Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/23/13
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Boys will be boys, and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo doesnt mind rough-housing between his players if the confrontation serves a purpose. Center Derrick Nix and point guard Keith Appling, two of his tri-captains and best friends since Detroit Pershing High, got into a shouting match and towel-slapping incident Saturday during a timeout with 12:45 remaining in the Spartans 70-48 NCAA Midwest Regional win over Memphis. Its great, isnt it? Izzo said with a smile. It reminds me of (Mateen) Cleaves and them (on the 2000 national championship team). Its better when your team is getting a little feisty. Keith didnt want to take anything from Nix, so he told him. Thats all good. Trust me, in my program, thats all good. They got into it a little bit and I enjoyed it. Nix, standing on the left side of the huddle with Izzo seated in the middle, had words with Appling, who was seated on the right side of the huddle. Nix swatted Appling with a white towel and Appling said something back while swatting him with his own towel. It was just a miscommunication on a ball screen, Nix said. But hes my best friend, and I love him to death. Coach (Izzo) says that a player-coached team is better than a coach-coached team. It was over with in two seconds. Izzo encourages his players to make constructive criticisms of one another. He likes that if its done for the right reasons, Nix said in the lockerroom at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Appling said, We all want to win so bad. Its a fiery moment in the huddle. It was nothing. Weve been around each other for so long. Stuff like that has happened so many times. Appling, who left the game four minutes later after his right shoulder popped out, said he could have returned and would not miss Fridays Sweet 16 game in Indianapolis against the winner of Sundays Duke-Creighton game. The same shoulder popped out Feb. 6 against Minnesota and he did not miss a game after that. They know how to get at each other and are roommates, forward Branden Dawson said of Nix and Appling. Derrick felt Keith was not doing his job and called him out. Only, you cant do it out there. Dawson chuckled, knowing that would lead to a question about him and roommate and good friend Adreian Payne having a fist fight in the team hotel at Penn State on Jan. 16. Police were called to the scene, but no charges were filed. Were all men, Dawson said. Me and Payne, too. That helped us get along, and I think we came together more as a team then, too. Izzo said, I blame the Palace a little bit. Thirteen years ago, you know, one of the most famous things that ever happened to me was walking down the hallway and listening to Mateen Cleaves get on his best friend in the world, Morris Peterson. Cleaves and Peterson also happened to be tri-captains, and their team then went onto Indianapolis to win the Final Four.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker