2009-2010 Michigan State Spartans Basketball Preview
The Michigan State Spartans (31- 7 overall, 15- 3 Big Ten) took the conference last season and then in the NCAA Tournament defeated Robert Morris, USC, Kansas, Louisville and Connecticut to make it to the championship game. The Spartans lost that contest to the North Carolina Tar Heels 89- 72. This season, Michigan State is hoping to do almost the exact same thing. Except this time, they want to win that final game.
Although Michigan was 10th in scoring defense last season, allowing 63.7 PPG, that was offset by their first place ranking in scoring offense, as they averaged 72.0 PPG. They were especially tough under the boards, posting a rebound margin of plus-9.3, which was also first. Although they were good from the field 45% of the time, which placed them third in the league, they hit 35% (6th) of their threes and 70% (8th) of their frees.
The frontcourt has unproven talent. Sophomore forward Delvon Roe (5.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.9 APG) played well in his first year despite dealing with injuries. After undergoing major knee surgery, everyone is hoping that he’s got the stuff to be a premium player. Another sophomore forward, Draymond Green (3.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.8 APG), will see action. Green is a tub but not very tall. The problem is height in the front. Junior center Tom Herzog (0.6 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.1 APG) is the only tall guy on board, but he’s played precious little.
Point guard Kalin Lucas (14.7 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 4.6 APG) is one of the best in the nation. Lucas has moves, can separate from opponents and has developed his perimeter shot. Junior Durrell Summers (8.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.8 APG) looks to be a natural point producer. He’s one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Junior Chris Allen (8.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.3 APG) must find more consistency in his shot, while combo guard Korie Lucious (3.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 1.2 APG) has the ability to come through when needed.
Head coach Tom Izzo has a fine team, but it’s not without its problems. The frontcourt is a concern, but this is a deep team with a lot of talent and skill. A second Big Ten title and another NCAA Championship bid is within this team’s reach. Plus, Michigan State has been in more Final Fours in the past 11 years than any other team in the nation: five. Six in 12 years is definitely a possibility.