February 11, 2013
MSU needs Appling on the floor to beat Michigan
EAST LANSING - Michigan State has trailed at halftime in four of its last five Big Ten games.
The Spartans have rallied for victory in three of those four games.
But No. 8 Michigan State (20-4, 9-2) would prefer to start fast and finish strong against No. 4 Michigan (21-3, 8-3) on Tuesday.
"Michigan is too good of a team for us to come out sluggish," said junior captain Keith Appling. "We will be down 10 before we know it. We just got to play as hard as we can from start to finish."
Tom Izzo believes partial blame for his team's first-half struggles can be pinned on foul trouble with Appling.
"If you look in two of the last three games or three of the last four, Keith has been in foul trouble and been out a lot in the first half," Izzo said. "He was out six minutes there and eight minutes at Indiana. That has been a problem and then when you compound that with (Travis) Trice being out that creates some major problems for us."
Izzo does not expect Travis Trice to play against Michigan.
"Well he is day-to-day, but yesterday he shot layups the same as he did last week," Izzo said. "I've learned all I can learn about concussions and probably won't spend much more time on it because there's no
if you've got mono you draw blood and you see, if you got strep throat you get a throat culture and you see it. If you got a concussion there's no way of seeing it. You can just go on symptoms and things like that."
Keeping Appling out of foul trouble is critical for Michigan State given the team's lack of backcourt depth.
"I think the game is gonna come down to, really, keeping players on the floor," said Izzo. "I mean you look at what their guys do and how many minutes they play, and with our injuries, what our situation is, it's gonna be as big a factor in this as any."
Appling understands the importance of limiting his fouls.
"It's very important," said Appling. "I can't get any cheap fouls, that are going to have me sitting on the bench. I've just got to be smart about when I foul so I can keep myself available for my team."
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