March 29, 2010

Spartan pack fighting for their alpha Lucas

ST. LOUIS - Michigan State junior Kalin Lucas generated a little bit of a buzz on media day back in the fall when he showed off some fresh ink on his right arm which featured the text "Attack Or Die" along with the figure of a predatory beast bearing the resemblance of a saber tooth tiger.

When Lucas discussed the motivation for the tattoo for, the two-time all-Big Ten point guard explained the ink on his arm as a reminder to play aggressive and take it to opponents before they can take it to him. Ironically, Lucas' junior season came to an end on play where the former Orchard Lake St. Mary's star was in full attack mode.

Lucas will not be back in attack mode until his senior season for the Spartans. But Michigan State's leading scorer in 2009-2010 can take a measure of solace in the fact that his teammates are living the words inked his arm and they are doing so for him.

Michigan State is getting exceptional play on the wing from Lucas' childhood friend and AAU teammate Durrell Summers. They are also getting spirited play from forwards Draymond Green and Raymar Morgan. But Michigan State's latest run to the Final Four has seen nearly every player available to the Spartans contribute in one way or another. This group of Spartans hunt, attack, and advance as a pack or pride, all the willing rallying around their fallen teammate.

"I had a lot of emotion going on at that time," recalled Lucas. "I was excited but at the same time I was down because I am not playing the game. However, my troops, they all told me that they had my back and they have been playing some good basketball. And all of the players have said that they are playing for me so it felt great."

Summers has shown the depth of his friendship by transforming his game on both ends of the floor. The junior wing is no longer a liability on defense and the former Redford Covenant star has gone from showing flashes of brilliance on offense in every third game to being the MVP of the Midwest Regional.

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