By Jeff Goodman
Harrison Barnes is a veteran at Chris Paul’s Camp.
In fact, this was the 6-foot-8 forward’s third go-around at the event – which features the NBA star point guard and a bunch of college and high school players.
But this time it truly made sense.
North Carolina’s highly touted recruit struggled out of the gates a year ago as a freshman before turning it around in the middle of the season (not coincidentally when Kendall Marshall was inserted into the starting lineup).
One of the areas in which Barnes struggled was putting it on the floor and beating defenders off the dribble.
"I want to work on my ballhandling and what better way than to work with one of the best point guards in the world,” Barnes said from the CP3 Camp. "Ballhandling a big emphasis for me this offseason.
Barnes, who will also attend the Kevin Durant Skills Camp, also said he has focused on developing a more adept post game – as well as the overall consistency of his shooting.
Barnes’ return, along with that of teammates John Henson and Tyler Zeller, have made the Tar Heels the likely No. 1 team (Kentucky is a close second) entering next season.
Barnes admitted there was plenty of flip-flopping with his decision to return to school.
"There was a lot of going back and forth,” he said. "But at the end of the day, I’m happy with my decision to stay at UNC and don’t have any second thoughts about it.”
Barnes said the lockout played a part – as did how much he enjoys college. He also said coming so close to the Final Four was a factor.
"That didn’t sit well with me,” Barnes said. "To work so hard and come so close.”