Heels In the Pros: Harrison Barnes’ Rookie Season Review


Harrison Barnes was the number one rated recruit coming out of high school and had a great deal of hype coming into Chapel Hill. He was even picked as a Preseason First Team All-American by the media. Barnes did not live up to the insane amount of hype, but he was a very good player for UNC.

May 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) dunks the ball against San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) during the fourth quarter in game four of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Spurs 97-87 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In his two years at North Carolina, Harrison Barnes averaged 16.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.25 apg, while shooting 43.2% from the field, 35% from behind the arc, and 73.7% from the free throw line.

Those are some very good numbers. There were many that compared him to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and said that Barnes could have gone as the 2nd overall pick. Barnes was drafted 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors. There could not have been a better situation for Harrison to get drafted into. The Warriors needed a small forward who could make an immediate impact, and they got him. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut already on the roster, Harrison did not have to come in and dominate like most top 10 picks are supposed to. He did not have the added pressure of having to be the first or second option on offense, which has proven great for both Barnes and the Warriors.

Harrison’s rookie season went pretty well, and is still currently going on in the playoffs with the Warriors. In the regular season he played 81 games and started every single one of them. He averaged 25.4 mpg, 9.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, shooting 44% from the field, 36% from behind the arc, and 76% from the free throw line. In all those minutes Barnes played, he only averaged 1.2 TO per game. He scored in double figures in 34 out of his 81 games played in the regular season and rebounded in double figures 5 times. He had 4 double-doubles as well. In his two years at UNC Barnes only had 5 double doubles. During the regular season, his career high in points was 21, which he did two times.

The Warriors were the 6th seed in the Western Conference and defeated the Denver Nuggets and former Tar Heel Ty Lawson in 6 games. Harrison Barnes has played 11 post season games so far and is playing great. He is averaging 39.1 mpg, 16.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, while shooting 45% from the field, 38% from behind the arc, and 88% from the free throw line. His career high in the season has been shattered. Barnes scored 26 points in game 4 for the Warriors. He has scored above 20 points 4 times this post season and in his 11 postseason games he has scored in double figures in 9 of those.

Harrison Barnes had a good regular season, but is now really showing what he can do in the NBA this postseason. He was recently named to the NBA All Rookie 1st team as well. Barnes has had some highlight reel dunks this season that can be seen here. Harrison Barnes has a very bright future in the NBA, and we should never forget that he is a Tar Heel for life.