Michigan State will edge out Ohio State for the Big Ten championship if a preseason panel of Big Ten media members has its way.â†µ
MSU used two straight Final Four appearances, including a spot in the national title game two years ago, to convince the panel that it would win the conference for the third year in a row. MSU will return senior guard Kalin Lucas, the panel's preseason player of the year, to help in its' quest for a championship:â†µ
Lucas earns his second straight Preseason Player of the Year honor after earning first-team All-Big Ten recognition following the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, Lucas enters the season as the conference’s third-leading active scorer, with 1,418 career points. The guard is one of 10 Big Ten players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List.â†µ
Lucas got injured last season during the NCAA tournament and decided to skip the NBA Draft and come back for his senior season. He figures to play a prominent role in returning MSU to the Final Four for the third consecutive year. Lucas was also named to the preseason All-Big Ten team, which includes Demetri McCamey of Illinois, JuJuan Johnson (Purdue), E'Twaun Moore (Purdue) and Jon Leuer (Wisconsin).â†µ
The Spartans are currently ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason poll, trailing defending national champion Duke by a significant margin.