Michigan State officially announced Monday afternoon that sophomore shooting guard Gary Harris is leaving school.
Harris will pursue the NBA, where he's seen as a potential lottery pick, after two years in East Lansing in which he showed to be one of the best two-way players in college basketball. Harris helped Michigan State to an Elite Eight by averaging 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists last season.
"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."
MSU coach Tom Izzo said in a statement "no one has worked harder over the last two years to prepare for this moment than Gary Harris. He's done everything asked of him and more on the court, in the classroom and in the community."
Harris earned All-Big Ten Defensive Team honors last season. He scored 1,025 career points; MSU notes he's only the third player in program history to achieve that in two seasons.