Michigan State sophomore guard Gary Harris will forego his final two seasons of college eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, the school announced Monday.
A 2014 First-Team All-Big Ten honoree, Harris averaged 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore. He earned USBWA and NABC All-District accolades and earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team and the NCAA East Regional All-Tournament Team. He was one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award after ranking sixth in the Big Ten in scoring and fifth in steals overall (1.8 spg).
Voted the MSU Team MVP by both the media and his teammates, Harris was also a member of the All-Big Ten Defensive Team.
“The last two years have been the best of my life, but it’s time to follow my dream and declare for the NBA Draft,” Harris said in a statement. “My two seasons at Michigan State have been an amazing experience. I have a lifetime of memories, including some incredible games in some incredible places, NCAA Tournaments, and cutting down the nets after a Big Ten tournament championship. But most important are the friendships I’ve developed with my teammates.
“This was not an easy decision. Just like last season, I had to make a tough decision. There hasn’t been a single day where I regretted my decision to return for my sophomore season. It was the right decision for me and I’m better prepared for a successful NBA career because of it.”
Over the course of his two seasons, Harris appeared in 69 games, starting 67, and averaged 14.9 points per contest. He totaled 1,025 career points, becoming the 45th player in MSU history with 1,000 career points and just the third Spartan to do it in just two seasons, joining Mike Robinson (1,202 points through two seasons) and Earvin “Magic” Johnson (1,059 points).
Harris is the fifth Spartan to declare for the draft early under coach Tom Izzo, joining Shannon Brown (2006, junior.), Zach Randolph (2001, freshman), Jason Richardson (2001, sophomore) and Marcus Taylor (2002, sophomore).
“No one has worked harder over the last two years to prepare for this moment than Gary Harris,” Izzo said in a statement. “He’s done everything asked of him and more on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
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