Michigan State freshman shooting guard Gary Harris announced his decision to return to school for his sophomore season Thursday afternoon.
The 6-foot-4 guard became the first Spartan to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors last month, having averaged 12.9 points per game and emerging as the team’s best 3-point shooter.
“I’m looking forward to my sophomore season with my Spartan brothers,” Harris said. “When the season was done, coach (Tom) 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 projected by many as a first-round selection in the upcoming NBA Draft. ESPN’s Chad Ford had him ranked as the 12th-best 2013 prospect, one spot behind Indiana’s Cody Zeller and two spots ahead of Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III.
“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. 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, so I’m in no hurry to move on.”
There was more good news for the Spartans this week, as it was also determined that Harris will not need surgery coming off a shoulder injury last season. Izzo said he has been making great progress in his rehab. The Spartans’ head man worked to gather as much information as possible regarding his draft status after the season and commended Harris and his family for the way they handled the process.
“After the season, I told Gary that I owed it to him and his family to gather the best information available regarding his potential NBA draft prospects,” Izzo said. “In the process, I spoke with many different general managers and teams, and presented that information to the family. I know Gary has dreams of someday playing in the NBA, but he handled the entire process with great maturity and ultimately decided to remain at Michigan State. 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.”
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