Korie Lucious Quickly Finding His Niche

Korie Lucious Quickly Finding His Niche

"I really don't pattern my game after him, but he's one of my role models. I look up to him as well as Chris Paul and Steve Nash, they're my favorite three guards in the NBA. I play my game as well as try to mix their game inside to fit my game."

EAST LANSING - Even with one of their most deep teams in recent memory, Michigan State freshman point guard Korie Lucious is quickly finding his niche and adjusting his game to set himself up for substantial playing time with the Spartans this season.

At just 5-foot-11, Lucious has quickly adapted to the mantra of Coach Tom Izzo of playing defense first and adjusting what he does to fit into the team concept.

Lucious said he realized early on he needed to step it up on the defensive end. "I know defense is what's going to get me on the court this year," he said. "I know I've got to lock up and I've got to play sound defense on the opponent's guard so I can get my minutes and play and help contribute to the team as much as possible, so I take pride in defense a lot."

He readily admits, that wasn't what he was known for in high school at St. Pius in Milwaukee.

"I probably was a little lazy in high school, but coming here they preach defense, defense, defense. I've been able to pick up my defense a lot better." Lucas says Coach Tom Izzo wants him to play a total defensive game.

"[I have to play] on ball defense, as well as help defense. If one of my teammates' (opponents) drives past him, I have to be there to help, so on ball and off ball are important."

He was also known for his flashy no-look passes and flamboyant style, but says, he'll tone that down more to fit into the MSU team concept.

"I think coach Izzo recruited me because he knew what I can do. So i'm going to continue to play my game but at the same time do what the coaches want me to do in order to succeed."

The freshman understood that hard work was going to be part of being a Spartan and he says his game has really benefitted from the extra practice, the coaching and the battles with sophomore Kalin Lucas.

"I worked hard [before], but I didn't work as hard as I do now. Getting up early, practicing, working out coming back, practicing and working out at night, I think that's really making a difference.

What are the coaches emphasizing in his workouts? "Probably staying low on my dribble, I dribble the ball high a little bit, so they're just helping me stay low so that I can speed burst out of the backcourt and get into the front court a lot better."

He's also working on his jump shot. "I've been working to get it more consistent and get it off a little bit more quicker because bigger guys are going to be guarding me this year."

Lucious beleive playing with Lucas will give MSU a new dimension.

"We've got a lot of depth and speed wise, I think we can all get up and down the court. We've got a lot of atheltes on this team and me and Kalin, we're probably the fastest two guards in the country."

He went on to elaborate on how that will help the MSU attack.

"With us two in the game at the same time, it's going to be hard to stop both of us. We can put pressure on the defense by pushing the ball at the same time, we can pressure on defense, we can full court press and make it hard for them to get the ball up court."

The flashy freshman says his association with Devin Harris has helped define his game, but he isn't trying to be something he is not.

"I really don't pattern my game after him, but he's one of my role models. I look up to him as well as Chris Paul and Steve Nash, they're my favorite three guards in the NBA. I play my game as well as try to mix their game inside to fit my game."

Lucious is finding that he has the right formula to fit his game into the Spartans total team concept.

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