Gary Harris always seems to have a little extra juice when he comes to Bloomington.
That was certainly the case on Saturday, when the Fishers, Ind. native scored a career-high 26 points in Michigan State's easy 73-56 win over the Hoosiers as Assembly Hall. The loss dropped IU to 0-2 in the conference.
"Gary was an assassin," Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward.
While Keith Appling and Adreian Payne were straddled with first-half foul trouble, Harris kept the Spartans (13-1, 2-0) afloat, and then some. He scored 17 points in the first half, and buried the Hoosiers with a five-point play in the second half. Harris was fouled on a 3-pointer by Stanford Robinson, made the shot, and then Robinson was called for a technical foul.
Harris made 8-of-18 shots from the field, 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, and had four rebounds and five steals in 37 minutes.
"Harris was unbelievable," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "He's a special player, and I swear to you he's not where he's gonna be. His conditioning is nowhere near where it needs to be and is gonna be.
"If he gets lift, he can shoot it so well, and he gets his shot off quick. What he's doing a better job of now is being more ready to shoot when he gets it."
Harris hasn't had a great season for the Spartans, mostly because he's dealt with various injuries and hasn't been healthy for long stretches. He entered Saturday's game shooting just over 30 percent from beyond the arc on the season, but he continues to get healthier, and with it, more productive.
Izzo said he challenged Harris before the game by showing him game film from last year.
"I said, 'Gary, you're not playing this way, your coming off kind of passive and this and that,'" Izzo said.
Harris certainly responded on Saturday.
"He really picked it up and he picked us up as a team," forward Branden Dawson said.
Added Harris: "I've been struggling a little bit this year, and coach has been on me to start watching more film. This just happened to be the game I started watching more film."