Gary Harris returning to MSU for sophomore season

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.”

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8 Responses to Gary Harris returning to MSU for sophomore season

  1. avatar Lancelot_Spartan says:

    Great news! Love how he says “Spartan brothers”, hopefully that inclues Payne.

    • avatar MSU Owns Beilein says:

      Hopefully Harris stays healthy this season, he’s only going to get better and better. Payne, are you listening?

  2. avatar SpartyOn says:

    Payne stays, MSU wins the big ten. Payne goes, Ohio St wins. Just my guess.

  3. avatar griff325 says:

    Time to finish up some unfinished business and send a message to Jabroni Parker than MSU is back and in the hunt to take the Dukies out!

  4. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Great news

  5. avatar NJ Rob says:

    Interesting that he commented on “additional experience and maturity” given that his decision shows a lot of maturity. Harris is without question an elite player, but his game will be so much more NBA-ready (i.e., to succeed, not just warm the bench) after one more season.

    I think Payne will DOMINATE if he returns, similar to a Joakim Noah (9th overall pick in 2007 draft) with better jump shot…Adriean should reflect Noah’s career…he could have left early, but didn’t and now he’s a NBA stud. I understand Noah left after his junior year, but Noah only played as an elite player for two of his years in college after a pretty lame freshman year. Payne has played at an elite, freak-of-nature level against OSU throughout all of college career and this season post-PSU…one more year would really serve him well.

    PS – Noah is annoying; Payne is not.

  6. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Somebody needs to tell Cheese-It that GH was never going anywhere, neither is AP. Both have too much respect for their elders wishes.

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