The Spartans' Lucas Returns to the Court in a Top 10 Matchup Against Purdue
Kalin Lucas, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, returned to the court tonight for the first time in a week since injuring his ankle against Wisconsin. Prior to the game tonight, Coach Tom Izzo said Lucas would play, but his guard felt only "65%". The result is that sophomore guard, Korie Lucious would start his second game in a row, but Lucas would enter the game shortly thereafter.
Lucas finally entered the game in the first half and quickly received an outlet pass and took it the length of the court for a two-point lay up. Even at "65%", Lucas is still quicker than the Purdue guards, but he is also still a better option than Lucious. Lucious has forced some jumpers in the first half and couldn't convert on a breakaway lay up; with Lucas in the lineup, the Spartans look more poised and in control. Although Michigan State is down at the half, Coach Izzo will need to utilize Lucas more in the second half.
Something to keep an eye out for in the second half: if Lucas' ankle stiffens up or becomes so sore that Lucas thinks it is not wise to continue playing.