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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spartans land Harris to complete 2012 recruiting class

Although he did not sign a National Letter of Intent with Michigan State on signing day yesterday, it appears heralded recruit Gary Harris is heading to East Lansing to play for Tom Izzo and the Spartans.
The Indianapolis Star reported late last night that Harris will sign with MSU.
"(Michigan State) recruited me for a long time," Harris told the Star. "I liked the whole family atmosphere up there. I feel like I'm a part of them. It was a great environment and once I got around the players, I was really comfortable."
Harris (6-foot-4), from Hamilton, Ind., is ranked as the No. 2 shooting guard in the country by He was considering Indiana, Purdue and Kentucky, along with MSU.
The Spartans did get official National Letters of Intent from two other prized in-state recruits in power forward Matt Costello of Bay City Western and shooting guard Denzel Valentine of Lansing Sexton -- both of whom have been verbally committed to MSU since last year. Power forward Kenny Kaminski (6-8, 245) of Medina, Ohio also signed with MSU yesterday.
While that's a strong class even without Harris, adding a top-ranked national recruit such as him, particularly at a position of need, is a huge step for MSU getting back to its habit of reaching Final Fours and competing for Big Ten and national championships.
Costello averaged 19.8 points, 13 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game last season as he helped lead Bay City Western to the state semifinals. He's the likely front runner to win the state's Mr. Basketball Award this season. Valentine, who's father Carlton played at MSU in the 1980s and who's brother Drew currently plays at Oakland University, is a versatile wing who averaged 12.7 points and 7.9 rebounds while leading Sexton to a Class B state title last season. He's very similar is style to former Spartan Alan Anderson, with a little more athleticism.
Harris, assuming he does indeed sign, and Costello will be the stars of this class for MSU -- giving the Spartans a nice inside-out duo on a team that will be filled with solid role players and perhaps another star in current point guard Keith Appling.


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