By a ‘landslide’: Keith Appling wins Michigan Mr. Basketball

Posted: March 22, 2010 by Jared Field in High School

No one is surprised that the MSU-bound Keith Appling won the Mr. Basketball award. What is surprising, however, is that he won it in a runaway.

From Freep:

Appling, who signed with MSU, won the award in a landslide, accumulating 2,037 points. Mt. Pleasant’s Trey Zeigler was second with 1,145 points, followed by Ray McCallum of Birmingham Detroit Country Day (934), Maurice Jones of Saginaw Arthur Hill (868), Devin Oliver of Kalamazoo Central (470) and Michael Talley III of Melvindale AB&T (360).

I’d love to know how this race, one that so many had called among the closest ever, could turn out to be so lopsided.

  1. Ty Williams says:

    Something smells funny because he would have had to split a lot of votes with McCallum. Maybe everyone remembers him breaking Antoine Joubert’s record?

  2. gregjohnson says:

    I called it. Nobody can forget the performance at the Breslin last year. That’s what sealed the deal for him in my opinion.

    • PJR says:

      For the record, past playoff performances ARE NOT a criteria for BCAM Mr. Basketball. ONLY the 20 game Senior Regular Season. BCAM voters don’t even know what their own award is about, and frankly most BCAM voters should not be allowed to even vote on it!

  3. Gavin Raath says:

    I have no problem with him winning the award. He is an incredible player, but the fact that it was a landslide is a little fishy to me too. Especially after his head-to-head with Ray McCallum not going so well.

  4. fisher says:

    M.Jones gave him 49.. On top of that Ray gave both of them work… And beat both of them… so come on someone had to mess with the numbers…
    not taking anything from him it just shouldn’t been like that..

  5. Gavin Raath says:

    Yeah, I think Keith is incredible, but Ray punked him during the most important stretch of that game and securing the win.

    I am a little disgusted that MoJo didn’t get more votes. Nobody on that list has his skill — he’s the definition of an overachiever. And he’s on the least talented team of the bunch by far.

  6. PJR says:

    They need to just send the BCAM Mr. Basketball trophy to MSU and Izzo each year. That is the deciding factor nowadays, the MSU scholarship, and the reason the award has become meaningless!

  7. gregjohnson says:

    PJR…….Did you look at the Freep article? Obviously not! MSU has gotten 5 of the last 10 Mr. Basketball winners, just happens to be 2 in a row. Come on, I wouldn’t say that is grounds for a MSU bias in the voting. Considering the other option for in-state (major program) school is a weak option right now. I’ll give you the fact that the voting seems a little too lopsided but I don’t think anybody can say Appling didn’t deserve the award. I know a case can be made for others that should or could have won, but; Appling is a deserving candidate. I thought Jones would finish a close 2nd and Zeigler following close behind that. I do believe there is a Country Day bias or so it seems nobody wants to give the award to anyone associated with that school.

    • PJR says:

      You think 5 of the last ten isn’t a sign of bias in voting? Are you kidding?? What does it have to be for you, 90% or higher?? Just take Nix. Nix last year says it all about MSU bias with BCAM voters! Nix wasn’t even on the radar as candidate until Izzo signed him, then Nix, who wasn’t even Mr. PSL, is all the sudden Mr. Basketball. Mostly, BCAM voters just vote for their favorite in state scholarship, then the newspaper hype, then west side influences, but not the actual senior regular season played! Facts are Appling got outplayed by the other Mr. B candidates man up, and Pershing most definitely underachieved given the roster help on that team! As Izzo god like stature grows, the BCAM bias grows!

  8. gregjohnson says:

    Since 1981 MSU has gotten only 11 of 30 Mr. Basketball winners. That is not a great percentage in a state like Michigan that produces several Blue Chip recruits every year.

    • PJR says:

      “only 11 of 30”?? You’re kidding right??! You think 30% isn’t a sign of bias? The guy above thinks 50% isn’t a sign of bias! SHEESH! Just explain Nix last year, and then tell me about BCAM bias for Izzo scholarship players!

  9. SBell says:

    11 out of 30 seems pretty high, considering it is as you said high-end talent so big-time teams across the country are trying to get at it. Then it’s even tougher because schools flat out cheated to get some of those Mr. Basketballs, like Winfred Walton (likely, the reast confirmed) Chris Webber, Robert Traylor and Wilson Chandler.

    • PJR says:

      I’ll make the note here, which apparently nobody BCAM understands, is that the Mr. Basketball award is not about what college scholarship was awarded, not about past frosh/soph/junior year performances or accolades, not about past playoff performances, not about summer travel ball or high profile camp invites or performances, etc., etc., etc.. It’s ONLY about the REGULAR SENIOR SEASON performances! In that regard, most of the time BCAM voters get it wrong, and Mr. B is a total fraud award, and sadly a hype sham!

