Hoops Preview - MSU

After a heartbreaking loss to the University of Kentucky, the Washington Huskies will have to regain their composure and confidence to knock off No. 2 Michigan State Wednesday. The winner will finish in third place of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. PST and will be aired live on ESPN2.

The Spartans, who are currently 3-1, struggled in their first game of the tournament against DII Chaminade University, the host of the tournament. The final score was 82-74; however Michigan State was down going into the half. Their second round game was against the prestigious, but young, Connecticut Huskies. Although Michigan State was often playing with the lead, UConn persevered in the end and saw off the Spartans 70-67.

Even with their loss to Connecticut, there are two words why the Spartans are ranked No. 2 and were pre-season favorites to win the Big Ten; Kalin Lucas.

Lucas, a 6-foot-1 senior point guard and team co-captain, is considered one of the top players in the country, and for good reason. This season he is averaging 17 points on 47 percent shooting from the field, five assists and 1.3 steals per contest. He is also a deadly shooter from the charity stripe, shooting 92 percent. He has been named to pre-season watch lists for every major award.

Also starting in the backcourt and making a solid impact for MSU is Durrell Summers. The 6-foot-4 senior guard is averaging 15 points on 46 percent shooting and 4.7 boards per game. He is also quite possibly the best pure athlete on the Spartans roster.

Perhaps the best all-around player on the Spartans roster, Draymond Green, a 6-foot-6 235 pound junior forward, has an impressive line of 13.3 points, 10 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. He is also an efficient shooter at 65 percent from the field.

Also starting in the frontline with Green will be Delvon Roe, a 6-foot-8 230 pound junior forward. Although he hasn't put up the stats that Green has, Roe has been very solid. He is averaging 9.3 points, seven rebounds, 1.3 steals and one block per contest. He was also picked to the pre-season All-Big Ten team by Athlon Sports College Basketball.

Rounding out the starting five will be Garrick Sherman, who will be starting at center. Sherman, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound sophomore, is averaging six points on an incredible 73 percent from the field, and 4.3 boards per game. He hasn't been an effective defensive player, however, as he has turned away just one block this season.

Coming off the bench is Keith Appling, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard, and Korie Lucious, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, and both should be expected to see near starter's minutes.

Following this game, Washington will return to a cold Emerald City to face Long Beach State (3-2) on Tuesday. The tipoff is set for 8 p.m. PST and will be carried live on Fox Sports Northwest.

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