Dienhart: Harris' decision to stay a good one

Gary Harris announced today that he was returning for his sophomore season at Michigan State. And he did it without a press conference, too. At 6-4, Harris would be a short off-guard by NBA standards and his ability to create his own shot also remains a work in progress.

By coming back, Harris can hone his overall game one more season while perhaps fueling a big season for Michigan State, too.

“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,” Harris said in a statement released by the school. “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.”

But this is great news for a Spartans program that figures to be the favorite to win the Big Ten next season—no matter what decision Adreian Payne makes. April 28 is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft.

Harris won Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, averaging 12.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists for the Spartans, who finished 27-9 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten. Harris proved to be a deadly shooter, hitting 41 percent from 3-point range. But he dealt with some injury issues (shoulder and back) last season.

Harris, the 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball, had been projected by some to be a late-first round pick while others had him was a projected lottery pick – see for yourself at ESPN.com.. But he easily could have been a second-round selection.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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5 Comments

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Doug on 4/18/2013 @ 2:32pm EDT Said:

Thanks for pointing out the no press conference Tom. Harris was freshman of the year and didn’t feel the need. I understand Burke had one because he was national player of the year, but Hardaway, McGary and GR 3 having one? Get real.

Reality Check on 4/18/2013 @ 3:47pm EDT Said:

Have to disagree with you their Doug, Michigan Players are National News and the nation cares about the State of Michigan Basketball players, MSU players coming and going only affect Lansing and a handful of disgruntled fans who could not get into Michigan.

Buckeye4L on 4/18/2013 @ 5:12pm EDT Said:

UM Troll alert….ignorant.

Stephan on 4/19/2013 @ 12:44am EDT Said:

Glad Harris is staying. No one is gonna wanna play against him next year.
I hope Denzel Valentine is the point guard for MSU.
Appling just doesnt have the Heart to dig deep and play big for an entire game.
Put appling back on the wing where he can do some real damage.
Someone send Izzo the message.

Michigan State and the Buckeyes are Americas Teams. Go B1G!

Doug on 4/19/2013 @ 9:51am EDT Said:

Hey Mark, no Michigan players think they’re better than everyone else, which isn’t the case. Several MSU players turned down Michigan cause they wanted to be part of something big. Congrats, for the first time in 24 years, Michigan had a better season than MSU, but you keep forgetting how MSU blew out Michigan, even in Michigan’s best season. How come you keep going against your word of not posting till the fall?