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Saturday, January 28, 2012

BTN Special on Derrick Nix to air Sunday at 8PM ET

Michigan State's 
Derrick Nix focus of 
Big Ten Network 
Derrick Nix misplayed a ball-screen late in 
Michigan State's game against Michigan last 
week that cost his team a couple of points. 
After making the mistake, Nix immediately 
turned to coach Tom Izzo to motion: "My 

Taking responsibility at such a crucial 
moment in a rivalry game isn't something 
the junior center would have done a year 

"He's come a long way," Izzo said.

This week, the production crew behind the 
Big Ten Network's weekly documentary 
"The Journey" spent time with Nix in East 
Lansing to do a piece on his 
transformation. Last season, Nix was 
almost dismissed from the team. He 
couldn't control his weight, and he wasn't 
putting in the work Izzo and the staff 

Nix returned some 30 pounds lighter this 
season. The weight loss, combined with the 
stellar footwork and Nix's extraordinary 
understanding of the game, have turned 
the 6-foot-9, 270-pound center into a 
budding playmaker.

"I love to pass," Nix said. "It's more fun than 

When Nix gets the ball down low, he 
immediately scans the floor to determine w
ho is in the best position to shoot, or to 
make a swing pass to get an even better 
shot. Though his assist stats don't show it (
he averages 1.1), it is his ability to draw 
the defense down and kick it back out that 
has enabled MSU to become the best 
perimeter shooting team in the Big Ten.

Nix's scoring (8.2) and rebounding (4.2) 
are up from a year ago, too, when he 
averaged 2.7 and 2.0, respectively. The 
next challenge will be to increase his 
endurance -- and his minutes.

Nix talked about all of this for the 
documentary this week.

"We talked about my journey from my 
freshman year up until now," he said, and 
what "steps did I take (and the) adversity I 

The program airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on the 
Big Ten Network.
By Shawn Windsor: 313-222-6487 or Follow him on 
Twitter @freepspartans.

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