After taking over as point guard for Kalin Lucas, Appling had a very respectable sophomore season, although not at the same level as his predecessor. Inconsistency was the main cause, as Appling often had multiple double-digit scoring games followed up by poor-shooting ones.
In January, Appling shot a combined 2-for-19 in games against Minnesota and Illinois, but redeemed himself by scoring in double figures the next four games. By season's end, Appling finished with averages of 11.4 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.3 turnovers. He shot 25 percent from three-point range as well.
A staple of Tom Izzo-coached teams is that as soon as the Spartans get the ball, they find the point guard and push the ball up court looking to score in transition. While Appling is extremely quick, he was almost too quick for his own good at times and allowed careless mistakes.
Appling is projected to be Michigan State's top player in 2012-13, and though it's possible, I predict a strong return for Branden Dawson from his injury and giving Appling a run for his money. Following Draymond Green's graduation, it will be interesting to see how Appling adjusts to being the primary facilitator on offense.