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Here’s how to get Harrison Barnes, Iowa State

A blog that is new to me but probably shouldn’t be is Clone Chronicles.

It’s from the SB Network, which generally means free thinking with some thought and humor behind it.

Clone Chronicles is running a poll asking where they think Ames High basketball phenom Harrison Barnes will attend college. Barnes said his final six choices are Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, UCLA, and, oh yes, Iowa State.

I was surprised to see Duke, not Iowa State, as the overwhelming pick of the participants. The poll can be found here.

Here are four simple things I think the Cyclones should consider doing to woo Mr. Barnes into staying put in Ames instead of going off to one of those fancy-schmancy dynasty-type programs:

1. Have a winning season. That’s an NCAA Tournament winning season, not the kind that barely gets you into some dotcom postseason event that no one can find traces of two minutes after its final game.

2. Look like a big-time program. Run like the wind on the court, dunk the ball once or twice per half just for the sake of dunking, and coach and play with authority and confidence.

3. Elevate Craig Brackins from a possible first-round NBA draft pick to someone who will be listed alongside an Italian and an Argentine you’ve never heard of as Top Five candidates.

4. Beat Duke at Chicago’s United Center next Jan. 6.

"Duke?" ISU Coach Greg McDermott could then laugh derivisely when talking to Barnes. "Well, it’s a fine school, son, but the sun has set on that empire. Do you want to play for ancient ruins or the New Big Thing?"

OK, that’s all a bit much. Well, not the first part about going to the NCAAs. It’s time, Cyclones.

If Barnes has his mind set on going to some national name-brand basketball program, he’s going to go. But by keeping his options open, he does leave the door open for McDermott to make a big sales pitch this winter.

That pitch has to be made from the basketball floor. Wins, with the promise of more wins to come. If ISU holds up that end of the bargain, no one can fault McDermott if the best Ames prep in — well, ever — takes his talent elsewhere.

(Cedar Rapids Gazette)