DETROIT (AP) – Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas will return to Michigan State for their senior seasons and one last shot at a national championship, coach Tom Izzo said Friday.
Izzo told The Associated Press that both are forgoing the NBA draft and will continue their educations.
"I think my guys were good enough to go and could've put their names in like everybody else," Izzo said in a telephone interview. "Even though I offered to do some checking for them, they had their mind (made) up to come back. I think it's neat that they made educated, mature decisions."
Summers averaged nearly 19 points a game during the NCAA tournament to help lead the Spartans to their sixth Final Four in 12 years.
Lucas ruptured his left Achilles' tendon last month and had surgery that probably will keep him off the court until the fall. He averaged 14.8 points and four assists last season to earn All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year.
"If Kalin wouldn't have gotten hurt and kept playing like he was, he probably would've left," Izzo said.
A slew of underclassmen have entered the NBA draft in part because of fears there will be a lockout after the 2010-11 season.
The last time a pair of Michigan State standouts chose to stay in school instead of turning pro, the school won a national championship.
Michigan State started last season ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason poll and likely will have a similar ranking heading into the 2010-11 season, losing only departing senior Raymar Morgan from its 10-man rotation and welcoming a highly touted recruiting class.
The Spartans won the past two Big Ten titles and will be a favorite to repeat, especially if Purdue juniors JaJuan Johnson and guard E'Twaun Moore don't withdraw their names from consideration for the draft.
Michigan State will have three seniors leading the way next season: Lucas, Summers and Chris Allen.
Lucas averaged a career high in scoring this past year and had his best shooting season, making 45 percent of his shots. He scored a career-high 25 points against New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA tournament before being injured in the next game. The 6-foot-1 guard from Detroit was the Big Ten player of the year as a sophomore when he averaged 14.7 points and 4.6 assists and made a career-high 39 percent of his 3-point shots.
The 6-4 Summers averaged a career-high 11.3 points last season and was wildly inconsistent. He scored 20-plus points three times and was held scoreless twice.
"Durrell said to me he needs to get more consistent, and he's been in the gym every day," Izzo said. "He reminds me a lot of Morris Peterson."
Summers, a shooting guard from Detroit, was focused enough in the NCAA tourney, though, to match a career high with 26 points in the second round against Maryland and to score 21 versus Tennessee in the regional finals. He averaged 10 points a game last year in the NCAAs, helping Michigan State to the national title game in his hometown against North Carolina.
The Spartans were blown out against the Tar Heels, and after this year's close call in the Final Four there's a feeling in East Lansing that 2010-11 could be the season they break through.
"There's some unfinished business for these guys to win a national championship, and I hope in a year we're talking about that and the decision Kalin and Durrell made. But there are no guarantees," Izzo said.