Garry Harris has been out since he suffered an injury to his shoulder in the game against Boise State. The Spartans were able to pull out a victory against Oakland in their next game, but that doesn’t mean losing Harris isn’t detrimental to the Spartans moving forward.
Harris is only expected to be out 2-3 weeks, which is the silver lining in this instance. Izzo hinted earlier that Harris could be out for an extended period of time. With Harris out, a couple things have and will take place. For one, Russell Byrd and Branden Kearney will get more minutes. This is interesting, because both were highly recruited and have disappointed so far. Byrd was supposed to be an elite knockdown shooter and so far he hasn’t been able to hit anything. Kearney was billed as a slasher who could score, so far he hasn’t shown that ability. Both of these players should relish this opportunity and prove to Izzo they belong in
the rotation. Also, Denzel Valentine will start. Valentine has already showed he has great vision, passing ability, and plays good defense. He’ll get more minutes and more time at point guard. Keith Appling will play more off the ball now that Harris has been injured. Appling has been on a roll scoring the basketball so whether the extra time at shooting guard will help or hurt him is anyone’s guess.
The Spartans should be able to cope with the loss of Gary Harris. After their game against Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan State play Miami (FL), Nicholls State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, and Loyola (IL). These teams aren’t exactly college basketball powerhouses. Harris’s injury could have come at a much worse time. Spartan fans should feel luck this injury didn’t occur during Big Ten play or worse, tournament time.