February 9, 2009

VIDEO: Lucas says Spartans need to attack the 1-3-1

EAST LANSING - If you don't already know that Michigan State sophomores Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers played on the same summer team as Michigan star Manny Harris you do now and by the end of tomorrow night's game between No. 9 Michigan State and Michigan at Crisler Arena you will be sick of hearing about it.

For in-state players like Lucas and Summers a win over Michigan means a little bit more on a personal level. But Lucas and every other Spartan from the state of Michigan understands that in the big picture every Big Ten game counts one in the win-loss column. That has become painfully obvious this year after home losses to Northwestern and Penn State.

"Our main thing is that we know what we are going to do," said Lucas. "We are going to come out ready to play."

Harris ranks second overall among Big Ten scorers with an average of 17.5 points per game. Lucas is averaging 14.8 points per game overall which ranks No. 7 in the Big Ten. During conference games, however, it is Lucas that has a better average than Harris. The Spartan sophomore is averaging 17.5 points per game during Big Ten play while Harris averages 15.3 points during Big Ten play.

Knowing Harris as well as he does, Lucas understands that Harris will be ready to play against the Spartans. A win over Michigan State would brighten Michigan's hopes of getting an NCAA tournament bid that has eluded the program since 1998.

"Manny is very competitive," said Lucas, who played with Harris in the summer on The Family and played against him in high school during the playoffs when Orchard Lake St. Mary's met Harris and Detroit Southeastern in Class A quarterfinals when both players were juniors. "The one thing about Manny is that he does hate to lose. To get them to the NCAA tournament is going to be real big for him."

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