Michigan State came back last game, after being down 10 at home against Illinois. The Spartans were hit with the injury bug again as Gary Harris and Travis Trice both left the game without returning. Keith Appling stepped up in a big way, finishing with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and a block. The newly named captain, or #CaptainKeith as I have been calling him on twitter was named co-player of the week along with Indiana’s Cody Zeller.
The Spartans play twice this week, Wednesday against Minnesota at the Breslin and Saturday at Purdue. Reports came out earlier in the week that Gary Harris left last week’s game with back spasms, but is expected to play this week after some rest. It was noted that Harris probably would not have played if the Spartans had a game this past weekend. News is not as bright for Travis Trice, who has not yet been cleared to play. Doctors are trying to determine if Trice suffered another concussion against Illinois, after suffering one earlier in the season against Connecticut. For now Trice is listed as questionable for the Minnesota game, but I would not get my hopes up.
With Travis Trice likely out for Wednesday’s game, Tom Izzo will hope to get more minutes from Denzel Valentine and Russell Byrd. I can hear the groans from here, but Izzo has praised Byrd recently for his practice. No, not the game, but I guess it’s something? Michigan State needs good play from their guards, without it the game gets much tougher for Adreian Payne. Payne had been on a tear, but with the injuries in the Illinois game he struggled.
Side Note: Tom Izzo called Branden Dawson MSU’s best player, which seems like a great ploy to receive better play by the coach. Dawson is capable of much more than he has shown, will we finally get to see some full games from him? Sure he has played a full game, but has he PLAYED a full game? He gets lost at times, if he can start to go 100% all of the time we may be in for some special games.