What's up, everyone?
This is a picture of Harrison Barnes, one of the top 2010 players in America. Barnes is the No. 1 player Tubby Smith wants for his upcoming recruiting class. And he's definitely not alone.
The Gophers are no longer in the running for his services, after Barnes trimmed his list Sunday, according to Rivals.com.
He's still looking at North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and um, this is the killer, Iowa State. OK, the Cyclones are the hometown team for him. Plus, his mom is employed by the school, so this is probably more of a courtesy than anything else. Regardless, the Gophers didn't make the cut.
The 6-7 wing is extremely talented and he would have been a great addition to a Gophers program that will lose veteran small forward Damian Johnson after next season.
I've been told that Smith really connected with Barnes' mother. And when Barnes played in the Sabes Invitational at Bloomington Jefferson earlier this year, he told me that he really admires Smith.
But, it wasn't enough to convince him to play for the Gophers.
Few teams ever have a legitimate shot to grab a player like Barnes. Still, I'm curious about Minnesota's ability to recruit top 25 kids that don't live in the state. That's the challenge Smith faces. You can score some good talents that aren't from here. And you can even get a Royce White or a Rodney Williams, but that has a lot to with where the university is located. How to do you convince a top 25 kid to join your program, if he's not from the area?
If White and Williams were from Chicago or Memphis or St. Louis, I doubt they'd be suiting up for the Gophers this season. The problem is that this state won't produce a lot of guys as talented as White or Williams in the coming years. So Smith is forced to look outside of the state.
The good thing for the Gophers is that they'll have a lot of returning talent after next season.
Still, it would have been nice to have a kid like this ...