Michigan State star Kalin Lucas will miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament after an MRI yesterday confirmed he ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon.
In Lucas’s place Sunday, Korie Lucious made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Spartans into the round of 16 with an 85-83 win over Maryland.
Lucas was hurt late in the first half when he landed awkwardly after a shot. He is a two-time All-Big Ten player and leads the Spartans in points and assists.
He will be sidelined for 4-6 months.
“We feel terrible for Kalin, he was having a great NCAA Tournament,’’ Spartans coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “The good news is there is no doubt he will make a full and complete recovery. He’s a tough kid and he’ll do everything necessary to return to his elite level.’’
Lucious will start, walk-on Mike Kebler has to play more, and versatile forward Draymond Green becomes even more valuable with the ball in his hands.
The Spartans play Northern Iowa in the Midwest Regional semifinals Friday in St. Louis, facing the team that knocked top-seeded Kansas out.
Penders resigns Tom Penders
resigned as coach at Houston, ending a six-year tenure that culminated in the Cougars’ first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1992. The Cougars qualified after winning the Conference USA tournament, but lost to Maryland, 89-77, in the first round Friday night. He insisted he has no retirement plans, saying it was simply time to find another challenge. “I came to the University of Houston in 2004 with the goal of getting UH back to the NCAA Tournament,’’ he said. “We achieved this goal and now it is time for me to move on.’’ The 64-year-old Penders became just the eighth coach to take four schools to the NCAA Tournament. He had also led George Washington, Rhode Island, and Texas there. Penders has won 648 games in his more than 30-year head coaching career. He went 121-77 at Houston . . . East Carolina has turned to former Auburn coach Jeff Lebo
to lead its long-struggling program. The school announced it had hired Lebo to replace Mack McCarthy
, who spent three seasons on the sideline for the Pirates before stepping down to take a fund-raising job in the school’s athletics department. Lebo had spent the past six seasons at Auburn, going 96-93 overall before he was fired earlier this month. The 43-year-old coach played at North Carolina under Dean Smith
in the late 1980s and had coached at Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga previously.
Anderson to go pro
After the most prolific three-year career in Oklahoma State history, Big 12 player of the year James Anderson
plans to enter the NBA draft. Anderson announced his decision at a news conference at Gallagher-Iba Arena, saying, “I believe now is the time for me to pursue my dreams by playing in the NBA.’’ Anderson averaged a Big 12-best 22.3 points per game while leading the Cowboys into the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year. The versatile 6-foot-6-inch guard was an overwhelming choice as the league’s player of the year, earning the selection ahead of such stars as Kansas’ Sherron Collins
and Cole Aldrich
, and Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen
. “I believe now it’s time to test my basketball skills against the best players in the world,’’ Anderson said.
Memphis must vacate its record 38-win season from 2007-08 after the NCAA rejected its appeal. The NCAA announced that its Infractions Appeal Committee ruled against Memphis, which was found to use an ineligible player, believed to be Derrick Rose
. The Tigers lost in overtime to Kansas in the national title game that season. The NCAA originally ordered Memphis to vacate the season and forfeit money Aug. 20. Memphis appealed, arguing the penalties were unprecedented and that the school was held to a strict liability when Rose was ruled retroactively ineligible for an SAT score that was invalidated by the Educational Testing Service in May 2008 . . . A second former Seton Hall player has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from an armed robbery in northern New Jersey. Kelly Whitney’s
lawyer entered the plea to robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and weapons charges in a Newark courtroom. Whitney appeared via video link from the Essex County jail, where he is being held on $650,000 bail. Whitney’s attorney said his client insists he was not around for an alleged March 15 heist in which prosecutors say eight people were robbed at gunpoint in a South Orange home. Prosecutors say Whitney acted as an accomplice with former Seton Hall forward Robert Mitchell
, who pleaded not guilty Thursday. The 23-year-old Mitchell was kicked off the team March 14 by coach Bobby Gonzalez
, who has since been fired . . . New York state police are investigating the stabbing of two men during a fight between members of the St. Bonaventure and Jamestown Community College teams. Troopers say the fight occurred around 3 a.m. Sunday on the St. Bonaventure campus in Olean, 60 miles south of Buffalo.
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