Keith Appling has officially become the third captain for the Michigan State men’s basketball team.
Tom Izzo made the announcement during his weekly press conference this morning. The move was made Sunday night and Appling now joins Derrick Nix and Russell Byrd as the Spartans’ captains.
“Keith is RG3 reincarnated as far as I’m concerned,” Izzo said. ‘That’s nothing against nix or Byrd. In fact it started out with Byrd coming to me awhile and go and saying Keith deserves it. And it was Matt Costello telling me after practice in a text that Keith has helped him a lot. I think Keith has changed. He’s probably a better interview and he’s a better communicator. He’s got a long ways to go to please me but I like the fact that he’s doing that. I think he has confidence down the stretch and I think they do have confidence in him down the stretch.”
MSU has made gains in both polls this week. After posting wins over Penn State and Ohio State, the Spartans moved to No. 13 in this week’s AP poll and No. 11 in the USA Today coaches poll.
Other Big Ten teams in the AP poll are: Michigan (2), Indiana (7), Minnesota (12) and Ohio State (14). Illinois dropped from the rankings.
Other Big Ten teams in the coaches poll: Michigan (3), Indiana (8), Minnesota (14) and Ohio State (15). Illinois dropped from the rankings.
A surprise is that Wisconsin, which posted a win over Indiana last week, is not in the top 25. The Badgers, who host MSU on Tuesday, received the second most votes of teams outside the top 25 in both polls.
The MSU women’s basketball team also made it into the rankings for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season. They are No. 25 in this week’s AP women’s poll. The Spartans are 16-2 and off to the best 18-game start in school history.