Tag:Kalin Lucas
Posted on: November 24, 2010 2:10 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 2:22 am

Five thoughts on a great night of hoops

Tuesday marked the first real day of great college basketball games, and it was terrific. Here are five thoughts from a night that saw No. 1 Duke remain undefeated, No. 4 Kansas State take its first loss, Kemba Walker lead UConn past No. 2 Michigan State, and No. 8 Kentucky get by No. 13 Washington thanks to another stellar effort from yet another terrific John Calipari-coached freshman:

1. Duke is seriously talented, elite, all that and more

The Blue Devils were the nation's consensus preseason No. 1 team, and the nation saw why during their 82-68 win over Kansas State. You could reasonably argue -- I'm not saying I necessarily believe this, just saying it could be reasonably argued -- that Duke has college basketball's best player at three different positions, and that freshman Kyrie Irving is already the team's top player despite the fact that he joined a roster featuring seven guys with national title rings. This team was easy to love on paper, and it's even easier to love after watching it on the court. They won't lose when they play well. To top them, somebody will have to be really good on the same day they're a little off.

2. Jacob Pullen will probably be OK, I think

Jacob Pullen struggled against Duke, missed 11 of the 12 shots he attempted. So if you want to question him, you can. And I won't blame you. But I would like to remind you that he's had awful nights before and recovered nicely. The All-American candidate posted back-to-back 2-of-15 games last January and still went on to put 34 on BYU and 28 on Xavier during the NCAA tournament. Granted, it's unclear if Pullen can be that same type of player without Denis Clemente in the backcourt beside him, and, I know, Pullen hasn't looked great this season regardless of the opponent. But he's still undeniably the best player on a team that already owns wins over Virginia Tech and Gonzaga, and that's worth remembering in the spirit of perspective.

3. Kemba Walker is turning into a star

New York-area basketball enthusiasts have wanted Kemba Walker to be a star since the moment he enrolled at UConn, but it didn't happen that quickly for a variety of reasons. It's happening now, though. Walker recorded at least 30 points for the third straight game and led the unranked (for the moment) Huskies to a 70-67 victory over Michigan State. He's driving and scoring and, perhaps most impressively, leading. And though I can't imagine Walker keeps it up and really averages around 30 points per game, if he's anywhere close to this good consistently then my prediction that UConn will miss the NCAA tournament for the second straight year will be wrong in a major way.

4. Michigan State, as usual, will be a work in progress

As sure as Tom Izzo is spelled with two Zs, Michigan State will be there in the end. To think otherwise would be stupid. But it must be concerning for Spartan fans that Kalin Lucas was awful in the loss to UConn. While Walker had the type of game that enhances (and in many cases inflates) reputations, Lucas had one that damages them. He recorded four field goals and five turnovers in the loss, and an elite point guard shouldn't have games like that in his senior year even when he's coming off of an injury.

5. Terrence Jones is way better than I anticipated

I knew Terrence Jones would be good because he's big and skilled and naturally gifted, but what he's done through four games is ridiculous. The 6-foot-8 freshman is averaging 20.1 points and 11.8 rebounds after geting 16 points and 17 rebounds in UK's 74-67 win over Washington, and he's the main reason why the Wildcats are still overwhelming opponents despite losing five first-round picks from last season's team. Jones' waffling between Washington and Kentucky for two weeks last May -- specifically the way he toyed with fans via Twitter -- before ultimately signing with the Wildcats was a major turnoff in my eyes, but I don't care about that anymore. Kid is performing like a monster. Just tremendous. He'll never play college basketball next to permanently ineligible Turkish star Enes Kanter (barring a successful appeal to the NCAA). But, my lord, can you imagine how scary Kentucky would be with those two?
Posted on: October 28, 2010 9:16 am

No surprise in Big Ten media poll

The Big Ten announced Thursday that media members who cover the league have voted Michigan State as the preseason favorite and MSU point guard Kalin Lucas as the Player of the Year. My ballot would've featured Michigan State as the favorite and Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger as the Player of the Year. But Lucas -- a veteran from a team that's made two straight Final Fours -- is certainly the more conventional pick for Player of the Year. So the announcement doesn't really come as a surprise.

Worth noting: Ohio State was picked second, Purdue third.

