Harrison Barnes scored 42 points against Clemson in the Tar Heels' ACC Tournament semifinal today, putting together a career-best performance in a shootout win over the Tigers. Barnes sunk 12 of 17 shots, six of eight threes, and 10 of 11 free throws. It's safe to say Barnes putting up his jersey number in a crucial game will make an impression on the national college basketball landscape.
Barnes came into the 2010-11 season as the nation's consensus best freshman, even garnering some player of the year buzz. And after struggling to be better than merely good for much of this season, the North Carolina forward has been living up to that outsized hype of late.
Barnes hasn't scored fewer than 16 points since scoring 10 in a 48-46 rock fight against Boston College on February 19, and hasn't been held to single digits in more than a month. Today's effort was the cherry on top of that strong stretch run, a bravura performance that goes a long way toward erasing any lingering disappointment.
Barnes also set an ACC Tournament record for scoring by a freshman in a single game, and scored more in an ACC Tournament game than any Tar Heel not named Lennie Rosenbluth or Charlie Scott. Reminder: Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, and Tyler Hansbrough were all Heels.
Anyone still want more from Harrison Barnes? Good news for you: he still has an ACC Tournament final and the NCAA Tournament to go.