Appling, Dawson and Payne benched for No. 1 Michigan State

Michigan State starters Keith Appling, Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson did not start Friday's game between the top-ranked Spartans and Mount St. Mary's due to what a school spokesman called "classroom attendance issues."

The trio were expected to eventually play in the game for the Spartans (6-0), said Matt Larson, MSU's New Media Director.

Payne is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 17.2 points and 8 rebounds, followed by Appling who averages 16.8 points. Dawson averages 11.0 points and is the Spartans' leading rebounder at 9.7 per game.

Larson also says that leading scorer Gary Harris is out of the game to rest his ankle that he slightly injured last week against Oklahoma in the finals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Harris is scoring 17.7 points per game.