Spartans Smoke Lakers in Exhibition Opener

Michigan State basketball won their first exhibition game of the 2013-2014 season, 101-52, against the Grand Valley State Lakers Tuesday night at the Breslin Center.

Led by Keith Appling’s 17 points, the Spartans used their superior shooting and size to dominate the Lakers. MSU shot nearly 62 percent from the field and 58 percent from three point.

“That’s probably the best team I’ve seen since I got here,” Ric Wesley, Grand Valley’s head coach, said.

The Lakers kept the game close for some of the first half trailing 30-20 before the Spartans went on a 17-4 run to close the first half.

Appling scored nine points in the second half, all from behind the arch. Appling went 5-7 from three-point range and was a perfect 3-3 in the second half.

Gary Harris contributed 15 points to go along with three assists.

Brandon Dawson exhibited a willingness to take jump shots, a skill that could greatly benefit the Spartans moving forward.

“It felt good,” Dawson said, “Like coach said, we work in the summer. Now that I actually put in the work he’s given me more freedom.”

Michigan State displayed several different lineups with 15 of the 16 players on the roster seeing playing time.

“We played a bunch of different lineups,” Tom Izzo said. “We can play a lot of different ways, we just have to make sure we play the right way.”

The only player not to play was redshirt freshman Kenny Kaminski. According to Izzo, Kaminsky will miss the first two or three games due to “not meeting expectations over the summer.”

Michigan State got quality minutes out of their two true freshmen, Alvin Ellis III and Gavin Schilling.

“Gavin is the best ball screen guy we’ve got,” Izzo added. “That kid’s going to be a hell of a player some day if he keeps at it.”

Izzo said that, so far, he liked what he saw from Ellis, though he would like to see more.

“Ellis is impressive. I don’t know what he does great yet though.”

MSU plays one more exhibition game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania Nov. 4, before opening the regular season against McNeese State, on Nov. 8 at the Breslin Center.


Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.

Photo: Michigan State Spartans