Upon further review North Carolina freshman forward Harrison Barnes is about as real as it gets.
Barnes had 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting as eighth-ranked North Carolina beat up Hofstra, 107-63, at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday. It was a lesson in what a top-flight program looks like up close and personal.
On a positive note Charles Jenkins (25 points) and Mike Moore (15 points) had solid games for Hofstra. The Pride (1-1) had several stretches when it looked good on offense. But their lack of size was an issue as the Tar Heels pounded them on the boards, 49-27.
On a down note junior point guard Dwan McMillan left the game with about 30 seconds left due to an apparent leg injury.
Getting back to Barnes, he was a preseason AP All-American pick. Under normal circumstances, that's no big deal. But Barnes is a freshman. He's the first freshman to be a preseason All-American pick since voting started in 1986.
Barnes lived up to the hype so far. He had 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting in North Carolina's opener against Lipscomb.
It wasn't just about Barnes, though. The Tar Heels shot 56 percent from the field, including 12-for-17 from three-point range. Hard to guard a team that is shooting like that.
Pride coach Mo Cassara was impressed with North Carolina's offense.
"One of our goals was to make them beat us from the three, and unfortunately they shot the ball incredibly well; 12-for-17 from the three, tough to beat anyone when they do that," Cassara told reporters.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams also lauded his team's offensive balance.
“We started out making a bunch of shots. Harrison, four-for-four, the whole team eight-for-nine from three in the first half," Williams said. "It’s hard to guard somebody if they’re doing that kind of thing because it opens up so many things for people inside. I like the fact that we have six guys in double figures."