Gary Harris is returning to Michigan State for his sophomore season.
MSU announced the Fisher, Ind., natives’ decision this afternoon in a press release. Harris, a 6-foot-4 guard, was the Big Ten freshman of the year after averaging 12.9 points and also was voted MSU’s team MVP by teammates. He was one of eight finalists for the Wayman Tisdale freshman of the year award.
The second team All-Big Ten selection was the Spartans’ second-leading scorer and had a team-high 65 3s this season.
“I’m looking forward to my sophomore season with my Spartan brothers,” Harris said in the release. “When the season was done, Coach Izzo gathered a lot of great information and shared it with me and my parents. After talking things over with my parents, it is my decision to remain at Michigan State.
“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. I think additional experience and maturity will be huge in my development as a player.”
Harris was ranked No. 11 among draft prospects by ESPN’s Chad Ford and was being projected as a first-round pick.
“I have no doubt that Gary would have been a high pick had he entered the draft, but I’m excited to have the opportunity to coach him next year,” said MSU coach Tom Izzo, who also added Harris doesn’t need shoulder surgery.
Harris decision to return is a big boost for the Spartans, who are now waiting for forward Adreian Payne’s decision. With Harris back, MSU likely will enter next season as the Big Ten favorite and one of the top teams in the country. Most of the other top Big Ten teams have lost key players with Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, Michigan’s Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas electing to leave school early and turn pro.
“It’s exciting to see a player embrace the college experience like Gary has,” Izzo said. “So often, society pressures kids to grow up and move on quickly. It’s refreshing to watch Gary follow his heart and enjoy his time in college without being in a rush to move on.”