January 4, 2007

Video: Lucas vs. Crater

EAST LANSING - Kalin Lucas has earned a reputation as one of the elite point guards in the 2007 class with his explosive quickness, his ability to penetrate at will, and his ability to create a shot for himself any time he chooses.

But it was Lucas' will to win and his ability to put his team on his shoulders during crunch time that had high school basketball fans buzzing at the Breslin Center last Saturday.

Lucas scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a double-digit deficit and lead Orchard Lake St. Mary's team past Anthony Crater and Flint Southwestern Academy.

In a battle that pitted the state of Michigan's top two point guards against one another, it was Lucas' poise and production in the fourth quarter that separated him from Crater, who finished with 11 assists, but managed to score just 4 points on 2 of 11 shooting from the field.

Lucas was 6 of 8 from the floor in the fourth quarter with two 3-pointers and an array of seemingly impossible pull-up jumpers that caused SWA coaches to shake their heads in disbelief and brought smiles to Tom Izzo and Kalin Lucas' father who was seated next to Lucas in the stands at Breslin.

Izzo also had to be pleased with the lockdown defense Lucas applied when matched up against Crater in the fourth quarter. Lucas picked up three fouls before halftime, but that did not stop him from playing Crater tightly in the fourth quarter. Lucas rarely matched up against Crater on either end of the floor in the first three quarters. But with Lucas on Crater during the final six minutes of the fourth quarter, the junior star was denied in his role as distributor.

Crater did not defend Lucas on the other end of the floor, as SWA chose to go with a tougher defender.

Crater tried to score on Lucas just once in the final stanza. But Lucas denied the SWA standout's dribble penetration and forced an awkward looking shot that clanged off the back iron.

Izzo wasn't the only high profile coach in attendance for the most anticipated match-up of the prep holiday hoops season. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was seated at the far end of the scorer's table to watch Crater, his prize junior commit.

Lucas and St. Mary's held Crater to 14 points below his season average. Crater was scoreless in the second half.

Crater has tremendous court vision and he is outstanding in his ability to handle the ball and get the ball where it needs to go quickly. Crater is limited on defense and needs to work hard on his offense. He is a streaky shooter, but from the summer to the present the future Buckeye has struggled with his shot.


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