Michigan State fans who fell asleep early on Tuesday will have an unpleasant surprise awaiting them when they wake up Wednesday morning.
That's because coach Tom Izzo announced late Tuesday night that guard Korie Lucious has been dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season for unspecified "conduct detrimental to the program." The junior averaged 6.5 points and 4.1 assists in 24.4 minutes per game so far this season and was best known for his game-winning shot against Maryland in the NCAA tournament last year.
"I didn't live up to the standards of the program," Lucious said in a statement released by the school. "Unfortunately, I let my teammates, my coaches, and myself down, and wish them the best for the rest of the season."
The dismissal of Lucious is the latest in a series of off-the-court distractions that have plagued Michigan State since the end of last season.
It started with Izzo's lengthy dalliance with the Cleveland Cavaliers before determining that he would return to Michigan State. Then came the dismissal of starting guard Chris Allen three months before the start of his senior season. And finally there was the suspension of Lucious in late August as a result of drunk driving charges.
The fact that the latest incident with Lucious isn't his first offense surely contributed to the harsh punishment. He clearly made another serious mistake and now he and his teammates will pay dearly for it.
For a Michigan State team that began the season as a national title favorite but has since lost seven games and slipped all the way to 25th in the polls, replacing Lucious will not be easy.
Although Lucious was shooting only 31.2 percent from the field, his ability as a distributor will be missed. Kalin Lucas will likely have to play on the ball more often and freshman Keith Appling will absorb some of Lucious' minutes.