EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State point guard Keith Appling made a commitment, scratch that, he made it a priority this summer to improve his 3-point shooting percentage for the upcoming season.
The media hounded Appling last season in regards to his shooting, and it’s clear he wants to eliminate those questions all together.
The junior told isportsweb during the Spartans media day on Tuesday that he made 500 3-pointers everyday this summer in an attempt to improve his game from beyond the arc.
“My shooting percentage (from three) isn’t where I wanted it to be last year,” Appling said. “That’s one of the things I wanted to improve, so that’s what I did day in and day out.”
As a freshman, Appling primarily played shooting guard and shot 41 percent from the 3-point line, but as he switched his position to point guard last season his percentage dropped to 25 percent.
Clearly 25 percent is not an ideal percentage for any guard, and when asked where he would like to see that number, Appling stated,“40 or 45, somewhere around there.”
Sophomore point guard Travis Trice has noticed Keith’s commitment to improving his shooting.
“Keith has got a lot more consistent,” Trice said about his teammate. “He’s been getting a lot of reps, and you can see his improvement.”
In most cases someone who shoots 25 percent at any point in their career isn’t a natural shooter, but Appling proved throughout his high school career, averaged 28.1 ppg, and as a freshman that he can shoot the ball.
Trice believes that Appling’s problem was bigger than the mechanics.
“Nothing is wrong with his shot,” Trice added. “It was really confidence for him, and making that many shots builds confidence. I think he has that confidence now and it’s going to change the way he plays.”
Appling’s 637 career points places him as the active leading score on the MSU roster.
Tom Izzo has consistently stated that Appling will remain at point guard, but with the addition of freshman point guard Denzel Valentine Izzo said that we may see Appling play shooting guard more often.