Manny Harris To Enter NBA Draft

Submitted by Tim on March 29th, 2010 at 11:28 AM

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As expected, Michigan basketball guard Manny Harris has elected to forego his senior season with the Wolverines to declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft. Press release quotes from Manny Harris and coach John Beilein:

"After long discussions with the U-M staff and my family and friends, I have decided to pursue my dream of professional basketball and leave U-M early for the NBA," said Harris. "It is important for me to thank the University of Michigan, Coach Beilein and his staff, my teammates, my professors, as well as all those in the athletic department who have helped me over the last three years. My growth as a person and player wouldn't have been possible without them.

"I will always appreciate the college game and what it has done for me, but playing professional basketball has always been a goal and I feel it is the best time to pursue that. I will always be a Michigan Wolverine at heart and bleed Maize and Blue forever."

"Manny believes it is his time to move on to the NBA and we fully support him," said U-M coach John Beilein. "It was a tough decision for him and we are prepared to assist him in every way we can as he begins this new chapter in his life. Manny has assured us he plans on successfully finishing this semester, which would put him in a position to graduate from Michigan with just one more academic year."

"In three short years, Manny has compiled outstanding career numbers in points, rebounds, assists and steals -- milestones many very good players do not reach during a four-year career. I have many fond memories of Manny's time at Michigan. He has been clutch in so many big wins we certainly will miss him however we wish him nothing but the best in his professional basketball career and beyond."

That's mostly boilerplate, obviously. A few notes from the press conference, with bonus DeShawn Sims material as well:

  • Regarding his draft stock: "I believe the work you put in is what you get out." He's not worried about his projections for the draft, and will simply work hard to achieve his dream of playing in the NBA. If that means he has to play in Europe or the D-League first, he's willing to do so.
  • Harris plans to hire an agent, and will not be able to return to Michigan next season. He will keep working out with Michigan's coaches and strength staff to prepare for the NBA.
  • Manny said it's very hard to leave Michigan, but at the end of the day you've got to make a decision. He consulted AAU coaches, old high school coaches, and family and friends.
  • Manny stressed that his relationship with Coach Beilein is good (despite butting heads with him a few times this year), and he will always support the program and Michigan. Playing the 3 position at Michigan is "a great experience," and he would encourage any talented guard to come play at Michigan. Beilein's probably happy about that, as he said, "If there's a kid out there who will help us replace Manny, we'll recruit him."
  • For all Manny did for this team, Beilein pointed out that it's his clutch free throw shooting that the team might miss the most.
  • DeShawn Sims said that Manny feels like he's been around longer than his three years, because he's had to bear so much responsibility from the beginning.
  • DeShawn will definitely attend the Portsmouth Invitational. He's working out in Ann Arbor with Michigan's coaches and Manny to prepare for the NBA.
  • Sims said that next year's team will be improved because the players will understand the system, and chemistry will be improved. He noted that poor chemistry might have been the source of some of Michigan's troubles this season.

Comments

michfan4borw

March 29th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

Manny, I want to wish you all the best in your pursuit of a professional basketball career. You and Sims truly helped turn our program around, and for that, I'm very grateful. You helped end the NCAA drought at Michigan which was monumental. I think you would have grown as a person and player with another year, but I still wish you success.

As for all the gloom posts about the program and next year, I think it's not as bad as it's made out to be by the emotional fringe elements. Although unfortunate departures (Manny and Ekpe before him) have occurred, to expect anything more when the system changes, is ignorant of both the game and Michigan's program in particular. Add the injuries to Morgan and Cronin, and our season wasn't much of a surprise at all.

Search4Meaning

March 29th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication. We loved watching you and your talent will be missed.

We understand that this was your time. As much as you will be missed here, we will enjoy seeing you at the next level.

Best of luck in your future. You are forever a Wolverine.

Go Blue!

V.O.R.

March 30th, 2010 at 12:00 AM ^

We wish Manny and DeShawn well in their futures. When you consider the options for Manny you can't really blame him. These are difficult economic times, and the families in the state of Michigan especially the inner cities are having to deal with stressful financial challenges. Manny will surely be signed somewhere if he's not drafted, and he will have the opportunity to help out his family and himself if there is such a need to do so. I am not saying that I know his financial situation, who knows, Manny's family maybe financially well off, however, if that is not the case, he certainly has an opportunity to help them through this recession. This maybe the reason why so many young players leave early and try not to risk ending their athletic careers by getting seriously injured an extra year in college. We thank him and DeShawn for the time and effort they have given to us and wish them a prosperious professional career.