March 4, 2008

Barnes checks out Iowa

This past fall, Harrison Barnes took in his first Iowa Football game. On Saturday, the sophomore forward from Ames crossed attending an Iowa Basketball game off his list of things to do.

"It was actually the first Iowa game that I have ever been to and I really liked the atmosphere," Barnes said.

While the 6-foot-5 forward was focused in on what was happening on the court, he liked what the fans brought to the table.

"I really liked how the Iowa fans got into it and how intense it was later in the game," he said.

One thing that Barnes really enjoyed was having the best seat in the house, right behind the Iowa bench, where he could get a closer look at how Coach Lickliter and his staff are during games.

Barnes was also able to spend some time with Matt Gatens, who heads to Iowa next fall. He said Gatens gave him some good natured ribbing about Ames High School not making it to state this year.

"He (Gatens)was giving me a hard time about not getting to state. I told him that since I am not going to be there he better win the whole thing," Barnes said.

With his basketball season over, Barnes will take part in track at Ames High School, where he will do long jump, high jump, and perhaps some running events. Along with that he will take part in AAU Basketball, playing for the Iowa Attack. He is looking forward to getting back on the court with his AAU teammates and testing himself against a higher level of competition.

"I am excited to play because I have gotten better than this year I am playing up in the 17 and under division, so the competition will be better. It will give me a measuring stick to see how good I have gotten and also, more importantly, what I need to do better and improve upon," Barnes said.

It is also expect that with more exposure, Barnes will have plenty more recruiting interest coming his way. Currently he has three offers: Iowa State, Iowa, and Indiana State. There are other schools who have expressed a strong interest, but he declined to reveal their names. He indicated that he is in closer contact with the two in-state schools than any others.

He said the level of recruitment from Iowa and Iowa State is pretty similar and he likes the feedback he has received from the Hawkeye coaches this year to help him become a better player.

"Iowa has been to a lot of my games this year and the nice thing that they do is they give me feedback on what they saw and how I can improve. That has helped me become a better player," he said.


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