Harrison Barnes Was Happy To Be Selected By Golden State, Feels He Needs To Improve On Playmaking Skills

July 2, 2012 – 7:30 am by Steven Cuce

Harrison Barnes is headed to the West Coast now. The former North Carolina Tar Heel was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the No. 7 overall pick Thursday night in the NBA draft.

The small forward gives the Warriors depth in a position of desperate need. The 6-foot-8 sophomore led UNC with 17.1 points per game. Golden State was more than thrilled when Portland passed on Barnes at pick No.6.

Harrison Barnes joined KNBR in San Francisco with Mr.T & Byrnes to discuss not having any idea that the Golden State Warriors would draft him, the line of questioning that scouts give NBA prospects, his college experience at North Carolina, improving his game while playing at North Carolina for two years, not getting caught up with expectations while at North Carolina, his role with the Warriors and the strengths/weaknesses in his game.

Take us through your draft day. Did you have any idea that you were going to the Golden State Warriors? What were your feelings?

“I actually didn’t have any idea of where I was going before I went into the draft. I just tried to come in with an open mind. I didn’t want to get to set on going in one place and I was very happy Golden State selected me.”

What kind of questioning do NBA teams ask you when they are scouting you?

“They wanna first know about your background, how you came into the position that you are, how your college experience was and they want to get know you as a player. Strengths. Weaknesses. What you feel like you need to get better. What would your teammates say about. All the little things.”

How did you enjoy your college experience at North Carolina?

“I definitely grew a lot on-and-off the court. I had some of the best teammates that I have ever had. I love those guys and we had a good run.”

How did you feel about the two years at North Carolina?

“In the sense of being the national champion we didn’t reach that goal. Like you said we did have some good runs in the tournament. We had some big games and I felt like I really improved while I was in college.”

Did you feel expectations were too high for you at North Carolina? Were you satisfied with what you did at UNC?

“I don’t really get caught up in the expectations of the games. Are you below exceeding or even par with the expectations. I try to go out there and just play as hard as I can. I am going to continue to work on my game and try to continue to be the best I can be. I feel happy with how I played at UNC.”

How do you envision your role with the Golden State Warriors?

“Well I have a knack for scoring, so I want to help with the scoring load, but just doing all the little things. Defense. Rebounding. At least toughness. The three biggest weaknesses of last year’s team, so I’m going to come in and try to help those holes and whatever other deficiencies I can help with.”

What are your strengths and weaknesses in your game?

“Right now my strength is scoring whether it is off the put back, off the pull up, the spot up shot. I feel like I can score the ball really well. My weaknesses or areas I need to improve on are playmaking in terms of coming off a screen and find other open shots. I think that’s something I can work on with this team because we have great the 3-point shooters with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut down low.”

Listen to Harrison Barnes on 680 KNBR in San Francisco here

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