After showing little improvement between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Michigan fans should be concerned with a repeat of that this upcoming season. Hardaway Jr. was on the Big Ten's All-Freshman Team in 2011, but had nearly identical numbers as a sophomore, despite dropping to just over 28 percent from long range.
For improvement to occur, Hardaway Jr. has to go back to attacking the basket and finishing with dunks, rather than standing behind the arc launching threes. With a taller Wolverines team than Hardaway Jr. is accustomed to, he will likely make the move from small forward to shooting guard, which could give him a height advantage on opponents. With more offensive weapons available to Michigan this year, Hardaway Jr.'s numbers will remain steady with his first two seasons, although he will be more efficient this year.
Harris arrives in East Lansing having made the McDonald's All-American game this past Spring. Harris, who is from Indianapolis, replaces Brandon Wood as MSU's off-guard. He is a savvy defender and has an uncanny ability to finish around the rim. He could also be Michigan State's best long range shooter, which could certainly be a weak spot for this year's squad.
Although Harris should be an immediate starter, he will have to earn his playing time, and rarely does Izzo play freshmen more than 20-some minutes each game. Harris could be the exception to that rule, but even if he isn't he will be the kind of defender and scorer that the Spartans need this year and into the future. Expect Harris to have a solid season, joining McGary and potentially Robinson III on the All-Freshman Team.
Once again, I stick to my guns and will pick against the freshman. Although Hardaway Jr. has lacked consistency and improvement, I forgot to mention he averaged nearly 15 points per game as a sophomore and nearly 14 as a freshman. If Harris can do that this upcoming year, I would be somewhat surprised.
Edge: Michigan (Hardaway Jr.)