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March 16, 2011

Some thoughts and some things to come

First of all, the live chat will be 10 a.m. Eastern on Thursday as usual. Also, I have info on the pep rally and on more tickets available out of UCLA's allotment.

    Sorry on the chat, West Coaster GeorgeK, hop on at 7 with some coffee. Speaking of posters, thanks to hatrack and Chicago Spartan (or was it Chicago Sparty?) for introducing yourselves, along with Mr. Harb.

    Tonight, they saw Delvon Roe participate in the post-practice dunk exhibition for the first time in his career (that's my unofficial statistic, but I'm officially 99 percent sure of it). That's a testament to the health of Roe's knee, which he said is loving the 80-degree temps. They also saw Durrell Summers shooting extremely well. We have a big piece on Summers in Thursday's edition, but here's an excerpt on what he believes he has figured out about his shooting slump:

    “All season, I know why I wasn’t making shots,” said Summers, who discovered a mechanical flaw in his shot Sunday night. “It’s not something I can really explain. I know why. And it was up to me, and my teammates were helping me and the coaches and talking to God, trying to figure it out.
    “And I feel comfortable and confident that I have figured out what was the problem. Hopefully I don’t let it happen no more to me. My plan is to keep playing basketball for a long time. And with that mistake that I made a while back, it cost me a lot. But I’ve learned from it and it made me a lot stronger today.”
    For the past few weeks, Summers has been watching clips of himself during last year’s NCAA Tournament, highlight packages put together by MSU video coordinator Jordan Ott. Shooting, defending, running off screens, regular speed and slow motion.
    On Sunday at the apartment he and best friend Kalin Lucas share, Summers was hit by a realization: His elbow has not been straight enough, and he has not been shooting with the same smooth motion this year.
    He hustled to Breslin Center and put up some shots with the new/old form. They swished from all angles and distances.
    It was the same story Wednesday. Summers was red-hot from outside at MSU’s public practice at St. Pete Times Forum, with an MSU fan yelling to him at one point: “Durrell’s feeling it now!”
    “It’s something that simple,” Summers said of the tweak in form. “It ain’t simple, because I couldn’t figure it out for a whole season, but it’s something that was that simple (between) missing and making.”
    The question now is whether Summers can make those shots in a game.

    Now, about those tickets. Matt Larson reports that UCLA has lower-level seats available. If you're in the area and are looking, you can score some by calling 310-825-2101, or go to the UCLA ticket window Thursday at the arena. The cost is $77.

    Now, about that pep rally. It's at the Hilton Tampa Westshore (2225 North Lois Ave.) at 5 p.m. Thursday. Izzo, Simon, Sparty, band, cheerleaders, etc. It's outside near the back entrance of the hotel. It's free but pre-registration IS REQUIRED. You can do that right here.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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