Men's Basketball Signs Four To National Letters of Intent
Appling, Byrd, Gauna and Payne give Spartans talented, well-rounded class.
Nov. 11, 2009
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Coach Izzo's Signing Day Press Conference
EAST LANSING - Michigan State men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo announced Wednesday that four players have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Michigan State next fall and play for the 2010-11 Spartan basketball team. The signees include Keith Appling (G, 6-2, 180, Detroit, Mich., Pershing), Russell Byrd (G/F, 6-7, 190, Fort Wayne, Ind., Blackhawk Christian), Alex Gauna (F, 6-9, 230, Eaton Rapids, Mich., Eaton Rapids) and Adreian Payne (C, 6-10, 215, Dayton, Ohio, Jefferson Township). The foursome gives Michigan State one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.
Keith Appling (G, 6-2, 180, Detroit, Mich., Pershing) - 2009 Associated Press Class A Player of the Year as a junior at Pershing High School, playing for Coach A.W. Canada ... Averaged 23.9 points, six assists and five rebounds ... Led Pershing to Class A State Championship, scoring a state title-game record 49 points, while shooting 17-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range ... 2009 Dream Team honoree, as selected by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, also earning All-Detroit and All-Metro honors ... Participated in 2009 NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp ... Averaged 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a sophomore ... Helped lead Pershing to the Class A title game, scoring 17 points in a losing effort ... Second-team Class A All-State selection as chosen by the Detroit Free Press, earning second-team All-Metro and first-team All-Detroit accolades ... Third-team All-State honoree as selected by The Detroit News, also earning All-Metro honors ... Ranked nationally by Rivals.com (34), Prep Spotlight (34), ESPNU Top 100 (35) and Scout.com (44) ... Among the top players in the nation at his position as ranked by Prep Spotlight (6 Point Guard), ESPNU Top 100 (8 PG), Scout.com (9 Shooting Guard) and Rivals.com (10 PG).
Russell Byrd (G/F, 6-7, 190, Fort Wayne, Ind., Blackhawk Christian) - Averaged 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a junior captain at Blackhawk Christian High School ... First-team All-Northeast Indiana honoree ... Indiana Junior All-Star ... 2009 Associated Press All-State honorable mention ... Fort Wayne News-Sentinel All-Area selection ... One of 30 prep players selected to participate in the 2009 Nike Global Challenge in August, where he teamed with fellow signee Adreian Payne on Team USA Midwest ... Participated in the 2009 NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp, where he connected on 18-of-26 from 3-point range ... Participant at 2009 Lebron James Skills Academy and the 2009 Vince Carter Skills Academy, a skills camp for the top 20 prep wings in the country; Delvon Roe was a college counselor at the Vince Carter Skills Academy ... Averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore, as Blackhawk Christian posted a 19-6 record, finishing in Elite 8 of Class 1A, winning a sectional championship ... Ranked nationally by ESPNU Top 100 (56), Prep Spotlight (63), Scout.com (84) and Rivals.com (108) ... Among the top players in the nation at his position as ranked by Prep Spotlight (17 Wing Forward), ESPNU Top 100 (18 Shooting Guard), Scout.com (20 Shooting Guard) and Rivals.com (24 Small Forward).
Alex Gauna (F, 6-9, 230, Eaton Rapids, Mich., Eaton Rapids) - Averaged 16.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as a junior at Eaton Rapids High School, playing for Coach Adam Trumpour ... Shot 62 percent from the field and 70 percent from the foul line ... Fourth-team Class B All-State selection as chosen by the Detroit Free Press ... Class B All-State special mention by Lansing State Journal and All-Area selection ... Very strong front-court player, but also had the ball skills to bring the ball up against the press at times last season ... Averaged 15.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.2 blocks as a sophomore ... 2008 All-State honorable mention selection ... Class B All-Area pick by Lansing State Journal ... 2007 Class B All-Area honorable mention by Lansing State Journal ... Ranked nationally by Scout.com (102) and Rivals.com (149) ... Among the top players in the nation at his position as ranked by Prep Spotlight (15 Center), ESPNU Top 100 (17 C), Scout.com (22 Power Forward) and Rivals.com (31 PF).
Adreian Payne (C, 6-10, 215, Dayton, Ohio, Jefferson) - Averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks as a junior at Jefferson High School for Coach Art Winston ... Shot 53 percent from the field ... Helped lead Jefferson to a 19-5 record ... Named first-team All-Area in Division IV by the Dayton Daily News ... 2009 special mention All-State honoree ... Long, athletic shot-blocker that can run the floor ... Owns a 7-0 wing span ... One of 16 participants at Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy, a skills camp for the nation's elite prep big men ... Participated in the 2009 Lebron James Skills Academy ... One of 30 prep players selected to participate in the 2009 Nike Global Challenge in August, where he teamed with fellow signee Russell Byrd on Team USA Midwest ... Attended 2009 NBA Players AssociationTop 100 Camp ... Played AAU with All-Ohio Red 17 & Under, capturing the Boo Williams Invite over the 2009 Easter weekend ... First Dayton-area Spartan since Andre Hutson (Trotwood-Madison) ... Averaged 15.4 points as a sophomore ... Named first-team All-Area in Division IV by the Dayton Daily News ... 2008 second-team All-State honore ... Ranked nationally by Scout.com (19), Rivals.com (20), ESPNU Top 100 (23) and Prep Spotlight (25) ... Among the top players in the nation at his position as ranked by Rivals.com (4 Center), Prep Spotlight (5 C), Scout.com (5 C) and ESPNU Top 100 (7 Power Forward).