The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC’s Harrison Barnes taken off NBA mock draft

Draft analysts assess Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller

Less than a day after Shirley Barnes told The Daily Tar Heel that her son has goals that he wants to fulfill, removed Harrison Barnes from his No. 2 overall selection to completely off the board for the 2011 draft.

“I’m starting to hear more people that think he might actually go back (to UNC),” analyst Aaron Smith said. “Right now it looks like a real possibility that he’ll go back.”

Both Smith and’s director of scouting Jonathan Givony said they have not heard any real talk of Barnes, John Henson or Tyler Zeller forgoing their collegiate eligibility and going to the NBA.

The sites are solely projections for that year’s draft. has been projecting drafts since 2000 and uses its own scouts as well as NBA and international scouts. is a professional scouting service staffed by former or current members or consultants of NBA, NCAA and Euroleague teams.

Prior to taking Barnes off the board, Smith said there was a possibility the freshman could still be selected with the top overall pick.

“Other than playing, he’s gonna do really well in workouts and incredibly well in interviews,” Smith said. “You have to love the kid.”

Givony and have Barnes going fourth to the Toronto Raptors, but he said the forward would need to work on getting in the lane at the next level.

“Maybe he could work on his slashing ability, his ability to get to the rim,” Givony said. “He doesn’t draw a lot of fouls. He doesn’t go to the free-throw line at a great rate. That’s probably the thing he can improve the most on.”

Barnes attempted 113 more shots than the next closest Tar Heel last season but was third on the team for free-throw attempts. He struggled with his crossover dribble for much of the season.

Previously, Barnes was the only Tar Heel listed on’s board while all three of UNC’s prospects are on’s 2011 board. The mock draft predicts Henson to go 12th to the Utah Jazz and Zeller to go 21st to the Portland Trailblazers.

Zeller and Barnes both averaged 15.7 points per game last season to lead the Tar Heels. Zeller had a strong postseason that gave scouts confidence that the 7-footer could play well in big games.

Givony pointed to Zeller’s stellar postseason play as a reason why his draft stock is high. In the NCAA tournament, Zeller led the team in scoring in each of the four games.

“He runs the floor extremely well, he’s got great touch around the basket,” he said. “He was North Carolina’s No. 1 option for most of the year and probably their most consistent player. Those kind of guys are difficult to come by. I think NBA teams see that.”

Smith, though, questioned Zeller’s toughness. The 7-footer was often bullied in the paint late in the season, and Smith said that may scare away potential NBA suitors. He believes if Zeller were to leave UNC, he would be on the bubble of the first round.

“He’s got a tough demeanor, but scouts say, ‘Is he going to have the physical toughness?’ I think it’d benefit him to stay another year, get stronger and play with Kendall Marshall,” Smith said.

As for Henson, the lanky sophomore forward presents a tough decision for some NBA teams. While his length and athleticism give shooters nightmares and allow him to gobble up rebounds, his strength and basketball IQ have some scouts worried.

“If he’s a 4, which appears to be the case, can he get stronger? How much stronger can he get? Will it affect his mobility and quickness?” Smith said. “Also he needs to get a better feel for the game. He kind of makes boneheaded plays here and there and he needs to just have a little better feel that the maturity is showing.”

The deadline for early entry into the draft is April 24.

Contact the Sports Editor at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.