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NCAA tournament 2010: Injury update on Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen

Here are some news and notes items from today's media sessions with Maryland and Michigan State in advance of Sunday's NCAA tournament second round contest ...

1) Kalin Lucas almost certainly will play; Chris Allen's status is far more questionable. Two of Michigan State's starting guards suffered injuries during the Spartans' win over New Mexico State on Friday. Lucas, a first team all-Big Ten selection, re-injured his right ankle with 6:31 left in the second half. He originally injured the ankle on Feb. 2 at Wisconsin. Lucas practiced with the team Saturday and said of his ankle: "It feels great. It’s 100 percent." Expect Lucas, who leads the Spartans in scoring (15.2 ppg), to play his full share of minutes tomorrow.

As for Allen, his prognosis is less certain. Allen went down with 5:22 remaining Friday night. He sprained a tendon on the bottom of his right foot. On Saturday, Allen sported a walking boot and did not practice with the team. Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said he was encouraged that Allen put on a pair of sneakers and was able to walk around, but "it's a day-to-day, minute-to-minute thing. I just don’t have any idea where he’ll be."

Allen, Michigan State's top three-point shooting threat, is averaging 8.8 points per game. When asked whether he expected to play Sunday, Allen said, "Definitely I do. I mean, I’m probably not going to play 30 minutes, 20 minutes, but 10 minutes could help us dramatically."

2) Allen's uncertain status will affect how Michigan State defends Greivis Vasquez. Izzo said he'll alternate having Lucas (6 feet) and senior forward Raymar Morgan (6-8) guard Vasquez (6-6) on Sunday. But Izzo noted that's only because his first choice for a defender against Vasquez likely will be limited, if even available at all.

"I probably would have put Chris Allen on him a lot because he’s got a little bit more size and he’s been very good defensively," Izzo said. "If he doesn’t play, that’s definitely going to hamper us some. Maybe a lot."

Allen (6-3) said he felt as though the biggest issue his potential absence might cause his team would be on the defensive end, as well.

"That’s pretty much what I’ve been thinking about," Allen said. "Just me being on the court, being able to guard Vasquez, that would help major. I mean, I could have tired him out."

3) Maryland will wear its gold jerseys tomorrow. The Terrapins weren't allowed to on Friday, but they got clearance to wear their gold uniforms during tomorrow's game against Michigan State. The players were excited about this development.

4) Kansas lost. Yeah, you probably already know this by now. Hopefully, you were able to see the end of that game live. But Northern Iowa's triumph over Kansas, the tournament's top overall seed, adds to the stakes of Sunday's Maryland-Michigan State contest. The winner not only gets to advance to the Sweet 16, it gets to advance knowing it won't have to face the Jayhawks, who many observers agree possess(ed) the most talented roster in the field.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 20, 2010; 8:53 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: NCAA tournament 2010: Three things to watch


I hope the team isn't reading this.

Expect to play their best players at 100%.

Suck it up and beat them!

Posted by: petecard | March 20, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The yellow jerseys will solve everything. They're to us what spinach is to Popeye.

Posted by: fushezzi | March 20, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the stars are aligning. For as much as Michigan State scares me, I am estatic that KU lost. And now they can wear gold? Sweet!

I love how composed this team was last night, if they can play that way tomorrow they'll be looking at a sweet sixteen date with northern Iowa. Now is your time Terps, get it done!

Posted by: H1Dynasty | March 20, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Let's play smart, let's make shots, let's play hard and let's kick a** tomorrow.

Posted by: PeteinAZ | March 20, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

So I'm at work while the Terps play and home just in time to see Duke? That's just not right.


Posted by: erniegogo | March 21, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Go Michigan State! Tom Izzo is a great coach and the Spartans will win. Written as a loyal Spartan alum.

Posted by: jefinch | March 21, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Beat it nerd

Posted by: Barno1 | March 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Do not think about UNI. Focus on Mich State. Box out and fight hard for every rebound. We still may lose the rebounding battle (it is an Izzo team) but if we keep it close, I think we win the game. Forget about the fact that you beat them last year - it does not matter. Forget about looking at other brackets and take care of the business at hand. Execute the offense and play disciplined team defense as you have all year and its a win. One game at a time. Was nice to see the team get on track in the 2nd half on Friday Night and play well with the lead.

Win the game, and the Sweet 16 trip that this board almost unanimously agreed would assure GV's greatness will be achieved (I know some of us rate him there, but clearly a trip to regionals was the minimum others were holding out for). Win this game and GW will have effectively exorcised all demons from the past few seasons and detractors will likely be a bit more silenced.

I hope the fans that are in Spokane and post on this board have a chance to hook up before the game. I know Poopy is there and I hope he is bringing the noise.

One final note - JW is peaking at the right time. Great hands for a big. We need to get another in the recruiting pipeline quickly because another few games like that and the agents will be whispering in his ear. Still think we have him for at least one more season.

Regards to all -


Posted by: HughGRection | March 21, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I blame Poopy for this loss. Guy hasn't been to a MD bball game in years, then goes to this one and look what happens. In addition to being the scum of the earth, he's also bad luck

Posted by: Barno1 | March 21, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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