IT'S 8:30 A.M., AND HARRISON BARNES is alone again. The official start of practice still two weeks out, he marches past wet-haired coeds and coffee-toting maintenance men into the empty Dean E. Smith Center for his usual morning workout. It's still painfully early for most college students -- he might be the only person on campus awake by choice. Pulling down the hood of his sweatshirt as he steps inside, Barnes dabs at his nose -- he's got the beginnings of a cold -- and it's apparent he probably should still be in bed back at the dorm suite he shares with three still-snoozing teammates.
"I honestly couldn't tell you what he does in there," says UNC guard Kendall Marshall, who's spent a year dozing through Barnes' alarm clock.
If Barnes is in charge, it's a safe bet the workout is as methodical and practical as humanly possible. Back in high school, Barnes arrived at the court at 5:45 a.m. But now that he's got 24-hour access to a gym, he doesn't have to pack all of his drills into one stretch. "That's the transition to college: watching your rest, watching your diet, figuring how you can get the most productivity," Barnes says. "A lot of it is changing workout times -- making them shorter, making them longer. It's better to work on game-situation things that you can translate onto the court." He'll put up 500 shots or go through agility drills, or mime a series of offensive moves -- jab step, one dribble, cut, pull up -- until he's shaved each motion down to maximum efficiency.