control of the game for about 3 minutes and led UNC on a couple runs that gave them the lead.  Personally I think the kid is living up to all the hype.  Tyler Zeller is a tough player that can finish at the rim.  I was very impressed with Zeller.  I was also amazed by Kendall Marshall.  14 assists in a tournament game is big time!

However, I’m not sure UNC has the team discipline needed to win a national championship.  Too many times I watched UNC break down defensively and give up easy shots.  There wasn’t a sense of urgency or hustle on the defensive end of the floor.  If I was a Tarheel fan I would be a little concerned.  Also, Roy Williams’ teams like to run and get a lot of transition and fast break points.  They’re usually pretty solid at getting back on defense in the transition game.  I know that Washington likes to push the tempo too but I saw Washington beat UNC down the floor and get some good looks.  Again this addresses UNC’s hustle issue.

I had Washington taking this game and advancing to the Sweet 16, I was wrong.  I don’t think Washington deserved to win any more than I think UNC deserved to win.  Both teams played outstanding.  However, Washington made a few too many mistakes during a crucial time period towards the end of the game.  The Huskies turned the ball over a couple of times at very inopportune times and also took some bad shots that ended with empty possessions.  I can’t stress enough how debilitating empty possessions are in the last 5 minutes of the game.

Isaiah Thomas's 12 points wasn't enough to propell the hopeful Huskies to the Sweet 16

Even though Washington loss I was fairly impressed with them.  As I mentioned above Roy Williams likes to have his guys out on that floor running it to death.  The Huskies ability to beat them at their own game was eye opening and a lot of fun to watch.  Isaiah Thomas’s performance was anything but electrifying like it has been in the past.  Much of the Huskies success came from his solid play and ability to score.  I think the Huskies were looking for and needed more out of him today scoring wise.  He finished the game with 12 points.  Something to note is Terrence Ross’s game high 19 points for Washington. He gave the Huskies a huge lift off the Washington bench.

I don’t think UNC will make it much further in the tournament.  I predict Syracuse being able to take care of business by playing disciplined basketball and controlling the tempo.

As for the ending of the game I have a problem with the referees not attempting to make sure they had the right amount of time left on the clock.  I know the rules state that the clock is supposed to be stopped on the referees whistle but, I know for a fact that I’ve seen referee crews go to the monitors and put time back on the clock when the ball hit out of bounds.  The rules are the rules but I really wish they would have taken another look at the monitors.