Bullock happy to have 'brothers'

Will join Barnes, Marshall at UNC

January 3, 2010 

When No. 1-rated senior Harrison Barnes committed to North Carolina on Nov. 13, the obvious question was how Reggie Bullock would react.

Bullock, the Kinston High senior who committed to the Tar Heels in January 2008, is a 6-foot-7 wing. Barnes is a 6-6 wing from Ames, Iowa.

But there is room for two wings on the court at the same time. And Bullock said he has welcomed Barnes to North Carolina even though they're in the same class and play the same position.

Barnes' commitment did surprise Bullock, who had assumed Barnes would choose Duke. But shortly after Barnes announced his decision, he spoke with Bullock and North Carolina's other signee, point guard Kendall Marshall, by conference call.

"All of us are like brothers," Bullock said after a game last week in the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational. "We'll be ready to put on a show when we get there."

Bullock's reaction is typical of the team-first attitude he has displayed throughout his time at Kinston. He became a highly recruited player because he has an uncommonly sweet perimeter shooting stroke for his size, but he's so much more than a shooter.

He looks to pass first, then waits for open 3-point opportunities when the ball comes back to him. In the Glaxo, he grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with his 30 points against Garner. He was named the most outstanding player in his bracket as Kinston fell to Harlem (N.Y.) Rice in the final.

"He's not a player that's selfish," said Garner's Donald Johnson, who guarded him at Glaxo. "It's hard playing against a player that has such a high basketball IQ."

Kinston coach Wells Gulledge said it's not unusual for Bullock to ask after the game how many rebounds he grabbed or how many shots he blocked. But he's not concerned with scoring.

"I've never had him ask me for the scorebook after the game [to check his point total]," Gulledge said.

Bullock has helped make Kinston a state Class 3-A power, with a state championship when he was a sophomore in 2008. His recruiting ranking might have been lowered some because he committed early and doesn't constantly look for his shot. He's rated the 11th-best player in the nation by scout.com

But Bullock said North Carolina coach Roy Williams told him not to be concerned with his ranking.

"Coach Williams basically told me that I impressed the person that I needed to impress," Bullock said. "That was Coach Williams. He offered me a scholarship, and I knew that's where I wanted to go."

And having another, more highly rated, player going to North Carolina in the same class at the same position apparently isn't a problem for Bullock. Barnes and Bullock even possess some of the same character traits in terms of work ethic and responsibility.

That can be a plus for both of them and not a negative.

"Harrison, he's a great player," Bullock said. "He works tremendously hard. He's one of the hardest workers I know. At 6:30 workouts at NBA camp, he was there every morning, working out in the gym or whatever. He's a good player, I love his personality. I love Kendall's personality. We're all like brothers, looking forward to getting to North Carolina."

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