Eron Harris: 'I would say my strength is my outside shooting, but I feel I can score from anywhere on the court.' (Associated Press / Nick Wass)
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo now has a proven perimeter threat in the program in high-scoring guard Eron Harris, who is transferring from West Virginia.
Harris will have to sit out next season, due to NCAA transfer rules, but then Spartans fans should have a treat to watch for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Harris, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, averaged 17.2 points this past season for the Mountaineers. He chose Michigan State over Michigan and Purdue.
“Coach Izzo gave me the perfect vibe,” Harris told The Detroit News on Monday about his meeting with Izzo on a visit May 31 in East Lansing. “It’s just a feeling I had when I visited him. All I wanted to get was the relationship with him and it was built when I looked into his eyes. My whole family was on board after that.
“He said I have pro potential and that’s a big thing when you hear that from your coach. He wants me to get better, work on my defense and some other things while I'm sitting out next year. He wants me to be able to get off multiple shots and set up my teammates. I feel when I come back and play I’ll be a vocal leader who will also lead by example.”
Izzo can only hope Harris can duplicate the same type of success he had at West Virginia.
This past season Harris shot 43.8 percent from the field and made 42.2 percent of his 3-point attempts (89-for-211) while averaging 31.4 minutes. He scored 28, making 5-of-7 threes, in a 92-86 upset win over Kansas; scored 33, making 6-of-8 threes, in a win over Duquesne; and 27 on 7-of-11 3-point shooting in a 70-63 loss to Wisconsin.
“I would say my strength is my outside shooting, but I feel I can score from anywhere on the court,” said Harris, who wasn’t recruited by the Spartans coming out of Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis. He picked West Virginia over Dayton and Buffalo.
Harris’ father, Eric, said Eron’s game was not a good fit at West Virginia.
“The coaching style at West Virginia wasn’t a match for Eron,” Eric said. “We respect Coach (Bob Huggins) and the fans who are real loyal to the school. We just felt like we needed the change for the betterment of Eron’s basketball future.
“I went to college at Purdue with Gary Harris’ dad and he had nothing but positive things to say about Coach Izzo and Gary’s experience at MSU. Eron and Gary played with and against each other in Indianapolis. Coach Izzo was gracious and humble (on Eron's visit). We just think Eron will now have that perfect fit.”