Harrison Barnes announced on Monday that he will return to North Carolina for his sophomore season.
"Opportunities, both beneficial and life changing, can seem to make the next phase of my journey an easy decision, but I am a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina," Barnes said. "I'm here to experience college life, grow as a person, receive a quality education, and be part of the greatest basketball family in college sports. ... I look forward to meeting the challenging journey in the NBA, but [right now] I'm focused on being a student-athlete, and my decision is to continue this part of my journey at the University of North Carolina."
Barnes would've been considered for the No. 1 overall pick had he entered the 2011 NBA Draft, but his decision isn't shocking considering he's always seemed different and more well-rounded than most other top-tier prospects. The 6-foot-8 wing averaged 15.7 points last season while leading the Tar Heels to an ACC regular-season title and the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. His return means North Carolina will be the consensus preseason No. 1 team.
"I'm very proud of my son and his decision," Barnes' mother, Shirley Barnes, told CBSSports.com on Monday morning. "Next season should be exciting."