There are guys who are taller and there are guys who are more talented. There are guys who are more athletic and there are guys who are stronger. But the best attribute that Keith Appling brings to the table isn’t quite as easy to own: He is a straight up winner.
Playing for one of the winningest coaches in the nation in Tom Izzo, it seems as if the ultimate goal was ingrained in him before he ever stepped foot on campus in East Lansing. He was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball as a senior and led Pershing to a PSAL title. We got the chance to get up with Appling in Frisco, TX, where he was working with the guys from Exos to get his game right for the Draft.
Throughout his four years in the Big Ten, Keith made the transition from scoring guard to lead guard. He showed off his solid athleticism and ability to change speeds, despite dealing with a nagging injury. Exhibiting the potential to be a solid pick and roll guard, he has displayed the ability to make plays with the rock in his hands and can keep the D honest with his ability to stroke it from beyond the NBA arc. Not flashy but efficient, it is pretty transparent what you’re going to get in this 22-year-old.
Given that the Draft is less than a week away, Appling is right there in the second round mix. While some teams may opt for a project or European draft and stash, any team looking for a guy who is going to make guys around him better will take a long look at Keith Appling.