Michigan State Guard Keith Appling Finalist for Team USA U19

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Michigan State Spartans sophomore point guard Keith Appling has accepted an invitation from the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp.

The training camp, which will be held June 17-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA in international competition at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship.

The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), is expected to announce on June 19 finalists for the 12-member USA U19 World Championship Team roster.

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Turnovers Don’t Fit with Michigan State Point Guard Tradition, Kalin Lucas

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When the Big Ten Network produced a program highlighting the most storied position traditions of excellence in the conference, Michigan State point guards took home the overall slot. All those decades of college basketball and college football and the number one is the men who have manned “the one” in East Lansing. NBA superstars, Team USA and college legends, guys like Scott Skiles, Magic Johnson, Mateen Cleaves, Drew Neitzel, Steve Smith and Eric Snow.

Playing point guard at Michigan State is a position of great power that comes with great responsibility and great scrutiny. Kalin Lucas holds the position now, with top ten freshman recruit and former Michigan Mr. Basketball Keith Appling waiting in the wings.

Appling is now starting and, along with Lucas, bringing the ball up and setting the offense. His move to the starting five gives State two point guards in the lineup; and an upgrade in ball-handling skills.

It’s mandatory because their biggest issue is turnovers.

By Paul M. Banks

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Michigan State Needs Rookie Keith Appling to Grow Up Quickly

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“I’m a lot more comfortable now that I’ve gotten a couple starts under my belt,” Michigan State Spartans point guard Keith Appling said last week following a victory over Northwestern in which he had five blocks.

“He’s going end up like Charlie Bell, one of the best defensive players that we’ve had,” MSU Coach Tom Izzo said.

Appling was inserted into the starting line-up at the beginning of conference play, mostly for his defensive prowess, but also give the Spartans more ball-handling ability in the first five. Given that turnovers have been their number one issue all season long, it makes sense.

By Paul M. Banks

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