In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point
In today’s edition of the BTPowerhouse 25, we take a look at Michigan State guard Eron Harris. On the team that lost a great deal of productive upperclassman and now enters the season with young, untested freshman, Harris is the senior leader the Spartans must count on to lead a freshman-laden on a deep tournament run.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - #18 Eron Harris:
- Eligibility: Senior
- Career Totals: 99 G, 12.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG
- 2014-15 Averages: 35 G, 20.9 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG
- Positional Role: Shooting Guard
Harris entered last season in the first year of his eligibility at Michigan State after transferring from West Virginia one year prior. As a product of his three-point marksmanship and ability to defend opposing guards, Harris was one of the Spartan’s more underrated players last season. The senior and his leadership will be instrumental if Michigan State is to rebound from last season’s shocking opening-round loss in the NCAA Tournament.
Denzel Valentine and Bryn Forbes may have gotten most of the attention last season as the top three point shooters for Michigan State, but Harris wasn’t that far behind the two seniors. In fact, Harris shot an impressive 43.9 percent from beyond the arc in his first season as a Spartan. His three-point shooting and general scoring prowess proved Harris to be a reliable scoring option for Tom Izzo.
Harris was also valuable for Michigan State on the defensive end of the floor, where he was a decent defender. Typically, he would be matched up on the opposing team’s best scoring guard. Harris often made his greatest impact on the floor as an on-ball defender with the ability to defend quick guards.
Areas for Improvement
Offensive consistency and occasional struggles with turnovers are the two biggest weaknesses in Harris' game. He was, for the most part, a relatively strong scorer last season, though he did have a tendency to go cold in some games. For example, in two Michigan State losses last season against Purdue and Iowa, he only scored 10 points combined in both games.
Harris also must limit some of his turnovers, in addition to becoming a bit more of a distributor on the offensive end.
Harris played about 20 minutes per game last season, and now is one of the team’s seniors, expect his minutes to increase. Again, Michigan State will rely on him for his work on the defensive end and the long-range shooting he brings. Finally, expecting to play a major role in mentoring and setting an example for the talented freshman class of Miles Bridges, Josh Langford, Cassius Winston and Nick Ward—which may just be the most important role he plays this season.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Josh Langford (Michigan State)
- #24 - Kam Williams (Ohio State)
- #23 - Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (Michigan)
- #22 - Jalen Coleman-Lands (Illinois)
- #21 - Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State)
- #20 - Jae’Sean Tate (Ohio State)
- #19 - James Blackmon (Indiana)
- #18 - Eron Harris (Michigan State)
- #17 - to be continued ...