Spartans Honor Past, Aim High for Future

Midnight Madness included tributes to past greats and a glimpse of what's to come. From starters to freshman to role players, the Spartans appear ready to hit the season rolling.

EAST LANSING — Last night, Michigan State displayed an abundance of talent for a near capacity crowd and set the expectations very high (as usual) for the upcoming season.

While the evening was called "Flashback Friday", this Midnight Madness provided more of a look to the future than anything — and that future is a bright one.

The Spartans honored the 1979 National Championship team in many ways throughout the festivities, the funniest being their donning of the short shorts that Magic Johnson and Greg Kelser wore while cutting down the nets in Salt Lake City 30 years ago.

After a quick wardrobe change, the Spartans, clad in their new Nike "System of Dress" uni's, took to the court for a dunk contest.

Marquise Gray threw down some powerful dunks and Chris Allen showed some hops of his own, but by far the winner was Durrell Summers, who finished the contest by throwing the ball of the 35-Second clock atop the backboard and slamming it home with authority.

While every player on the Spartan roster saw some time in the 20 minute scrimmage, a few stood out.

Freshman Korie Lucious did his best Pete Maravich impression looking like a natural handling the ball and drawing plenty of oohs and ahhhs from the crowd with pistol-esque dishes to Durrell Summers, Chris Allen and Raymar Morgan. Lucious' speed also set him apart; he was always in control even when darting through the lane.

It also became abundantly clear that this is Kalin Lucas' team. The sophomore point guard only scored three points, but when on the floor, he was in charge, calling the plays, handling the ball and creating chances for his teammates. Lucas' highlight of the night was a baseline drive no-look pass to Draymond Green, who added two points and a handful of rebounds.

With Lucas and Lucious, the Spartan offense may as well be called the blur, because it will be tough for any team in the country to match the duo's speed.

Delvon Roe wore a brace and looked tentative as he tested out his surgically repaired knee. He moved around the court fine, but did not have the explosiveness that fans might have expected. Once he returns to full-health a truer judgment can be made.

Goran Suton lead all scorers with 10 points, but the most impressive forward was Idong Ibok. Ibok, a somewhat unknown commodity during his tenure as a Spartan, showed some very nice footwork in the low post. He scored six points and flashed some real potential as a threat on the block.

As always, Ibok came to play on defense, blocking three shots and altering others. If Ibok can become a defensive stopper and continue to improve his low post offensive skills, he could help fill the void left by Drew Naymick down low.

If role players and freshman such as Ibok and Lucious can contribute, the 2008-2009 Spartans will be poised to head down I-75 to Detroit for the Final Four.

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