Harrison Barnes, a potential top five pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, has decided instead to come back to school. The North Carolina small forward made it official, announcing his intention to return for his sophomore season instead of running for NBA riches.
"Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision," Barnes said in a statement. "But I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina. I'm here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports."
Barnes averaged 15.7 points per game for the Tar Heels last season, starting off slowly before coming on at the end of the year. He was the nation's top recruit and was widely expected to follow in the footsteps of other one-and-done phenoms like Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and John Wall. Instead, Barnes has decided to return to North Carolina, where he'll team with Tyler Zeller, John Henson and others for the likely preseason No. 1 team in the country.
Barnes becomes the latest top NBA Draft prospect to decide to return to school instead. Ohio State's Jared Sullinger is the other who is returning to school.