Okay, gloves off.
No stats, no recaps, none of that.
If you have ever read my stuff on Bleacher Report , you would notice that I keep to a newspaper style of writing. On this blog, I want to be more opinionated, but without being out of line at the same time.
Here it goes, this is what I think about the 2010 Michigan State Spartans basketball team.
If you know me, you know that I live, eat and breathe MSU hoops. I have loved the Spartans since I was a young kid—back in the “Jud Days.”
I can quote stats, players (where from, high school, etc)—it’s my passion.
Anyway, back to this year’s team.
I can’t help but think with the amount of talent on the roster, that this group can still be considered to have an “outside chance” of reaching Indianapolis. Look at past Spartan squads that have made it, and you’ll find that the amount of power on this year’s unit is equal, if not greater than the yesteryear crews.
Yes, even without Kalin Lucas, Sparty is still a team to fear.
Injuries and suspension have plagued the Spartans all year. What gives?
Does anyone want to really make a run to the Final Four? Or is it just talk?
I think Korie Lucious does. I think Draymond Green, Durrell Summers, and Raymar Morgan do, too.
Tom Izzo does.
The problems with all the rumors and distractions aren’t new; it’s something that every high-profile program goes through at some point in time.
With the amount of “star power” on Izzo’s roster, anything less than a trip to Indy would be considered a failure. Lucas or not. I know that may sound off the wall, but really, if you think about it, it’s very close to the truth.
Look at guys like Green, Morgan, and Summers. Look at Delvon Roe and Garrick Sherman—both fierce competitors that are hungry. This team is loaded with heart and ability.
All of these guys that I mentioned (even Sherman) would be the main attraction at other schools. State has all of them under one roof, on one floor, whatever. You get the point.
State has Lucas, easily one of the top 10 players in the nation, and people often overlook the rest of the studs in the lineup. Michigan State doesn’t need Lucas to be healthy to win, but it would help. He’s carried the team in the past, and I hope that some of that attitude has rubbed off on Lucious.
Judging by his performance against Vasquez’s turtles, I’d say he’s got a little “Kalin” in him.
Big shots at huge moments. That’s what makes a guy’s confidence go straight through the roof. An overload of bravado, if you will. That’s a good thing.
Michigan State needs to get cocky.
Being overly confident and cocky can get a team knocked out of the tournament quicker than Kid Rock gets thrown out of bars. Ask Kansas—Self’s guys didn’t give Northern Iowa an ounce of respect. Now they will be watching other teams compete for the title that they thought was theirs.
And that’s where the Jayhawks went wrong.
Michigan State has this stigma of being underachievers this year. Okay, so what?
It’s hard when a team has such a tradition, and if the Spartans aren’t one of the hottest teams in the regular season, people start to talk.
Well, guess what?
The regular season isn’t where the Spartans have made a name for themselves over the last decade; it’s in March.
Right now. March Madness. This is where the Spartans come together and show the nation what they’re made of.
Five Final Fours since 1999, and yet, Izzo is still the underdog. I have to admit, I had State losing to Kansas in the Sweet 16. So much for that bracket. Don’t laugh; you probably did as well.
Here’s the thing: now that Kansas has bowed out early, the Spartans can cash in and really make a national championship run. I mean that. There’s more than just a half of a chance here, folks.
It’s real. The national title could be Michigan State’s if it wants it bad enough. I don’t know if the Spartans truly understand the magnitude of the Kansas loss. I’m sure Izzo does, and he’s probably beating that into their heads right about now—especially after nearly blowing a double-digit lead to the Terps today.
That was close. I’ve never (okay, I have) used that many four letter words while watching a game in my life. It was intense. It would be hard to imagine that feeling Lucious must have had once he drilled the game-winning three.
Lucious failed earlier this year when he was Lucas’ pro-temp, but he has the chance to change Spartan fans’ opinion of him. I think I can speak for most of them by saying that Lucious is a talented athlete.
We all know that. He plays ball in East Lansing. Being good is a requirement, I think.
Lucious has proven that he too, has ice-water in his veins. That shot was huge.
The sophomore has an opportunity to do what Lucas did last year: put the Spartans on his back and carry them to another Final Four.
Throw your brackets out.
It’s time to make a new list of Final Four teams. You might as well jot the Michigan State Spartans down on that list as one of the “new” contenders in the reshaped March Madness tournament that we all love.