  10. bbfan says:

    Overall BCAM voting is a joke, they don’t know their own rules plus Appling wasn’t listed on every ballot. If your ballot didn’t include Appling, Ray Jr., Jones and Trey you should lose your voting privledges.

  11. gregjohnson says:

    Ok, so 10 of 30 awards chose Michigan. I’m not sure where your coming from. If you have two major programs in the state shouldn’t the numbers be heavy towards those TWO major programs. If those coaches are doing their job the it should be 15 apiece. You want your best talent in the state to stay here and play for the two best programs.
    I will agree that it does seem like the award is given based on a career as opposed to their Sr. season. Izzo bias though…….your just a hater!
    GO STATE!!

    • SBell says:

      The numbers ARE heavy towards the two in-state programs. It’s just that when you have super high-end talent, sometimes they’re going to choose Duke, and sometimes programs even sleazier than U-M are going to come in and get kids like Walton or Chandler.

  12. Hoopsguru says:

    Extremely shocked Zeigler got second – thought for sure he would be at the bottom. he is a “shooting guard” who cannot shoot free throws. Explaqin his position in college to me please!

    • Marcellus Miller says:

      The same way Eric Snow, Rajon Rondo, and many others were guards that could not shoot free throws. With increased and proper coaching, it will likely improve enough just like the other guys mentioned. Think about it from this perspective. How staggering would his numbers be if he shot and made as many FT’s as Jones? He only hurt his own numbers with that statistic and still led a less-talenteed team to the regional final despite EVERY team focusing solely on him. I coached against him 3 times and not once did I care about anyone else on their team as far as trying to stop them. Ray had a big, Keith had a big, Maurice had two decent bigs, etc. Trey deserves the second he got, if not first.

      • Jared Field says:

        Absolutely no way. He’s not at the level of Ray, Maurice and Keith. I’ve watched him numerous times. He’s just not there yet. This is not to say he won’t be a better player than all three. He probably will. And let’s not pretend the transfer, Strickland, is chopped liver. If McCallum jacked up shots at Zeigler’s rate, he’d average 35.

        What really good team did they beat? I’ll have to look again, but I can only recall one really good win. It was over Saginaw during their funk.

      • Well, I have coached against him three times and saw the talent around him. Strickland may be good but was only there half the season. 16+ wins from that team and a SVL title are nothing to sneeze at? Did anyone see them two years ago? By the way, Jones jacks up more shots than most of these candidates as well although I know you referenced Ray. We have said many times how the Free Press numbers were inflated, so why even keep talking about them? He only played the schedule he was dealt and certainly have no control over that. He is definitely a bigger collegiate prospect than most on the list and there is a reason for that. Perhaps I am speaking from a coach’s look though and not a fan. Honestly, I was and am the biggest fan of Keith’s over them all as far as fandom is concerned. But, this is certainly opinion-based and that’s cool that everyone shares their own with respect, well most of us have respect at least.

    • Jared Field says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Smoke and mirrors.

      • Hoopsguru says:

        MP struggled to get out of districts – Only beating Dow (in district Game 1) by 4 points aided by a stupid Dow technical with under a minute to go. Midland held them to 46 points in game 2 but only scored 32 themselves – due to a starter out with a concussion and their leading scorer only getting 2 points due to a severly strained back muscle. BCW played them even in the finals except for the 3rd quarter.

        IMO the best thing Trey did for MP this year was recruit his cousin to come to Michigan for a year and also get the kid from FSWA. He really did not improve much from his first year or two at MP – he blossomed early as far as “grade” goes but people say he is quite old for his grade. If so that may be why he never really improved that much during high school. Of the Mr. B finalists – I see him having the most mediocre college career.

      • The problem is now you’re equating team success with an individual honor. If you feel the two should be related, that’s great, but they are not necessarily so. Midland was not nearly as good as MP, nor was Dow or BCW. Margin of victory means very little in high school games anyway. Teams are so inconsistent at this level anyway, so I am not sure the point. The kid from FSWA was not a huge find and not comparable to any of the other players I mentioned playing alongside others. As far as him not improving and being mediocre, tell that to Duke and Coach K.

  13. Williford says:

    This is high school. He will have a better college career with way more talent around him.
    What kid did he get from FSWA?

  14. AgentSis says:

    I Agree! Looks like another lopsided vote and another notch for MSU! Why not let the public in on the vote??

    If you look at the “Numbers” as posted by the Detroit FreePress on 3/5/10, Jones should have placed much higher. To watch this young talent play is a thrill! He has to overcome one obstacle none of the others has, his height! (That should count for something!) He does it by putting up the numbers. Have you seen him shoot from the parimeter??Hello! He’s an all around good player, free throws, assists, steals and rebounds! (Although I think the numbers in the FPress were skewed, as his steal numbers should have been much higher!) Also why did they leave out his College choice, as he signed with USC back in Oct!

