Maybe He Just Doesn’t Have…It

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Maybe He Just Doesn’t Have…It

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The Memphis-Michigan State game was frustrating enough for me to watch without reaching the painful conclusion I did at game’s end: Maybe we should stop expecting so much out of Raymar Morgan. I mean, he’s a skilled player who can create match up problems but maybe he’s more comfortable playing second fiddle than being a go-to guy.

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There’s no denying that Kobe Bryant is the most complete basketball player on the planet right now. It pains me to admit that as I have hated on Kobe for about 10 years. But what I respect about Kobe is his killer instinct; he WANTS the ball in his hands in the clutch. He doesn’t just want to score 180 points a game because he can; he wants to score 180 because he knows his team needs that to win. I mean he really, really wants to score. The best players are the ones who really want to score, or do whatever they can to the best of their abilities to help their team win. They have that killer instinct. I don’t think Raymar has that killer instinct like most Spartan fans have come to expect from him.

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Raymar reminds me so much of Rasheed Wallace. No, not the anger-management issues or overall craziness, but the lack of killer instinct. Rasheed can easily, EASILY, be one of the top 5 power forwards in the game and one of the best players in the NBA if he wants to. He can shoot the 3 to stretch the defense, he can post up, he can rebound, he can block shots, and he can score at will if he wanted to. The problem is….he doesn’t want to. He’d rather defer to his teammates. Sound familiar? Raymar has the physical tools to be an All-American. He’s bigger than most college small forwards and faster than most college power forwards. He has a consistent mid-range jumper and is developing a consistent 3-pointer. When he’s in the paint and one of his teammates misses, I’m almost certain that he’ll come down with the offensive board. He’s just too strong and has great body control. The problem is he doesn’t demand the ball like he probably should; he’s content with shooting the ball six times a game like he did against Memphis. And there is no way MSU can win next year with Morgan shooting six times a game.

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Maybe he was waiting for Drew Neitzel to leave so this could truly become his team. But now that Kalin Lucas has cemented himself as a reliable player and leader, it may not be Raymar’s team next year. When Neitzel was in high school I read about the crazy offensive numbers he was putting up and saw it first hand when he lost to Detroit Renaissance at the Breslin as a high school senior. I watched befuddled as he didn’t even attempt to score his first two years at MSU, then his junior year he showed the nation what some of us knew he could do all along. I’m hoping that Raymar can do that. I’m hoping that he can seize the moment of his junior year and lead a team that needs him to lead them. I’m hoping that maybe he’ll shoot first, shoot second, pass third. I hoping that Raymar’s body language gets better and he stops beating himself up and becomes aggressive. Maybe Raymar doesn’t have that killer instinct in him though and maybe he never will. Maybe I, like all Spartan fans, am expecting too much.Â

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No doubt Raymar is a great kid. NO ONE questions his character or who he is. I think it is fair however to search for what he is. We know the tools he has and what he can be, that however isn’t what people always end up as!