Gary Harris arrived at Michigan State this season with high expectations, and he has clearly made an immediate impact for the Spartans.
The talented freshman was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time in his career after helping the Spartans win a pair of games over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Loyola of Chicago last week.
Harris clicked for 16.5 points per outing in the two wins, highlighting his week with a 20-point performance against Loyola.
The Spartans are 8-2 on the season and Harris has had a lot to do with the success of the team, although it’s not a surprise. As I’ve said in the past, freshmen just come in more ready to play at the college level.
And Harris, without question, was ready to roll.
He is second on the team in scoring at 13 points per outing. He is shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and is second among all Big Ten freshmen in scoring. Harris has led the team in scoring three times and has knocked down a team-best 13 3-pointers.
Perhaps some will worry that Harris won’t be as effective once the Big Ten season begins, but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for him.
I say that because of the way Harris performed in a 67-64 win over Kansas last month at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
It was the second official game of his college career and the Spartans were playing the national runner-up.
Yet, Harris was unfazed by the moment. He thrived in it, scoring 18 points as the Spartans took down the Jayhawks.
Sure, there are going to be some tough nights for him. Every freshman deals with them.
But Harris will rise to a high level more often than not, and as long as he continues to play well, the Spartans are going to be tough to overlook in the race for a Big Ten championship.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at email@example.com.