Doghouse: Kalin Lucas held out of practice, may not play tonight

Posted: December 30, 2009 by Jared Field in College

Just try to make heads or tails of this report from the Lansing State Journal about the drama surrounding MSU star guard Kalin Lucas and head coach Tom Izzo.

Izzo took a lot of questions from the media regarding the decision to essentially suspend his star player for falling short of expectations on and off the court.

I’m most interested in this explanation of Lucas’ lack of production and focus this season: his impending opportunities to play in the NBA. I must say that I don’t believe he’s anywhere near good enough to play in the NBA right now, but I’m sure he’d disagree.

Check this out from the aforementioned report:

Reading between the lines, there’s been speculation that Kalin is looking to the NBA after this year…

“I hope he is.”

But could that be part of the distraction?

“I think that could be part of it. That’s not what he said to me, or that’s not really what I said to him. But I think that’s definitely what happens. If you look around the country, whenever guys have NBA chances –- not one-and-done definites, I’m talking about opportunities –- it becomes a distraction. That’s why I said … this should be really easy for you, really, because I gave you this the first day we met. I gave you leadership, chemistry and distractions as No. 1 on my list. I haven’t changed it. A couple press conferences, I reiterated it. I don’t know if you guys … I wish you would take to that as much as you’re taking to this. Because I don’t think anybody really saw that or looked at it or wondered. But we miss Walton a lot. We miss Suton a lot. We have players that I think can do those jobs. My job is to make sure that I get them to do those jobs, if I think they have the ability. So in a lot of ways, it’s more complimentary to Kalin than insulting. I think he has the ability to do something he ain’t doing.”

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