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March 08, 2010

Lucas, Green, Morgan get Big Ten honors

Draymond Green is the Big Ten's Sixth Man of the Year, to no one's surprise (Yahoo! named him the nation's top sixth man today). Evan Turner is the easiest choice for POY that I can remember. And Kalin Lucas lands on the All-Big Ten first team.

    Lucas is just the 13th player in MSU history to land on the first team twice. Green is MSU's first sixth man winner since the award was created in 2006. Also, Isaiah Dahlman got MSU's Sportsmanship Award.

    Meanwhile, Green was a consensus third-team pick, and Raymar Morgan was on the coaches third team. Overall, my only quibble with the voting is that I thought JaJuan Johnson should have been on the first team. And while Matt Painter and Thad Matta split the voting for Coach of the Year, I think Bo Ryan deserved the nod.
    Also today, if you're already feeling like reminiscing about the title clincher over Michigan, click here and here. If you're wondering about the latest rankings and bracket projections, MSU stays No. 11 and is a No. 3 seed according to Joe Lunardi. Jerry Palm just told me he likes MSU's chances to secure a No. 3 this weekend.
    At Tom Izzo's news conference today...
    * He said he doesn't think Kalin Lucas will leave for the NBA after this year, quickly adding that he has thought that before about players who ended up bolting (Shannon Brown in 2006 is a prime example). Here's what Izzo has been telling Lucas in recent conversations:
    “You’ve just got to make sure you don’t pack your bags too early, and that’s what I’ve been spending time with him about," Izzo said. "I said, ‘You know, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of getting to the NBA, making it a goal, obsession, everything. Just enjoy the process a little bit more.’ And you know I think he’s putting way too much weight on his shoulders on stuff like that.
    "And I said, ‘Just unpack your bags and put the clothes on the chair next to the bed. Don’t put them in the closet, just put them there and enjoy the journey and you can always re-pack.’ And I don’t mean  that like he’s been obsessed, like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here this year,’ because he hasn’t. But I think everybody would agree that people thought that. And that puts pressure on kids, too.”
    * Izzo also said Lucas has been bothered by a toe infection, which started as athlete's foot. That kept Lucas out of some practice time, but the antibiotics are flowing and Izzo is hoping Lucas' wheels are at 100 percent by the weekend.
    * Izzo made it clear he really wants to win the Big Ten Tournament this year. Really. Really really. Offense is going to be a focal point this week, striking a balance. MSU has been going inside with great success lately, but Chris Allen has 10 shots in three games. The Spartans will need both working in the postseason.
    * Tom Herzog and Izzo did talk about senior day, but Herzog obviously opted not to participate. He will figure things out after the season, it's still possible he could decide to give up his final year of eligibility after graduating in May.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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