Draymond Green Needs to Lead Michigan State out of Doldrums

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Draymond Green MSU

I’m beginning to think Kalin Lucas is overrated. Sure he’s accomplished a lot in his college basketball career, but the MSU floor general is the main culprit for all these Michigan State Spartans turnovers. The #8 Syracuse Orange gave #7 Mich St. a good ole fashioned whopping Tuesday night, and much of it was due to the shoddy ball-handling.

And a lot of that is on Lucas, the starting point guard; who had 6 TOs to go with just 2 assists. State now has as many 20+ turnover games this year as they had all of last year, and they have committed more turnovers than assists in half their games thus far.

Maybe their primary ball-handler, Lucas, isn’t really himself? Less than half of those athletes who suffer major Achilles injuries ever come back at full strength.

Maybe it’s a different player on State who needs to lead the Spartans back up to the top, and get them ready for Big Ten play?

draymond

Draymond Green is typically a stat sheet stuffer, but during this de facto road game, his stat line was rather unimpressive: 1-6 shooting, just 6 points. but he did have 11 boards in 29 foul plagued minutes. And since he’s arguably the team’s best passer, maybe he can help the team’s very lackluster handling of the rock. He certainly is one of the team’s leaders.

Illini Coach Bruce Weber extolled Green’s virtues when the Spartans visited Champaign for a high profile ESPN College Gameday event.

“The kid cares,” Weber said. “He wants to win. He’ll do anything. He listens. He’s coachable. To me, it’s like (Charles) Barkley, a little bit. He’s got that big body but he’s got skills. And he’s as good a passer as anybody. Our big guys, they get the ball and running two dribbles, I’m stopping ‘em. He’s got a lot of things going for him and the thing that tops it and again, I’m on the outside watching in, is just his leadership, how he interacts with everyone including the coaches.

State is 321st in all of college basketball right now in turnovers, so they’ll need to take care of the ball better at all positions, including at the 3 and 4. Spartans Coach Tom Izzo had a lot to say about the Lakers fan college kid as well.

“He’s a warrior, man. He’s a warrior,” Izzo said. “He just grits his teeth and doesn’t care about all the flash and dash. He is the perfect Spartan. He’s a blue-collar work horse. I’m going to ride him like a jackass. He’s tougher than nails and winning matters to him, it really does. I wish we had some more of those guys.”

I asked Draymond about receiving the Barkley comparisons at Big Ten Media Day.

“He’s one of the greatest, so I have a long way to go to get to that level, but that’s not a bad person to model your game on,” he said.

Here’s a Flipcam video I shot with Draymond at the Big Ten Tournament last season.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

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