You knew it from the way he went down on Sunday afternoon, but an MRI confirmed today that star Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas tore his left Achilles tendon in that amazing second round game against Maryland.
The Spartans and their fans have to be wondering what else can happen to this team. Michigan State’s players have already achieved more than what could have been expected of them, considering the injuries they’ve sustained: Lucas is the team’s leading scorer and dime-dropper and is known as one of the mentally toughest players in the game. Delvon Roe was visibly limping in the Maryland game on a right knee that’s already endured one surgery, Chris Allen could only go for four minutes because of a right foot injury he suffered in the first tournament game against New Mexico State, and Raymar Morgan has a busted tooth.
If Tom Izzo and his banged-up squad want to get by a Northern Iowa team playing mesmerizing basketball right now, not only do they need more minutes and more production from already hurting players, they also need some serious help from the bench. Korie Lucious averaged 22 minutes and 5.2 points a game during the season, but played 27 minutes and contributed 13 points including the game-winner on Sunday. He and Draymond Green are the two Spartans who immediately come to mind as far as who has to really step up now. Specifically at the guard position, Lucious and Durrell Summers can look forward to playing almost every minute if Allen can’t go. Junior Mike Kebler (4.0 MPG in 22 games, 0.4 PPG), a former walk-on, played eight minutes against the Terrapins and could see even more time, now. Derrick Nix (7.8 MPG and 2.5 PPG), a 6’5 and 280-pound freshman, and 6’5 sophomore Austin Thornton (5.7 MPG in 30 games, 1.1 PPG, also a former walk-on) can provide relief minutes at the forward positions; both saw time against Maryland, contributing eight and four points, respectively.
If you’d like to learn more about Lucas’ injury, read on: