Mateen Cleaves gives Keith Appling ‘inspiration’ at point guard position

December 5, 2012 in Division I

By Patrick Hayes

When the Michigan State basketball team doesn’t play well, the players likely get tired — as players of any coach do — of hearing the same criticisms from coach Tom Izzo. Fortunately for Izzo, he has a bevvy of former players who are all too willing to step in and help point things out to current players. After the team’s loss to Miami last week, former point guard Mateen Cleaves stopped by a practice and talked with several players, including current point guard Keith Appling. From Dillon Davis of the State News:

For Appling, who has called Cleaves his most significant inspiration at the point guard position, hearing the critique of somebody who cares about the program the way Cleaves does is received positively in the locker room, as well it should be.

“Mateen is Mateen,” Appling said on Friday. “He’s a very energetic guy and is always into it. He thought there was some things he would share with us and he came up here and shared them. He’s pretty into it. … You just gotta try to build on the good things we did and improve on the bad things that happened.”

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