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2011 NBA Draft: Can Harrison Barnes Lock Up No.1 Spot With Recent Surge?

Can Harrison Barnes regain his top spot in the NBA Draft?
Can Harrison Barnes regain his top spot in the NBA Draft?Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Ronnie HampstonCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2011

This season has been a roller coaster ride for North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes. Before playing a game in Chapel Hill, Barnes was dubbed the best freshman in the country. In high school, Barnes was the most heralded prospect coming out of high school.

In the early part of the season, Barnes disappointed all of the college basketball experts by not reaching the lofty expectations. Freshman sensations such as Jared Sullinger, Kyrie Irving and Terrence Jones became the big names on campus, while Barnes struggled to adjust to the college game. In the second half of the season, Barnes has flashed his potential that scouts drooled over.

The light turned on for Barnes during conference play and he has shown the ability to play at a high level.

This NBA Draft will be interesting. This draft is not very strong compared to recent years. There isn't a prospect that will garner the attention of a John Wall or Derrick Rose. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best chance in landing the No. 1 pick. In October, Barnes topped all of the mock drafts as the No.1 selection.

With his recent surge, I don't think he has gained back all of his hype from the NBA Scouts. Teams need may be one of the reasons why Barnes may not go first overall. For example, if the Minnesota Timberwolves receives the first pick, Barnes would not be a good fit. They already have Wes Johnson and Michael Beasley on their roster.

Sometimes being the No.1 pick is not always the best thing. Ask Kwame Brown and Greg Oden about the pressure of being selected No.1 overall. Being selected first does not mean that person will have the best career.

Barnes is back in good graces with the NBA scouts, but I don't think he has done enough to become the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. March Madness is upon us. If Barnes can pull a Carmelo Anthony like NCAA Tournament performance; maybe he can return to the top of all NBA Draft boards.

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