Big news for Michigan State basketball fans, maybe not so much for anybody else in the Big Ten.
Gary Harris, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year, announced Thursday afternoon that he will be returning to school and will not be entering the NBA Draft this June.
“I’m looking forward to my sophomore season with my Spartan brothers,” said Harris in a release from Michigan State athletics. “When the season was done, Coach Izzo gathered a lot of great information and shared it with me and my family. After talking things over with my parents, it is my decision to remain at Michigan State.
Harris was believed to be a potential lottery pick in the NBA Draft, and helped lead Michigan State to a birth in the Sweet Sixteen where they lost to Duke here in Indianapolis. A Second-Team All-Big Ten selection, Harris was second on the Spartans in scoring with 12.9 points per game and lead the team with 65 three-pointers. From his teammates he was named the Most Valuable Player for the Spartans, the first freshman to ever win the honor.
“Playing in the NBA is definitely a goal of mine, and something that I’ve always dreamed of, but those dreams can wait for another day,” said Harris. “I think additional experience and maturity will be huge in my development as a player. I have other dreams of things I want to accomplish, both as a player and as a team at Michigan State. I love college life, and I’m no hurry to move on”
Harris’ Coach Tom Izzo fully supports the decision, and believes during his sophomore season he could become one of the best in college basketball.
“Gary had a phenomenal freshman season, but his future is even brighter,” said Izzo.
“After gathering many different opinions, it was determined that he would not need surgery on his shoulder. He’s been committed to his rehab and all indications are that he’s making great progress. There’s no question that a healthy Gary Harris is one of the premier guards in the country.”