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What's next for Gary Harris and his shoulder?

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Gary Harris could be forced to undergo surgery for his shoulder during the offseason. (USATSI)
Gary Harris could be forced to undergo surgery for his shoulder during the offseason. (USATSI)

After averaging 16 points over his first three games of the season, Michigan State guard Gary Harris suffered a left-shoulder injury that forced him to miss two games.

And now, despite scoring in double figures in 13 of his final 16 games, Harris is facing more shoulder issues. He was in pain during the Sweet 16 loss to Duke on Friday, and Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press said surgery is a possibility for the freshman.

Izzo said Harris will hear several opinions regarding the next course of action. Surgery is a possibility. If Harris and the team and the doctors elect that, the freshman will miss three or four months in recovery. No doubt that will affect his performance next year, too.

Harris seems poised for a monster sophomore campaign, as he began to show consistent flashes of his potential during the second half of the season. He had 23 points against Memphis in the Round of 32 and had a six-game stretch in conference play in which he made more than 56 percent of his 3-point attempts.

He was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, and his athleticism and aggressiveness were major factors in those accolades.

As [head coach Tom] Izzo said after the game, "You haven't seen the Gary Harris I recruited yet."

The only senior on this year's Michigan State team was big man Derrick Nix, although junior forward Adreian Payne could decide to enter the NBA Draft. The Spartans could have some trouble on the interior, though they just picked up a commitment from forward Gavin Schilling. With that said, the backcourt of Keith Appling and a healthy Harris could be one of the best in the country.

Harris averaged 12.9 points and shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range this season.

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