Appling: "No ifs ands or buts about it"

Senior point guard relying on toughness to play through some injuries and lead the Spartans.

With the rarity of seniors in college basketball these days, it's no wonder Keith Appling feels like a bit of an old man.

It's the injuries has dealt with that really have him feeling that way. The senior has battled wrist and hip injuries and was visibly hobbled against Indiana on Tuesday.

Right now, it seems the list of what isn't dinged up is shorter right now.

"My shoulder is fine," Appling said with a laugh.

The latest on the list is his back, which he hurt a little against the Hoosiers and is a little sore.

"As long as I am able get up and down the floor, I feel like I'm alright," he said. "I'm definitely going to be ready to go Saturday.

"No ifs ands or buts about it. No matter what's hurting."

Part of that is the growth through Appling's career, which had led to him handling adversity better.

"With time comes growth," he said. "I've learned to handle certain situations better and whenever I need help, I open my mouth and say so opposed to my freshman and sophomore year, I would kind of clam up and not say anything about it."

And right now that means saying he feels like an old man.

"I definitely feel like an old man," he said. "It just comes with the territory. You're going to get a few bumps and bruises and you gotta fight through it.

"I feel like that's just where my mental toughness has to kick in."

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