As Michigan State's basketball team enters yet another Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament and hopes for another Final Four, fans are exited by the exploits of Draymond Green and his teammatesw. But what about departed Spartan stars of recent vintage? How quickly we forget them. I hate to say, but it's as though these young student/athletes are merely there for our entertainment, and then they become highly disposable.
This occurred to me while watching a taped replay of Michigan State's thrilling 85-83 win over Minnesota only two years ago, in the 2010 tourney, on the Big Ten Network.
Viewers would see Kalin Lucas go down with a leg injury late in the first half. This didn't look all that bad, but it turned out to be a serious ruptured Achilles. Kalin came back in 2010-11 for his senior season but he was never the same, and any NBA hopes he possessed were dashed by the bum leg. A web search reveals only that he signed with Olympacos of the Greek Basketball League in July 2011, was released, and then signed with Banvit of the Turkish Basketball League this past January.
Michigan State's attack against Maryland was carried by a red-hot Durrell Summers, who hit a bunch of triples and scored 26 points. Durrell was so impressive as a junior that he might have been drafted into the NBA as a 6-foot-5 big guard, but he loyally returned for his senior year. But he suddenly lost his shooting touch, as Spartan fans may well recall last year. He dropped all the way to 38.7 percent, and it seemed worse. Needless to say, he went undrafted and played for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. He had a two-game exhibition tryout with the weak Charlotte Bobcats last December, scored two points in 10 minutes, and was released. He went back to the Red Claws but played only a few more games.
Against Maryland, Korie Lucious hit the memorable buzzer-beating three-pointer for the win. He was suspended the next season for "conduct detrimental to the team," and the latest report on the web from March 2011 indicates he would transfer to Iowa State. However, his name does not appear on a 2011-12 summary of Iowa State season stats.
Footnote: Green didn't even start as a sophomore. In the Maryland game, he played 23 minutes as a sixth man and racked up his standard balanced line with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, including a clutch pass to Lucious for the game-winner. Draymond appears to have a bright future in or out of basketball, but will we care what happens to him once the tournament run is finished? Or like Kalin Lucas, Korie Lucious and Durrell Summers, does Draymond Green too become disposable?
- Sports & Recreation
- Draymond Green
- Kalin Lucas
- Durrell Summers
- Turkish Basketball League