Not many people in college basketball have been talking about one of its brightest young stars and one of the best players in the Big Ten this season: Gary Harris. The Michigan State Spartans have relied heavily on the stud sophomore as he has been the man to lead the team in the absence of Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson.
Many people would argue that the Michigan Wolverines‘ Nik Stauskas is the conference player of the year, but if the Wolverines don’t keep their hot streak alive, Harris is going to run away with Player of the Year honors.
Just how good has he been this season? Check out his stat line. Harris has averaged 18.3 points per game to go along with 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 2.8 assists per game. He is second in the conference in scoring and he has been electric in every aspect of the game since Jan. 1, posting 21 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 3.0 steals per game.
Besides being one of the best scorers in college basketball, he is widely considered the best defender in the Big Ten as well — or very close to it. Sure, Stauskas has the offensive numbers, but he averages less than a steal per game and less than four rebounds per game.
If the Big Ten Player of the Year is based on overall body of work and excelling in every aspect of the game, expect Harris to run away with th award.
It’s not often you see a guy excel at both sides of the court and dominate the opposition in every aspect of the game.
That is why Harris deserves the Big Ten Player of the Year award right now. There is still plenty of basketball to play yet.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.