The Michigan State basketball team practiced without a healthy Kalin Lucas today as coach Tom Izzo decided to hold him out of the session due to what he called "leadership issues."
Izzo told the Lansing State Journal that he "just decided there were some leadership issues on this team that I don't think people are living up to what I need done."
He further stated that he told Lucas to take practice off and he wasn't sure what he would do tomorrow.
The coach was careful to state that there were no academic or off-the-court issues that caused him to sit Lucas out, but it didn't appear that the player was too upset over being held out of the session.
According to Izzo, "he didn't take it bad, he didn't take it good, he didn't take it either way." The junior guard, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year a season ago, struggled with 3-of-11 shooting and six turnovers in MSU's loss to Texas 79-68.
In addition, Texas star Damion James called out Lucas for his pregame comments saying he "added fuel to my fire." Lucas stated prior to the game that Texas had not beaten MSU in three years and he didn't plan on losing to them this year.
Lucas has a team high 30 turnovers against a team-leading 52 assists. Michigan State has had problems in games against premium opponents getting into its set plays. In a loss to Florida, forward Draymond Green assumed much of the role of setting up the team, garnering four assists.
Michigan State committed 23 turnovers vs. North Carolina and 22 turnovers against Texas. While Lucas has been able to keep up his scoring average (15.7 ppg), he hasn't been the consummate point guard - setting up his teammates - that one would expect of a all conference point guard.
Backup Korie Lucious has just two fewer assists than Lucas despite playing over 100 less minutes. It is unclear whether Lucas will rejoin the club in time for the Texas-Arlington game and what role he would play if he does.