Derrick Nix is one of the most puzzling athletes that Tom Izzo has coached in his time at Michigan State. He’s usually a quiet player, but when the time calls for it, he has no problem speaking his mind.
In fact, he did just that recently as he spoke his mind about the lack of respect many people have for his Spartans:
“I think there are a lot of overrated players out there. If Michigan would have won, Trey Burke would have been God, Tim Hardaway would have been God, Glenn Robinson would have been God … we won, and they didn’t even show our highlights, it’s pitiful.”
Although this may seem by many to be an extreme statement by a veteran player, Nix knows what he’s talking about, and he has a point. The Spartans fight this year after year where no one looks at them as a solid team until March, almost as if everything they have done prior to March is irrelevant.
However, the Spartans are solid every year, and are in the running to win their third Big Ten title in four seasons. That is due, in large part, to their consistent play all season long. Michigan is considered by many a bigger name, and likely so, but the fact that Michigan State put a beat-down on the Wolverines and it was barely mentioned in the sports media outlets the next day shows that there is a still lack of respect.
Another area that Nix has a problem with is the basis of player rankings when it comes to NBA ability. Here’s what the Michigan State senior had to say about that:
“I don’t know if it’s us as players, I don’t know if it’s Michigan State, I don’t know what it is. I just feel like none of us get credit. (Victor) Oladipo is no different than (Branden) Dawson. Dawson’s not on the draft board, Oladipo is in the top 15.”
Although this may be looked at negatively by the media and the school’s he has mention, the big man has a point– the Spartans get no love year after year.
It may not matter what kind of teams Tom Izzo puts together, or the fact that they are one of the top-10 basketball programs of all time – the Spartans are always classified as the underdog.
Well, they have succeeded in that role for almost 20 years, so there’s no need to stop now.