I’ve been watching a ton of college hoops lately trying to gauge teams for my brackets that will most likely be busted by the Sweet 16, since I always over think the picks and switch them to the wrong ones. Last night I even went to the Pac-10 tournament to watch the semi finals. It was my first chance to see Arizona’s Derrick Williams in person, and I have to say, I left Staples Center impressed about his abilities as a pro. Williams was the best player on the court out of the two games. He has all the tools you want in a scorer that thrives on attacking the rim. He made a few nice moves but one on the baseline had him finishing on the opposite side of the rim that he took off from was his biggest highlight. I think that move made me a believer that he truly is pro material based off hang time and body control alone!
Anyways, over the last two or three weeks one player stands alone in the must watch category, and that player would be Harrison Barnes. He put on a hell of a performance today going for 40 points and hitting 6 3-pointers against Clemson in an overtime win. He seems to have everything you’d want in a player. Great jumper, can handle the ball, passes when he isn’t open, can finish in traffic, hits his free throws, shoots a high FG%, and also plays some solid defense. At the beginning of the season everyone was ripping Barnes for not living up to the hype of his All-American status. What did he do to change those naysayers opinions? He decided to work hard and get better (isn’t that something you always want from a player?). A lot of guys just like the games, but the good ones like practice just as much, and this guy is addicted to getting better. Very good sign for a 19 year old. I know I thought Evan Turner was going to be a stud in the pros after his solid season at Ohio State last year, but there’s something a lot different this time around as in, I’m sure Barnes will make it, because he’s a different breed. His demeanor never changes whether a call is for or against him, whether he’s made four shots in a row or missed four shots in a row. Short term memory is a gift not a skill. He’s as clutch a player as you’ll find in college hoops right now. When I watch him, I feel like he’s a shorter version of Kevin Durant, and has been more clutch in the hitting game tying or game winning shots to boot. Everyone talks about how this is a weak draft class, but the same was said about the 2009 draft that had Griffin, Curry, Evans, Derozan, Jennings, Lawson, Holiday, and Collison which have all seemed to turn out good so far. Since we have the blog, I figured I may as well state right now that I think Barnes going to be great on the next level, and am crossing my fingers to have him on the Warriors. Cmon W’s start tanking the season, so we can get some more ping pong balls!