Devin Harris will make a triumphant return to the University of Wisconsin on Saturday with his Dallas Mavericks teammates.
Harris, however, doesn’t think his recovery from multiple off-season surgeries will allow him to play at his alma mater when the Mavericks play a preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
When he was asked after Friday’s practice if he’ll play against the Bucks, Harris said: “It remains to be seen, but I would say I probably doubt it. I’ve only had like three practices under my belt, so probably I need to get a little bit more work in.”
On May 10, Harris had a pair of surgeries, one on his left thumb and one on his left big toe. The 13-year veteran combo guard remains hopeful of playing in Tuesday’s home preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“He’s getting closer,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’m not going to get into exact timetables when guys are going to play, but he’s very close.”
Harris’ roots are all across the state of Wisconsin. He was born in Milwaukee in 1983 and graduated from Wauwatosa East High School, where he was named Wisconsin Mr. Basketball in 2001.
Later on, Harris became the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2004, the same year when he was a consensus second-team All-American.
The memories came flooding from Harris on Friday.
“I think about playing Illinois and Deron Williams, and them coming to the home floor and losing Big Ten championships on my floor,’’ Harris said. “And beating Marquette.
“All those things are what comes back to mind.’’
Harris couldn’t wait to add some more of his college experiences playing against Williams, who is now his teammate.
“If we go on career stats I believe I’m up 3-1 in the series of that matchup,’’ Harris said. “He’s going to tell you, ‘Well, I ended their 56-game winning streak.’
“Devin was gone by then, so it doesn’t really count. It does not really count.’’
This is also a homecoming for Mavericks shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who graduated from James Madison Memorial High School in Madison in 2005 and played for Marquette from 2005-09.
Harris played at Wisconsin for Bo Ryan, who retired last Dec. 15 at the age of 67. With Harris as their leader, the Badgers won the Big Ten regular season titles in 2002 and ’03, and the Big Ten tournament championship in 2004.
“Some of the guys that coached me are still there,’’ Harris said. “I feel like coach Ryan left the program in good hands with [current head] coach [Greg] Gard, and I think they’ve got something really special.
“They’ve got a lot of seniors coming back and I’m excited about the team they’re going to put out there. It’s always good to go back to where it started.’’