Manny Harris Will Enter NBA Draft

University of Michigan basketball player Manny Harris announced his decision to leave U-M early in order to enter his name into the NBA draft during a press conference at the Junge Family Champions Center on U-M's campus on March 29, 2010.  Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.comPhoto credit: Ann Arbor.com

Press Conference Audio: Press ConferenceManny HarrisJohn BeileinDeShawn Sims

It’s finally official. Harris announced at his press conference today that he will enter the NBA draft and has no plans of returning to Michigan. Harris has not yet hired an agent but plans to do so in the near future.

Here are the quotes from the U-M Athletic Department press release:

“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.”

Draft Express has Harris projected as a late second round pick but NBADraft.net has him going undrafted. Tim has more notes from the presser over at MGoBlog.

This amplifies the importance of landing at least one more wing player in the class of 2010. The two targets remaining on Michigan’s board for 2010 are Mt. Pleasant guard Trey Zeigler and Detroit Denby’s Isaiah Sykes. Looking at the scholarship breakdown you can see that Harris’ departure has little effect on the situation because any scholarships used in 2010 will count against the 2011 class.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Brad, I hope this is an April Fool’s joke, because if not, you’re way off base.

    That’s all I have to say about it.

  • Chris

    UM will struggle to keep out of the cellar. PSU might be worse as a team, but with Talor Battle they have a much better player than anyone UM will have. Iowa should be improved now that they finally won’t lose any key players to transfer and bring in a pretty solid (for them) recruiting class to add depth. Iowa’s team on paper is clearly better than what UM has lined up for next year. Indiana would’ve been better this year had Maurice Creek not gotten hurt.

  • MGoNovak

    Hmmmm…well selfishly I hope this falls through so that he comes back for his senior year, though I don't know what the status is with him getting an agent and what not. Still I'm kind of peeved about him saying he was coming back. Even though it was in the heat of the moment, you should still think it through before you say something like that because now it's been made into a lie.

  • MGoNovak

    Hmmmm…well selfishly I hope this falls through so that he comes back for his senior year, though I don't know what the status is with him getting an agent and what not. Still I'm kind of peeved about him saying he was coming back. Even though it was in the heat of the moment, you should still think it through before you say something like that because now it's been made into a lie.

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