Notebook: GVSU edition

Looking at what MSU showed in its exhibition win against Grand Valley State on Tuesday and what was said after the game by players and Tom Izzo.

Michigan State got its 2013-14 basketball season underway Tuesday with an exhibition against Grand Valley State. It was pretty smooth sailing for the Spartans in their 101-52 win.

Here are some thoughts and highlights from the game:

**Keith Appling's shot looks a lot different. The senior spoke a lot about how much time he put in during the offseason and it showed. The rotation was better and the release much smoother. Perhaps the most encouraging thing was the trajectory as Appling was getting more arc on the shot. He was 5 of 7 from 3.

**Ball rotation was the most impressive thing about the game. MSU had assists on 23 of its 34 field goals. The team was consistent in making the extra pass and being unselfish. In the second half in a span of three possessions, Branden Dawson had a great look to Alex Gauna and then Denzel Valentine followed it up with a look to Gavin Schilling.

**Speaking of Schilling, he was impressive. A very physical player who had five rebounds, but what I liked the most is how he ran the court. Tom Izzo has raved about Schilling's lateral quickness, but he looked good getting up and down the court with a team that was running quite a bit.

**The one thing that wasn't seen in the game was an effective post game. The Spartans were facing an undersized GVSU team, which sagged into the paint and made MSU take jump shots instead. Expect to see the Spartans work on getting the ball into the post in its next exhibition game.

**The desire to run was met as MSU had a 27-0 edge in fast break points. They got up and down the court and were scoring in a variety of ways. Also important is the fact they didn't allow any fast-break points, which says they got back defensively, too.

**Trice looked much quicker and more confident. It has been said he was never 100 percent last year after missing the summer and much of the fall. His ability to the third guard will mean a lot to the Spartans going through this season. His shot hasn't been a concern, but against GVSU Trice was probing and working to get into the hoop. He said after the game he wished he had been able to take more 2-point jumpers, but the defense was giving him open 3s.

Quotables

Izzo on Alex Gauna

"I was pleased with Gauna. He's another one of those guys that needs to maintain this. He looked real solid. He and Adrian Payne are the best communicators I have and those of you who are around me or have known me for a few years know that you would not have heard that very often."

Izzo on rotation of three big men in the middle

"I thought we got something out of all three of those guys that came in. Matt (Costello) did some things, ran the court very well and played pretty good defense. They you have Gauna who actually got some rebounds and did some things there. Then Gavin is the best ball screen guy we have. He's quicker than a cat. … That kid is going to be a helluva player if he keeps improving."

Appling on ball rotation and making the extra pass

"We are a very unselfish group. We all like each other and we all want to see each other do well. Whenever opportunity is given, we try to make that extra pass to get our teammates a better shot."

Schilling on his first college game

"I thought I was going to be nervous but I was really excited and I felt like I brought a lot of good things to the team tonight."

Gary Harris on the crowd gasping when he took a hard fall

"I heard the gasp which was pretty funny and I was fine and I got up and I missed the free throw."

Harris on Trice being healthy

"It puts some points on the board. He can knock down the three and he can find some people and it's really good for Keith so Keith doesn't have to play as many minutes. That just helps the depth of the time and that's gong to help us out as you can see today."


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