March 8, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Kalin Lucas was named First-Team All-Big Ten on Monday, becoming just the 13th player in Michigan State history to be a two-time first-team honoree. Draymond Green was a unanimous selection for Sixth Man of the Year honors, becoming the first Spartan to win the award since it was first introduced in 2006. Green was also named Third-Team All-Big Ten by both the league's coaches and media, while Raymar Morgan was a third-team selection by the coaches. Isaiah Dahlman was Michigan State's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Lucas was joined on the first team by Ohio State's Evan Turner, the Big Ten Player of the Year, as well as Illinois' Demetri McCamey, and Purdue's Robbie Hummel and E'Twuan Moore.
"I'm really happy for our three honorees," said MSU coach Tom Izzo. "For Kalin to earn First-Team All-Big Ten honors for a second-straight season is a credit not only to his skills but also to his importance to our team. We saw throughout the year that when he was healthy and playing well, we were a much better team.
"I'm excited for Draymond to be named Sixth Man of the Year. All season long, he put team goals ahead of his stats or his desire to start. As shown in his receiving third-team honors, he's clearly a player that could have started all season. His unselfishness made us a better team. It's appropriate that he received individual recognition for his team-first attitude.
"Raymar ends his career earning some form of All-Big Ten recognition each year, which is quite an accomplishment," Izzo continued. "It's a tribute to the consistency he's displayed over his career that we probably don't give him enough credit for. In the final month of his college career, he's playing the best basketball of the season. His ability to continue playing at a high level will be a key to our postseason success."
Lucas is averaging a team-best 14.8 points and 3.9 assists in leading the Spartans to a second-straight Big Ten regular-season championship. He is shooting a career-best .455 from the field this season. Of Michigan State's four losses, three came during a stretch where either Lucas did not play or play limited minutes with an ankle injury. Last season, Lucas was named Big Ten Player of the Year.
"It feels good to be part of a small group of great players at Michigan State," said Lucas. "This was something I worked for in the offseason and I kept working throughout the season. I was injured for a lot of the season, but I kept working hard and played through those injuries with help from my teammates.
"This year, we knew teams were going to bring their `A' games at us, so we had to bring our `A' game every night. We didn't always play our best, but we found a way to win by sticking together and working hard."
Green has come off the bench in 28 of 31 games this season, including all 18 conference games. He's the leading rebounder (7.8 rpg) on the Big Ten's best rebounding team and ranks fourth on the Spartans in scoring (10.1 ppg). Further demonstrating his versatility, he ranks first on the team in steals (40), second in field-goal percentage (.545) and blocks (24), and third in assists (3.1 apg).
"At the beginning of the year, Coach Izzo told me I could start, but that he thought I could help the team more by coming off the bench and bringing a spark and some energy to the team," said Green. "After a couple games, I really started to feel comfortable in the role. Coach even asked me again later in the year how I felt about starting, and I said I was comfortable coming off the bench because I liked to see the flow of the game.
"This is quite an honor for me. I've just always wanted to do whatever I could to make us better, whether it's scoring, rebounding, assists or being a leader."
Morgan earned third-team accolades from the league's coaches and honorable mention honors from the media, marking the fourth straight season he's earned some form of all-conference accolades. A Big Ten All-Freshman honoree in 2007, Morgan earned second-team all-league honors in 2008 and honorable mention accolades in 2009 despite playing 20-plus minutes in just nine of 18 conference games.
This season, Morgan is averaging 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds, ranking second on the team in both categories. He led the conference in field-goal percentage in conference games, hitting .561 of his shots. In conference games, he elevated his performance to 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
Michigan State captured its second-straight Big Ten regular-season championship in 2010. The Spartans open the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will play the winner of the Minnesota/Penn State game on Friday night at approximately 9 p.m.