THIS WEEK’S GAME:
–Purdue, Feb. 27
Delvon Roe did a great job on Purdue star JaJuan Johnson in the first meeting, and now the question is whether Roe’s right knee will allow him to do the same this time around. Meanwhile, Keith Appling must stay with E’Twaun Moore — no easy task these days — after foul trouble limited Appling in West Lafayette.
Freshman G Keith Appling has become an integral part of this team because of his defense, but Tom Izzo is looking for more offense from the former McDonald’s All-American. Appling, who set a record with 49 points in a Michigan state championship game, was averaging just 5.7 points entering Saturday’s game against Illinois. Appling came through with nine big points against the Fighting Illini, all in the second half, attacking the rim like he did in high school on a few occasions. With Durrell Summers struggling, Tom Izzo has said he needs more offense down the stretch from Appling, and Michigan State likely will run more sets for Appling.
–Junior F Delvon Roe had a light week after suffering a bone bruise in his surgically repaired right knee on Feb. 10 against Penn State. Roe came off the bench for eight minutes at Ohio State on Tuesday, then started and played 22 minutes in Saturday’s 61-57 win over Illinois. In the late 9-0 run that won the game, Roe got a blocked shot, a driving basket and a key defensive rebound — despite excruciating pain.
“The pride of a Spartan,” Tom Izzo said afterward of Roe. “If Delvon Roe doesn’t embody that, no one does.”
–The only reason Delvon Roe started against Illinois was yet another health setback for one of the Spartans. Draymond Green was weakened by a stomach virus and came off the bench in favor of Roe. Green needed an IV and other medicine before the game and was clearly woozy for portions of it, but he played 27 minutes anyway and delivered some big plays late.
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