Harrison Barnes - WNEM TV 5

Harrison Barnes

(Source: UNC Athletics) (Source: UNC Athletics)
(Source: UNC Athletics) (Source: UNC Athletics)
(Source: UNC Athletics) (Source: UNC Athletics)
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#40 F, Sophomore, North Carolina Tar Heels:

(RNN) - North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes is a stellar sophomore who will try to use the NCAA tournament to prove to NBA teams that he's as good as his hype.

Under ordinary circumstances, he probably would have gone pro after last year – but uncertainty in the NBA led him and others in this year's exceptionally talented class to hang on and wait for a return to normalcy.

He left himself a hard act to follow. Last year, he scored 84 points in UNC's four tournament games and reeled off eight points in a 1-minute span against Kentucky in the regional finals. He's averaging 17.4 points and more than five rebounds this year.

His strong suits are maturity, knowledge of the game and his amazing physical tools. The holes in his game – uneven shooting and a weak left hand – are the sort of things that he can overcome with a good work ethic and through facing tougher competition at the next level.

He is not yet a complete NBA player, however. How he fares in this year's tournament will go a long way toward how high he is taken in the draft.

He was projected as a top-three pick in most mock drafts prior to the tournament. If he can reel off the sort of extraordinary performance in 2012 that he did in March 2011, he could secure a spot there.

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