The good news of Michigan State’s opening-round win over Valparaiso has been slightly tinged with worry. MLive.com is reporting that star guard Keith Appling aggravated a knee injury when he ended up on the receiving end of an alley-oop pass in the first half of the game.
Appling downplayed the injury, telling reporters “I kinda tweaked my knee a little bit when I was going up for a lob. It’s nothing major, I should be all right.”
His coach didn’t sound quite to sanguine. Though Appling did play the rest of the game, Tom Izzo thought the pain showed.
“They say it’s tendonitis — it’s nothing else. But you saw in the second half, he didn’t look the same.”
Indeed, Appling seemed to continue to perform at a high level offensively, ending up with 15 points and six rebounds, but he seemed a step slow defensively after the knee was tweaked. Appling addressed the fact that he had trouble stopping Valpo guard Erik Buggs in the second half.
Buggs scored all 14 of his points in the second half, driving past Appling to the rim.
“There were a couple of breakdowns, but you have to give him credit, he’s a very quick guy and he made some plays, finished really well at the rim,” Appling said. “The majority of that is on me, because I was the guy guarding him.”
Appling will likely rest and recover before Michigan State faces Memphis on Saturday, but his condition, and how he plays against the Tigers, will bring a few nervous moments for Spartans fans.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.
He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.
Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.
The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.
Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.
SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.
South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.
The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.
Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.
A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.
Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.
Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.
Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.