So the Big Ten media only dropped the Boilermakers one spot because of Robbie Hummel's injury.

Again, it's not what I'd do.

But it's certainly a reasonable way to vote.
Posted on: March 25, 2010 9:47 am
Edited on: March 25, 2010 9:55 am

Are the Lucas/Bryant injuries really a big deal?

HOUSTON -- How big are the injuries to Kalin Lucas and Darryl Bryant?

Not very, if you pay attention to gambling lines.

"We currently have Michigan State as a 1-point favorite [over Northern Iowa]," said Sportsbook.com's Dave Staley. "With Lucas they would have been about a 3-point favorite. ... So Lucas is worth about two points."

Meantime, West Virginia was a 5-point favorite over Washington before Bryant broke his foot Tuesday, at which point the line was adjusted to 4.5. The Mountaineers are now 4-point favorites. So if you trust oddsmakers -- and considering they're pretty much the only people who win at betting on sports, you probably should -- then you must conclude that Michigan State will still be solid in Lucas' absence and that Bryant's injury won't greatly affect WVU.
Posted on: March 22, 2010 7:44 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2010 7:46 pm

MRI confirms torn Achilles for MSU's Lucas

An MRI conducted Monday confirmed Michigan State's Kalin Lucas ruptired the Achilles tendon in his left foot during Sunday's win over Maryland. The junior point guard will need at least four months to recover, maybe six.

“We feel terrible for Kalin; he was having a great NCAA Tournament,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “The good news is there is no doubt he will make a full and complete recovery. He’s a tough kid and he’ll do everything necessary to return to his elite level."

Lucas was averaging 14.8 points and 4.0 assists this season.

Michigan State plays Northern Iowa in the Sweet 16.
Posted on: February 8, 2010 12:28 pm

Izzo: Unclear if Lucas will play against Purdue

AUSTIN, Texas -- Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said this morning that it remains unclear whether point guard Kalin Lucas will be available for Tuesday's showdown with Purdue.

Lucas sprained his ankle in last week's loss to Wisconsin.

He did not play Saturday night at Illinois.

The Spartans (19-5 overall, 9-2 in the Big Ten) are still in first place in the league standings, but their two-game losing streak has allowed Wisconsin (18-5, 8-3), Ohio State (18-6, 8-3), Illinois (16-8, 8-3) and Purdue (19-3, 7-3) to pull to just one game back in the loss column.

Lucas is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year.

He's averaging 15.6 points and 4.0 assists per game.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 3, 2010 5:41 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 5:59 pm

X-rays confirm sprained ankle for Lucas

X-rays performed Wednesday confirmed that Michigan State point guard Kalin Lucas suffered a sprained ankle in Tuesday night's loss at Wisconsin. His availability for this weekend is unclear.

Michigan State did not practice Wednesday.

The Spartans play at Illinois on Saturday night.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 15, 2009 9:17 am
Edited on: October 15, 2009 9:19 am

Izzo can talk for 26 minutes straight, at least

Lots of basketball programs held Media Day on Wednesday, but I can't imagine any were quite like the one at Michigan State, if only because it featured Tom Izzo delivering a 26-minute opening statement.

Seriously, 26 minutes.

I just watched the whole thing.

And in addition to serving as a great study session on the Spartans -- I can now tell you everything you'd want to know about Korie Lucious -- it reminded me that Izzo doesn't mind breaking down his team for reporters in a way that's truly unique. He acknowledged the lofty expectations, but didn't shy away from them. He praised the consistency of his program, but talked about needing to do a better job in certain areas. He lauded most players, but questioned some aspects of nearly all of them -- including the leadership abilities of Kalin Lucas and Raymar Morgan.

To be clear, Izzo didn't say Lucas and Morgan can't lead; he just said he wasn't sure if they could lead, and that it was one of his concerns heading into the season, because it's difficult to accomplish much when your co-captains and widely recognized best players aren't leaders.

"Do we have the leadership?" Izzo asked himself. "Being able to lead yourself is one thing; being able to lead a group of people is another. And I don't say that negatively toward them. I just say that it is yet to be seen because it always takes place when adversity hits, which I'm sure it will hit a few times this year. So that is a big concern, our leadership."

Click this link to watch Izzo at Media Day.

Tons of good stuff in there.
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