The nation will get its chance to see the nation’s No. 1 basketball recruit Thursday night.
Defending Class 4A state champion Ames (3-0) and North Carolina signee Harrison Barnes will be live in front of an ESPN national audience for its 8 p.m. game against Waukegan (Ill.) High School, one that pits two of the most highly-ranked prep teams in the country.
The Little Cyclones will face a more athletic team than they are used to.
Waukegan lost to Whitney Young — which had current Iowa State freshman guard Chris Colvin and Marcus Jordan, son of Michael, in its starting lineup — in last year’s state championship game.
Barnes will go up against Jereme Richmond, a University of Illinois recruit considered one of the top 20 players nationally.
The 6-8 wing decided not to make Hilton Coliseum his college home, but will be on Iowa State’s playing floor tonight.
Ames has already played at the Knapp Center in Des Moines this season. It also has a game scheduled for Wells Fargo Arena, a place it obviously has designs on playing in come March and the state tournament.