Kalin Lucas just can't miss.
Practically everything that he shoots lately seems to be going in for Michigan State's freshman guard, as Lucas put on a shooting display on Saturday afternoon against Wisconsin-Green Bay.
14 first half points (17 total) including a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range had coach Tom Izzo and his Spartan teammates talking big things.
"He has worked very hard on his shooting, the last two weeks have been very good for Kalin with his shot," said Izzo. "He has put in extra time; he's shooting the ball better in practice."
"He's playing good, didn't run the team quite like he did against Texas though," added Izzo.
After being a starter early in the season, Lucas has been the first sub into the game off the bench and has gotten pretty comfortable from the spot, being a major reason why Michigan State's bench points make the difference in games.
"He's just a great player, he's getting to be comfortable," said Travis Walton. "He can score 18 to 20 points every night. He's just becoming a great player, that's something big, that's a big lift off the bench, when maybe Drew (Neitzel) or Raymar (Morgan) aren't knocking down shots it's a big lift off the bench to have Kalin score like that."
After scoring 18 points and playing superior defense against Texas' D.J. Augustin, arguably the best point guard in the country, Lucas has found his confidence and a comfort level with his shot that might scare many Big Ten teams as the Spartans (12-1) finished their non-conference schedule by beating UWGB (7-4) 93-75.
"It's just hard work, I'm just working on my jump shot and just working on my game," said Lucas. "It's just what coach keeps telling me to just keep working on my jumper and that's what I' doing."
"I have to add the spark to the team, I am the point guard so I have to run the team," added Lucas.
Behind Lucas' 17 points, MSU featured a balanced attack in their final game of 2007, with the usual suspects on the scoring sheet.
Raymar Morgan scored 24 points, Drew Neitzel added 16 points, and another freshman, Durrell Summers got into the mix with 10 points of his own.
The third and final potent part of MSU's freshman trio, Chris Allen, made his return into the lineup after missing the last three games with a bone bruise in his lower leg. Allen scored only 2 points in six minutes but said after the game that this next week off before facing Minnesota next Saturday will be critical in his return to 100 percent.
Lucas' hot shooting seemed to spread to the whole team, as MSU shot lights out in the game, 58 percent from the field and 48 percent in the on Saturday.
The non-conference schedule for Michigan State is now complete, with their only loss coming to the No.1 team in the nation at the time, UCLA.
In the next MSU Hoops report, we break down the non-conference schedule and give the Spartans an overall report card as they head into the new year ready to open Big Ten play against Minnesota next Saturday.
UWGB Game Report: Lucas Catching Fire
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