It is a GREAT day in Tar Heel Nation! Harrison Barnes made it official this morning by announcing his return to the Tar Heels next season. He now joins Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Dexter Strickland and Kendall Marshall as all 5 starters return for one more run at a championship next year. After the season ended in an elite 8 loss, many assumed that the “Big 3” would all go pro. All that changed this morning as Barnes was the last to say “I’ll be back”. Within minutes, Harrison Barnes was a trending topic on Twitter and Tar Heel Nation is rejoicing.
Last year this team did some amazing things with essentially only 8 players. One of those 8 was injured and never reached his full potential (Reggie Bullock). Reggie is expected to be fully healthy next year and provide the outside shooting that was a glaring weakness for UNC. But wait..there’s more. The Heels also welcome in Forward James McAdoo (fresh off winning MVP in the McDonalds and Jordan Classic All Star Games), Shooting Guard PJ Hairston, Center Desmond Hubert, Point Guard Stillman White and Forward Jackson Simmons. Three of those players are ranked in the top 100 prospects in the country. McAdoo and Hairston in the top 15.
If you add it all up, The Heels just returned their entire starting five, and added five players that could start at many Universities across the country. Add a healthy Reggie Bullock and another year of experience for Leslie McDonald and the prospects are all there for a special season in Chapel Hill. Nothing is guaranteed and saying they will win it all is crazy. There is no doubt they have the talent. Only 6 more months until we get to see it on display.