Michigan State’s Expectationless 2011-12 Team May Surprise You

Drew Neitzel

When Tom Izzo looks at this current Michigan State Spartans crew, he sees similarities to the 2007- 2008 Drew Neitzel led squad. The coach referenced this at the school’s media day and said that this year’s team is young, gritty but close-knit.

Neitzel’s team, and it was his team no doubt, is like the mold of this year’s squad.

That final four team had lost its trio of superstars—stellar seniors Maurice Ager and Paul Davis and junior Shannon Brown, who now has a few rings with the L.A. Lakers. This year’s team has lost experienced Final Four veterans, and quite frankly, expectations are barely existent.

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Is Korie Lucious Going to Iowa St? Refuge of Big 10 Cast-offs

korie lucious

On Saturday, suspended Michigan State guard Korie Lucious visited Ames, Iowa. He tweeted about checking out the Iowa State campus, and now it looks somewhat likely he’ll join ex-Spartans teammate Chris Allen, Minnesota Golden Gopher transfer Royce White and Penn State transfer Chris Babb.

Basically, Fred Hoiberg’s program is becoming the refuge for troubled and malcontent Big Ten players. Call it “the island of misfit toys” for Big Ten college basketball players.

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Michigan State is a Program in Severe Crisis, but What’s Next?


As I articulated in the first part of this feature, the Michigan State college basketball season is ostensibly over. (Follow that link for more detail, but if your only colors are green and white I’m warning you now: “there’s no comfort in the truth, pain is all you’ll find,” as George Michael told us in the 1980s)

State’s packing it in is no longer news to anyone close the program; the latest no-show at Carver-Hawkeye Arena cemented their ticket not to the NCAAs, but the NIT (if they can get 3-4 more wins this season), or more likely the second division of the Big Ten. Without hyperbole, you can say Wednesday night was the worst loss of the Tom Izzo era and it makes you wonder if there’s any confidence remaining in that locker room these days. Meaning it’s already time to start thinking about next year.

And with that, time to start taking a hard look at the host of issues surrounding the current roster.

By Paul M. Banks

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Michigan State Dismisses Korie Lucious for the Rest of the Season

korie lucious

Are things really starting to come unraveled for Michigan State this college basketball season?

First, you had head coach Tom Izzo call out his team as a bunch of “pretty boy jump shooters” following a putrid performance at home versus Texas. Then you had a losing stretch which leaves the Spartans just one defeat shy of their loss total from all of last season, and we’re not even done with January.

The preseason #2 team in the nation also looks dead in the water when it comes to the Big Ten conference race. And it doesn’t help that Izzo sounds like he’s in a lovers’ quarrel with leading scorer Durrell Summers; given the way he’s gone out of his way to call Summers out in the past three press conferences.

And tonight things got even worse.

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Michigan State’s Lucious facing DUI Charges

korie lucious

It hasn’t been the best offseason for Michigan State basketball. First the troubled Chris Allen, who had been in and out of Coach Tom Izzo‘s doghouse, was kicked off the team.  And now backup point guard Korie Lucious, who became a star in his own right during March madness faces a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Kalin Lucas will be running the point again in East Lansing, but if he goes down with an injury again, Lucious will be a key player.

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Korie Lucious Emerges as new Spartans Leader (Video)

korie lucious

By Paul M. Banks

When Kalin Lucas went down, Michigan St. lost their best player and floor general. His replacement Korie Lucious, a 5-10 sophomore point guard from Milwaukee, did an admirable job in his place.

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MSU vs. Maryland: already an East Lansing Classic

By Jeff Ghiringhelli

The final 30 seconds of Sunday’s NCAA Tournament second round game between Michigan State and Maryland should rank very highly on the list of all-time tournament finishes. The frantic pace resulted in three lead changes in the final half minute, with no timeouts or fouls called. The up and down action eventually ended with a game-winning three pointer by Korie Lucious, sending Michigan State to the Sweet Sixteen.

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Tom H to the Izzo Tournament Edition

Tom Izzo Interview breaking down State’s strengths and weaknesses

By Paul M. Banks

Of all the Big Ten teams in the tournament, the one that everyone expects to actually do some damage this March is Michigan St. The #2 seed in the Midwest Regional, if they can survive Louisville and company, they would play in the Final Four, right in their backyard in Detroit. So what kind of team is Michigan State and how far can the Spartans go? Let Tom Izzo tell you. We all know that coaches and athlete interviews are usually the most boring things to read/listen to imaginable, so I made sure to do the screening for you and leave in only the interesting and relevant things the legendary coach had to say at a recent March press conference.

Izzo explains why he called his him dysfunctional earlier this season…

“You know dysfunctional doesn’t mean you have to appreciate my vocabulary, it doesn’t mean we’re in disarray, it just means we’re not functioning smoothly. That’s the big thing, Raymar Morgan has something to do with that. And with a number of freshmen and sophomores playing an extended period of time- Green and Korie they’re on the scout team, so they don’t even practice and your timing on plays is part of our problem. But to their credit they’re starting to grow and get character wins in tough places”

On the underrated and often overlooked senior center Idong Ibok…

“He really is a great defender. And that’s one of the kids that you gotta say you love, he’s a graduate student, he hasn’t been home in 6 years, he just never complains and he’s a big reason we won a Big Ten title”
Assessing the strength of his team’s defense…

“Defense can be measured in a lot of ways: points allowed, opposing field goal percentage, but it’s almost like what Jay Bilas says about heart, you measure it when things are on the line. And I thought down the stretch our defense is getting better, it’s been pretty solid when we’ve had the right lineups in there. We have versatility and that’s what I like about this team, where you can bring an ID (Ibok) and he makes a big difference and I’m excited for him.”

Overall, the injury-riddled season and how he’s overcome it

“It’s gonna go down as one of the harder 26 win seasons of my career and that doesn’t mean in a negative way, it just means from Durrell Summers’ ankle injury that lasts a few days to we’ve always had something, we’ve had three injuries that have been 4-5-6 weeks each and ten month things and that’s been harder to ever feel smooth and push the right buttons. But you got to approach everything and this how you do it in the NCAA tournament, So I’ve got to find some silver lining in a dark cloud”