December 5, 2011

'If You Ain't Dead, You Can Fight Through It'

EAST LANSING - When your best friend is Devlon Roe, you're not going to complain much about a sore knee.

In fact, when Draymond Green - who twisted his knee Sunday against the University of Nebraska-Omaha - was asked if he was wearing a knee brace in practice, he immediately downplayed the situation in reference to his former teammate.

"Oh no. A knee brace is what Delvon used to wear," Green said. "I got on a sleeve."

Green spent the day in treatment and he, along with Izzo and the trainers are confident that nothing is structurally wrong with the knee. He certainly didn't appear to be limited in Monday's practice.

"If you ain't dead, you can fight through it," Green said. "It's there, but at the end of the day, once the adrenaline gets flowing, it don't really bother you as much."

Green recorded another double-double Sunday and has four already in Michigan State's first eight games. He leads the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game.

The Spartans are on a six-game win streak since dropping their first two against No.4 North Carolina and No.7 Duke. During the streak, MSU has improved their shooting (.484 from the field) and is averaging 76.7 points.

Most noticeable has been the improved shooting from point guard Keith Appling. Appling has shot a blazing 68 percent from the field and 55 percent from 3-point range in the last two game after struggling early in his transition to point guard. He had a career-high 24 points against Florida State November 30 and a career-high seven assists Sunday against Nebraska Omaha.

Perhaps even more importantly, Tom Izzo sees Appling enjoying his new position more, enjoying the assists.

"I love playing the point guard position, mainly because the ball's always in my hands and I'm usually the person that has to make the decision," Appling said Monday. "I'm starting to become very comfortable with my role on this team."

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