Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Eron Harris averaged 17.2 points per game as a sophomore and was among the best 3-point shooters in the Big 12. The former West Virginia guard reportedly is bound for Michigan State.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Some 77 days after departing the West Virginia basketball program, Eron Harris is expected to announce Monday he’s transferring to Michigan State.

The Indianapolis Star reported the timing of Harris’ decision, which comes on the heels of the guard canceling a weekend visit to Michigan.

The 6-foot-3 Harris emerged as bona fide scorer last season for the Mountaineers, averaging 17.2 points and finishing as the third-best 3-point shooter in the Big 12 at 42.2 percent.

At times his deep range made him seemingly unstoppable. Harris scored 26 of his 28 points after halftime in a 91-85 overtime win vs. Oklahoma on Feb. 5 and tossed in another 28 when the Mountaineers stunned Kansas 92-86 on March 8.

Yet after being lightly recruited out of Lawrence North High in Indianapolis, he also struggled with the concept of becoming a go-to guy. Harris failed to reach the free-throw line in three of his last four games, and during West Virginia’s brief stay at the Big 12 tournament, he fouled out with just three points in a 66-49 loss to Texas.

“I have enjoyed my time at West Virginia University the past two years, but I want to transfer closer to home,” Harris said in a statement Match 24. “I want to be closer to my family, especially being around my little brother.”

While Harris made a visit to the Purdue campus about an hour from his home, UCLA and New Mexico also were among the programs he initially considered. The guard’s father said the proximity-to-home factor took a backseat to finding a more compatible coach.

“We respected (West Virginia coach Bob Huggins’) coaching style but it probably wasn’t the best fit,” Eric Harris told The Star on May 7. “Looking for that right fit as far as a coach goes is probably the biggest thing.”

For the sake of geography, East Lansing is closer to Indianapolis (253 miles) than is Morgantown (379 miles). Plus, Harris grew up in the heart of Big Ten country, idolizing powerhouse programs like Michigan State. At the point WVU offered him a scholarship he primarily was receiving interest from mid-majors.

He no doubt sees that Tom Izzo signed no shooting guards in this year’s recruiting class, and has only three-star prospect Kyle Ahrens committed at the position for 2015. All-Big Ten sophomore guard Gary Harris declared for the NBA draft.

Barring an unforeseen NCAA waiver, Harris must sit out next season as a transfer before becoming eligible in the fall of 2015.

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  • DWM

    Hope he enjoys watching the big dance from the middle of the bench. I thought he was a nit of a head case and certainly not consistent.

  • Rick55

    Maybe he will mature during his ineligible year.
    Maybe Izzo then can use him as a pure scorer but only when he is surrounded by four other guys who can actually rebound, pass, drive the ball, run the court etc.
    Maybe maybe maybe...

    • Aaron

      Of the transfers, I think he's the most successful. Of course, I think he will be a role player, a specialist called on to fade to the corner or wing and bust zones from penetrating guards and he won't be required to play the same type of defense he was here but given his mental aptitude for the game, I think he's ok with that. One thing is clear from those who understand the game and that is, he is not ready to be THE MAN. Perhaps a year off will aid in some of that but at Sparty, he will never have to be that player.

  • Holgie

    Well at least he's guaranteed a ticket to the Big Dance and probably an Elight 8 at worst.
    He'll enjoy the run and the wining ways at MSU.
    Oh ya, and one more thing, the sell out crowds.

    • J the C

      what a "maroon".

    • SCOTT

      what is an Elight that the new Lincoln?

    • Mister Man


    • Diaspora

      Part of the "sell-out crowds" you mention is up to you, unless you are a MU troll. It's Morgantown, not Lansing.

  • ffejbboc

    Hey Eron...Tom Izzo expects his players to play defense too, just like Bob all I can do is quote Pete Towsend & Roger Daltrey when they said it best: Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.

  • Aaron

    Harris knew Bob Huggins coaching style coming out of high school when he was being recruited by Buffalo, Evansville, Kent State, Dayton and Wisconsin where he was only upgraded to a 3 star recruit upon switching AAU teams after his senior year. When WV signed him, many including one of the Charleston papers ask why and lamented that WV's recruiting as stagnant.

    While I wish him the best, I don't think Tom Izzo is going to be any less accepting of an attitude that thinks college basketball is just a game and it's not worth losing sleep over.

    One thing is for certain, if he's going to compete for playing time at Sparty, he will have to up the rest of his game, learn how to play defense and handle the ball as he's competing against 5 star guards for playing time.