    Also agree, last year’s performance should not have a say…

    In our hearts, Maurice Jones is our Mr. Basketball!!! (Afterall his team is still playing! This year!)

  15. BT says:

    If any of you are actually interested in what real sports journalism looks like,
    …. you guys could take notes

    • Jared Field says:

      Real sports journalism? Ha. I’d rather get my MSU news from a publication that isn’t soaking wet from being in the tank.

      • B.T. says:

        obviously you didn’t read the story man. It’s cool, not everyone can be as good as you. I was waiting for a MSU hatin’ article… gotta wait till they lose I assume? Keep up the good work bro, and keep those “press credentials” rolling in, for this “web based basketball publication.” for real thow, read the story

      • Jared Field says:

        Actually I did read the story a couple days ago. It’s great. My friend Patrick, a reporter for the Flint Journal, did another really good Flintstones tribute. He, however, wasn’t given the same access as the college reporter.

        And just for the record, this isn’t my job. I do the site because it’s fun. I’m not a sports journalist.

        I’m not an MSU basher, man. Get real.

      • B.T. says:

        in that case… don’t quit the day job… glad to hear it!

      • Jared Field says:

        Get back to class.

      • PJR says:

        Things to ponder:

        If you put Appling, MacCallum, Jones or Talley on Mount Pleasant where would they finish win/loss and signature wins and championships such, and would they be household words state hoops wise?!

        If you put Zeigler on Pershing or DCD or Sag AH would those teams be better or worse.

        IF you put Zeigler on Pershing or DCD or Sag AH how much more hype would they get?


        Worse record and no championships or signature wins in SVL. They’d NOT be household names, just known as decent players.

        Pershing would still be playing, DCD and Sag AH would be far better teams.

        Zeigler would win Mr. B going away because his name would be in ink every day!

        BTW, scholarships to Michigan State and Michigan carry a lot of weight, Michigan State obviously far more now, (noticed nobody took a crack at explaining Nix’s chances for winnning Mr. B w/o Izzo’s MSU scholarship inNix’s back pocket) and no instate scholarship announcement hurt and scholarships to out of state schools is a huge negative.

      • gregjohnson says:

        I’ve seen Zeigler play 4 times this year. He is NOT Mr. Basketball by my standard. Obviously the coaches too.
        6’4″ gaurd with average handles and sub-par jump shot. Who wants this guy to play a #2 in college? He is a #3 type player without the height. He is best slashing and driving because he does have tremendous athletic ability. But he better finish at the rim because he is a HORRIBLE free throw shooter. I am a big MSU fan and PRAYING that he does not accept the offer that is on the table to go there. Don’t want him in green and white. He would be best served playing in the MAC for his dad.

      • Marcellus Miller says:

        “Obviously the coaches too”? Ha! Did you forget where he finished? He will play the two and you better hope he plays for your beloved MSU or he’s gonna end up killing them instead. Free throw shooting is just a matter of practice, which he will get plenty of. His jumper is not great, but it’s enough that with practice it can be very good. Have you seen him play outside of the MP system?

      • Jared Field says:

        Seeing him play on the AAU circuit colors my opinion. Lazy and careless.

      • Marcellus Miller says:

        I take AAU with a grain of salt…I’m speaking of a camp setting myself. The laziness label is one that comes with a lot of athletes that have things come easy to him…it’s normally not a fair one unless one spends time in practice with the athlete.

      • gregjohnson says:

        I haven’t but it would take a lot for me to see him as a upper echelon Big Ten team. He’d be fine at NW, Iowa, Penn State…..
        Just got back from the DCD game, Powers was flat BROKE! Ray had a decent game, way better player than Trey. I still think the Mr. B landed in the appropriate hands this year.

      • Marcellus Miller says:

        Well, way better this game perhaps. I have also seen Ray held to 12 points and be effective only in spurts. So, does that make Pookie way better?

  16. Sloc says:

    The voting is a joke… Appling won Mr. Basketball in the state title game last year and everybody knew it… PLUS he was going to MSU, and the voters are notorious for keeping the award IN STATE… not at Michigan State… the fact that he won in a landslide proves these points. Did these idiots see a game this season? let alone when MoJo dropped 49 on him or when Ray killed him in Lansing.

    Ray is the best player… I dont know if he should have won, but he is the best player, but he didn’t have a chance because he hasn’t made a college decision and he isn’t one of “our own”. He came here from Indiana, and the voters wern’t going to give an outsider the award.

    Jones is good, but he and his team failed miserably against DCD and Romulus in the final 2 weeks of the season… he should have been higher than 4th though.

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