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Sunday, August 23, 2009

First John Wall, now Harrison Barnes

Posted by on Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 7:32 PM

... for Duke and UNC to fight over while obsessed fans -- and mostly bored media -- salivate at every word, action and subtle hint over the workings of a high schooler's mind.

Although Harrison Barnes -- No. 1 recruit for 2010 according to Scout.com -- has not cooperated with the salivating journalists and issued contradictory hints that send fan bases swirling; on the contrary, he has played his hand much closer to the vest than John Wall, an enrolling freshman at Kentucky whose recruitment turned into a circus following John Calipari's jump to Kentucky, UNC's late entrance into the picture after the Final Four and the use of an official visit to NCCU, which was obviously designed to irk said journalists.

A much less whimsical recruit, Barnes narrowed his list to six schools Sunday and said he would officially visit UNC Sept. 4, several media outlets are reporting. Barnes cut his list to Duke, UNC, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and Iowa State.

Often considered a Duke lean based on several unofficial visits to Durham and the famous (or infamous) sitting-behind-the-Duke-bench-against-UNC-in-Cameron gate, Barnes will see all the guns and whistles of the thriving Carolina program while attending the UNC Alumni Game in the Smith Center.

But Barnes has said he will use all of his official visits, which just means that UNC is getting the first crack at him in what will likely be a long, drawn out arms race between college basketball's blue bloods.

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