    • mad hatter

      one thing for sure, he'll have a better teacher for a HC to get him on the right track.

      • Aaron

        From Bleacher Reports...

        "When people think of Mountaineers basketball, Huggins is the face of the program. He's loved by many around the state. Huggins should be talked about more in comparison to the likes of Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino, Mike Krzyzweski, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo and and Jim Boeheim. Perhaps Huggins needs a national championship in Morgantown to be considered for this list.

        His best chance came in the 2009 with leader Da'Sean Butler. The Mountaineers won the Big East championship and were able to upset top seed Kentucky in the Elite Eight. They eventually fell to Duke in the Final Four, but the future looked bright for West Virginia basketball.

        Huggins is underrated, however. He usually gets three-star recruits, unlike some of the coaches mentioned above. With this most recent season full of freshmen, Huggins was still able to take the young squad to the NCAA tournament.

        He was without a doubt one of the best coaches in the Big East Conference, always remaining competitive in one of the top conferences in college basketball. Huggins is WVU basketball and he brings a great deal of pride to the state of West Virginia."

        You're opinion is not shared Barr...errr, I mean La...wait, you posted this on under hatter.

        You're opinion is not sharred hatter but then we all new that.

  • aquarius

    izzo is the very definition of calm and cool on the bench. the really good news for harris is that izzo is not prone to emotional outbursts that ends up with a player being pulled from a game for not playing defense. what sealed the deal is that izzo has promised seats on the bench for harris's mom and dad so he can run any coaching decision effecting eron through them on a real time basis.

    • Aaron

  • jay zoom

    UCLA --- NEW MEXICO unless I have the wrong map calculate the mileage from there to there and there to here. wish him well he's better off at Michigan state than with one and done Huggins he'll be treated like an athlete rather than a dirt. THANKS OLLIE

    • Gregory

      If I thought William could spell "calculate" I'd think that this gem came from him instead of Hay Broom.

    • An actual athlete

      You have to be hard on athletes to get the most out of them. If they don't listen or do the things that they are required to do to win. Ask any player that hasn't transferred or even a couple that have and they will tell you that nobody cares more about his players than coach Huggins. Stop being soft and man up.

  • mike

    It took three months for someone to tell the real reason he left, compatibility with Coach Huggins.
    Amazing. Why was that so hard or am I the last to officially know?

    • Mister Man

      Idiots are usually the last to know.

  • Barry

    I hate that he is not playing for Michigan, I was looking forward to seeing him play for a good coach. I will just have to root for the Wolverines without him.

    “We respected (West Virginia coach Bob Huggins’) coaching style but it probably wasn’t the best fit,” Eric Harris told The Star on May 7. “Looking for that right fit as far as a coach goes is probably the biggest thing.”

    As a former WVU Basketball Fan, I feel the same way (except for respecting Bob Huggins part).

    • Mister Man

      Eric Harris?

    • Aaron

      So you don't think Tom Izzo is a good coach Barry?


    • An actual athlete

      What is it specifically that you don't respect Huggins. What team are you a fan of now. I can tell you as far as basketball people around the country as well as the athletic fraternity as a whole Bob is universally respected for his knowledge of the game. People that never played major college athletics dislike coaches like Huggins and Knight because they never had what it takes to play in the first place.

      • Mister Man

        Hugs was a very good player.

  • Greg

    Until the kid learns to get his emotions in tow he's not going to be successful anywhere.

  • John

    I would have respected Harris more if he just came out and said he wanted to play for a different kind of coach, system, etc. If he thinks Huggins is tough, Izzo is no "walk in the park" and he will demand he play defense just as much as Huggins would. Let's back the players that want to be here and forget those that don't. I wish Harris no ill will but he is a non-factor at this point going forward.

    • 4WVUinKY

      What he said...I wish Eron well and all the best...let's move on

  • Jabo

    Don't let the blue and gold door hit you in the ass.

  • Alum

    I wish him well but at the end of the day, so what.

  • MEK

    Leaving Huggins and playing for Izzo. Jumped into the fire .

  • Jed

    If he doesn't learn to play defense, Izzo will yank him faster than he can throw a punch at somebody driving into the lane.

    • SCOTT

      Well...if the refs wont call the gut kick...then you gotta protect your team mates...dont fault him a bit for that one...but it was a cool post.

    • Hop'sHip

      We'll done! If you're going to make a bitter comment, this is how you do it. An effective jab followed by a devastating haymaker.