It’s funny…I’ve been seeing a lot of national season previews lately and rarely am I seeing Eron Harris being mentioned as among the best/biggest impact transfers around the country. I don’t know what those folks are thinking, because as I see it, there’s pretty much no one who is bringing in a guy who was a 17ppg scorer in a Power 5 conference. How can he not be right at the top of any such list?
MSU fans haven’t seen a lot of Eron yet. He sat out last year and then he had to sit out the games on the Italian trip. Make no mistake, though…MSU has added a guy who is a proven big time scorer. BIG time. He shot 44/42/86% as a sophomore at WVU. He is the perfect combination you want in a guard…very skilled AND very athletic. This is a guy who will drain threes in your face and then the next trip down stick a high wire jam down your throat.
What Eron needed to improve was his defensive play and his ball handling/decision making. I suspect both got done to some extent during his year off. Izzo has commented that he’s made serious strides on the defensive end, so I’ll take that as an indicator that he’ll be at least solid…honestly, there’s no reason for him not to be, as he’s got decent size at 6’3″ and wiry strength to go with higher end athleticism. He reportedly got a lot of work on the ball as a point guard for the scout team last year, which led many to speculate that he might play the position this year at MSU. Since the summer, however, it’s appeared less and less likely that’s what happens, as both Denzel Valentine and freshman Matt McQuaid have been mentioned by Izzo as backup point guard candidates, but not Harris. Regardless, I think that time spent on the ball will benefit Eron’s game. Even if you’re not running the offense, the abilty to take it and go to the rim while scoring or drawing contact has never been a more integral part of the game in my lifetime of watching the sport. So, it’s reasonable to assume he’s made some improvement there as well. That’s important…we want a guy like Eron taking people off the dribble because he should be a good finisher and he’s an elite free throw shooter, so you want him on the line as often as possible.
MSU needs him to be as good as advertised for this team to reach its potential. If for some reason Eron was only decent, solid, respectable, that’s a blow. When you lose guys like Trice and Dawson, you have to make up for that lost point production and Eron Harris is the prime candidate for wiping out that defecit. I expect him to be really, really good. I think he may be good enough to push for all conference honors and he and Denzel might be the best wing combination in the country (and adding Forbes as a reserve definitely leads me to think they’re the best trio).