Harrison Barnes NBA Combine 2012: Measurements, Video Highlights & Analysis
As the NBA Draft approaches, there are several question marks regarding where players will be taken. Everyone knows that Kentucky forward Anthony Davis will go first to the New Orleans Hornets, but someone like North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes could conceivably be taken anywhere from No. 2 to No. 7.
Barnes played two fruitful season for the Tar Heels and he was a key contributor as a sophomore with averages of 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Barnes appears to be the premier wing scorer in the draft as the majority of the projected top picks are interior players. Barnes' athletic ability is obvious, so it's tough to say how much the scouting combine can help his stock.
One advantage that Barnes has over some of the other players at his position is his size. Barnes measured in at the combine and the results figure to benefit him in a big way.
Barnes was billed at 6'8" heading into the combine which would make him quite big for a small forward, and according to Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, that is precisely what Barnes measured in at. He also weighs 228 lbs. and has a huge wingspan of just over 6'11".
While playing ability should be valued more than size, these measurements certainly won't hurt Barnes' stock at all. He has the athleticism of much smaller players, but he also possesses the size needed to overpower other players at his position. Barnes didn't always use his size to his advantage at UNC, but if he wants to impose his will, then he definitely can.
Barnes looks every bit of 6'8", so his measurements really aren't a revelation to most. Had he measured less than expected then it may have been a minor hit to his value, but I believe that these results pretty much keep Barnes where he was prior to the combine.
On the offensive end there aren't many players in this draft who are as explosive as Barnes. He has a fantastic skill set that can drive defenders crazy and while it isn't yet known if everything will translate to the next level, his ability is very much on display in this highlight video courtesy of Swish Scout:
There is a lot to like in this video as it shows exactly how much Barnes brings to the table. His biggest assets are his size and speed. He is almost impossible to stop in transition because he gets down the floor quickly and few can sufficiently put their body on him and slow him down. He also is very adept around the hoop, so he finishes with great efficiency.
Barnes has a fantastic pure jump shot as well and is more than capable of hitting open shots from mid-range or beyond the arc. The issue that plagues Barnes at times is that he settles for too many contested jumpers. Rather than using his size and getting to the paint, Barnes tends to get complacent, just like he did during the NCAA Tournament this past season.
He could stand to improve on the defensive end as well. Due to his length and athleticism, Barnes should be an elite on-the-ball defender, but he only shows flashes of that. Perhaps it is poor technique or an overall lack of desire, but Barnes needs to get better in that regard if he is going to be a complete player in the NBA.
What type of NBA player will Barnes be?
Barnes may be one of the biggest feast-or-famine picks in the draft this year. If he lives up to his full potential then he can be a perennial All-Star, but he could just as easily be a flop. Barnes' measurements suggest that a massive part of his game should be driving to the hoop. He has shown an ability to do that, but he needs to commit to it and not be afraid to attack.
Even if Barnes' defensive game doesn't round out completely, he can still be a major asset if he becomes more polished on offense. Barnes seems like the type of player who could squander his talent if his game doesn't mature in the NBA, so teams picking in the top 10 will have a very difficult decision on their hands.
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