December 29, 2011

Appling: 'I finally put it all together'

EAST LANSING - Indiana point guard Jordan Hulls entered the Big Ten play with seven straight games in double figures.

But the 6-foot, 180-pound junior from Bloomington was held to just four points at Michigan State and also struggled in his role as distributor largely because of the outstanding defense by played by sophomore Keith Appling.

Appling's defense on Hulls set the tone for his teammates.

"Coach always says when the head dies the body dies," said senior captain Draymond Green. "For him to be up there at the head defending like that means that everybody else behind him has to defend like that."

The defense played by the 6-foot-1, 190-pound McDonald's All-American also set the tone for the best all-around game of the sophomore point guard's career. Appling scored a career-high 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting and added seven assists and six rebounds against the Hoosiers.

"I have shown flashes of being a good passer and being a good scorer, but I think tonight that I finally put it all together," said Appling. "I got my teammates open shots and I scored when I had the opportunities."

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