March 11, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State sophomore Gary Harris and senior Adreian Payne were named to the All-District V Team by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), as announced on Tuesday. The honors are the first USBWA awards for Harris and Payne, who are the first players to represent Michigan State on the All-District Team since Draymond Green in 2012. It marks the first time since 2008 that two Spartans have been listed on the 10-man team.
Harris was recently voted to the First Team All-Big Ten and the league’s All-Defensive team. The Fishers, Ind., native has scored 20 points or more a team-best 10 times this season. He leads the team and is third in the conference in scoring (17.5 ppg), and has tallied 54 steals on the season, good for third in the Big Ten with 1.9 spg. In conference games, he ranks fourth in scoring (17.2 ppg) and second in steals (2.3 spg).
He is one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award and is listed on both the Oscar Robertson Trophy and Naismith Award Midseason Watch Lists. Harris also ranks second in the conference with a team-high 70 made 3-point shots. He also leads the team and ranks eighth in the conference, shooting .803 percent from the foul line.
Payne was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team for the second-straight year. The Dayton, Ohio native leads the Spartans with 16 career double-doubles, including six this season. Payne is second in the Big Ten with 7.5 rebounds per game, and sits in second in defensive rebounds with 5.8 per game.
Returning to the lineup after missing seven games due to a foot sprain, Payne is averaging 15.9 points in the last nine games. He ranks seventh in the Big Ten in scoring (16.1 ppg), and his .423 3-point field-goal percentage is good for fifth in the conference. Though he only shot 1-of-4 from 3-point range in his first 87 games of his career, he is averaging a little over one make per game over his last 44 games. Payne is also second in the MSU record books with 133 career blocks. He was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list and twice received Big Ten Player of the Week honors (Nov. 18 and Dec. 23).
Since 2004, Michigan State has had 13 players listed to the All-District V team. The teams are selected based on voting from the USBWA national membership of 900-plus. There are a total of nine districts. District V includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.