Monday, October 25, 2010

Kalin Lucas Ready to be Difference-Maker

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Last season, it startled everyone when the Michigan State Spartans made a run to the Final Four without their point guard Kalin Lucas. Lucas was injured during the Spartans second-round game against the Maryland Terrapins, that was won at the buzzer.

He was later diagnosed with a torn achilles tendon, and sidelined for the rest of the tournament. With that said, Lucas had to watch his Spartans lose to Butler in the Final Four. 

Lucas watched desperately from the sideline as Korie Lucious attempted to purposely miss a free-throw that was rebounded by Butler's Gordon Hayward that sealed the victory for the Bulldogs.

As for Michigan State, what if Lucas had been playing? Do you think he would of allowed Durrell Summers to turn it over with under three minutes to play? Or allow Michigan State to not take the lead with under ten seconds left after a 30-second timeout?

Those are situations, in which, Lucas is favorable. With Lucas, it's almost a guarantee that the Spartans do not turn the ball over 16-times, and Michigan State could have won with him on the court.

This upcoming season, Lucas will be looked on to be the difference-maker. "Kalin has such a greater appreciation for playing now than he ever had," Head Coach Tom Izzo said. "Just because it was taken away from him."

"He's rehabbed better than any player I've known since I've been here." Lucas continues to rehab his achilles while continuing to get better.

"He's been a better passer in a few practices we've had," said Izzo. "He's really shot the ball well. Now, part of that is I think, you know, again, focus and concentration."

Coach Izzo also stated that Lucas is doing virtually everything to be a better teammate. Coach Izzo may play Lucas in both guard positions due to his increased range on his jump shot.

The Spartans returned every key player from their Final Four run, and acquired key freshman to help along the way.

However, with Lucas back the Spartans have the veteran leadership that was lacked during crunch-time a season ago. With Lucas still rehabbing, he will share duties with Lucious, and Keith Appling in the backcourt.

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