The Spartans return three starters and nine letterwinners from a squad that tied for the Big Ten title with a 14-4 record in conference play and a 28-9 overall record during their march to a second straight Final Four appearance and sixth appearance in the past 12 years.
Lucas, who earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors as a sophomore in 2009, was tabbed as this year's preseason favorite earning the honor for the second straight year. During his career Lucas has earned first-team All-Big Ten honors following the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
Entering the season, Lucas is the Big Ten conference third leading active scorer with 1,418 career points. He is also one of ten players from the conference named to this year's John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List.
The Spartans edged out Ohio State and Purdue for the top preseason spot as many feel a repeat as conference champions is a real possibility.