August 31, 2010
Only weeks after Michigan State severed ties with senior guard Chris Allen as a result of a series of team rules violations, Allen's potential replacement in the Spartans' starting backcourt apparently is also in trouble of a different sort.
Promising junior guard Korie Lucious was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving at 2:30 a.m. Monday morning, according to Lansing TV station WLNS. The 20-year-old guard apparently took a breathalizer test and blew a .09, slightly above the legal limit of .08 even if he were already 21.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo isn't commenting on the report until he gathers more information about the incident. It's difficult to project how Izzo will discipline Lucious, but a suspension during the preseason seems like the most likely outcome unless there's some previous history here that we don't know about.
The incident involving Lucious will surely raise questions about whether Izzo would like to have Allen back on his roster. Allen, who since transfered to Iowa State, has said Izzo kicked him off the team because of tardiness, missed curfews and academic issues.
Michigan State fans weren't overly concerned with the loss of Allen in part because of the presence of Lucious, the hero of the Spartans' second-round NCAA tournament win over Maryland last season. Lucious replaced injured Kalin Lucas in Michigan State's backcourt for the rest of the tournament and helped the Spartans reach a second straight Final Four.
A prolonged absence for Lucious could be damaging for Michigan State with Lucas still recovering from his Achilles injury and the Spartans set to face a difficult preseason schedule as usual.
Among the opponents on Michigan State's non-conference schedule are national champion Duke, Syracuse, Texas and South Carolina. They could also face Kentucky, Connecticut or Washington in the Maui Invitational