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2017 NBA Draft Profile: Eron Harris (Michigan State Spartans)

A long and winding road may culminate in an NBA spot for Harris

Mississippi Valley State v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Eron Harris has had an interesting career.

A low-rated shooting guard recruit coming out of Lawrence North high school in Indianapolis, he chose to play for West Virginia over several MAC offers in 2012. By the end of his freshman season, he was the team’s starting point guard and became the first true freshman to lead the Mountaineers in scoring since the 1972-73 season.

After a second successful campaign in Morgantown, he decided to transfer away from the program. Coaching style was cited as a reason for the transfer, amongst a few others.

In the spring of 2014, he became a hot commodity on the college basketball transfer market, ultimately choosing the Spartans over cross-state rival Michigan, and Big Ten foe Purdue.

Per the NCAA’s transfer rules, Harris had to sit out Michigan State’s 2014-15 Final Four season. They were beaten pretty handedly by eventual champion Duke in the national semis, and one has to stop and wonder if that had been different with Harris in the lineup.

He had a decent season in 2015-16, but it wasn’t anything phenomenal. He scored 9.3 points and grabbed 2.6 boards per game. He did average 2.1 assists, which ended up being the high-mark for his collegiate career.

The following year, his fifth and final campaign in the college ranks, he once again found himself deeply entrenched as a starter in Tom Izzo’s backcourt, until a gruesome injury in a key game derailed his season, and perhaps his draft aspirations.

During an important February 18th meeting with Purdue at Mackey, Harris was driving for a layup, contested by Boilermaker center Isaac Haas. What happened next was hard to watch, but nearly impossible to forget. He hyperextended his right knee after the collision with Haas, tearing his ACL, partially ripping his PCL, and dislocating his right kneecap.

Not only was his season over, but the injury, which we soon found out would require surgery to repair, would also mean his long collegiate career had come to a crashing close. Now, his already shaky draft status was put into even more doubt.

Though Eron’s collegiate career was absolutely respectable, and he remained a pretty steady player at both WVU and MSU, he probably won’t be drafted. He’s a 5th year senior, and is coming off an injury. He never put up insane numbers, either.

Despite his silky jump shot, good athleticism (pre-injury, at least) and his complete offensive game, he leaves much to be desired defensively and may not have the ability to be a true NBA point guard. In the NBA, he’s probably going to end up being an undersized shooting guard.

If you take a quick look at his stat lines, you’ll notice that he’s most effective when his three-point shot is falling. Luckily, it falls at a nearly 40% clip. You can see his lethal shooting on full display in MSU’s tight win against Florida Gulf Coast in November. Harris dropped 31 points, including a perfect 6-6 from deep.

When that isn’t going down, or when a keyed in defense denies him looks from beyond the arc, Harris is a far less effective offensive player.

Thanks to his shooting ability and overall solid college career, though, he is pretty much a lock to get a summer league invite.

After navigating such a rocky road to get to the end of his collegiate career, it would only be fitting for Harris to have to earn his way onto an NBA roster.