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NCAA Basketball Big 10 BasketballMichigan State Spartans

Gary Harris To Return To Michigan State

Rick Osentoski- USA TODAY Sports

Today, Gary Harris announced that he will be returning to Michigan State for his sophomore season.

Ever since Duke knocked the Spartans out of the NCAA Tournament, ending their season, Harris and teammate Adreian Payne’s futures have been up in the air.  Now, at least one of them will return to East Lansing next fall.

Harris came on to the Michigan State scene with much fanfare as a five-star recruit according to Rivals.  He averaged 13 points a game and shot a blistering 42.5 percent on 3-pointers.  Alongside Keith Appling in the Spartan backcourt, Harris played 30 minutes a game, while scoring in double figures in 28 out of 34 games.

This impressive freshman year output had placed Harris high up on NBA Draft boards. Harris was being projected to be a mid-first round pick by most prognosticators. With still two months until the draft, Harris’s stock could have fluctuated immensely, just as it happens every season with draft prospects. However, Harris has decided he will put his NBA career on hold for at least one more year.

So, now the Spartans will at least have one of their top players back, as Payne and even Appling are still eyeing the NBA. Looking at next season, Harris already projects to be one of the best players in the Big Ten. With top players like Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and Deshaun Thomas all heading to the NBA, Harris can now fill those shoes as an elite player in the conference.

Elite is exactly how Harris is projected to be: Draft Express already has him as their No. 11 player on their 2014 NBA mock draft. But, before we can even focus on next year’s draft, Michigan State will be able to enjoy Harris for his sophomore season.

You can follow Alex on Twitter @alexdalecbb.