MSU junior Keith Appling was named one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Appling has helped the No. 22 Spartans to a 12-3 mark this season. He leads MSU in scoring (14.3 points per game) and in assists (4.4). Appling is shooting 46.1 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from 3-point range.
Appling ranks ninth in the Big Ten in scoring, tied for fifth in assists and seventh in steals (1.7 per game).
“Now he’s really comfortable (at the point),” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of Appling’s growth at that position during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “He goes and gets his own when he needs to. He gets them into their stuff when he needs to. He’s got a really good understanding of when to push it, when not to.
“They run, as you know. He’s got a tremendous burst. Go right by you. He knows kind of when to go. You have to be real careful with him in terms of containment. But he’s shooting it well, too. He’s impressed me.”
Other finalists include Big Ten players Trey Burke of Michigan, Aaron Craft of Ohio State and Andre Hollins of Minnesota.
The rest of the finalists are:
Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Jahii Carson, Arizona State
Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
Quinn Cook, Duke
D.J. Cooper, Ohio
Erick Green, Virginia Tech
Pierre Jackson, Baylor
Mark Lyons, Arizona
Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
Phil Pressey, Missouri
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Kendall Williams, New Mexico
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State