MSU ROLLS: Derrick Nix and the HOT LICKS The Enlightened Spartan: MSU ROLLS: Derrick Nix and the HOT LICKS

Sunday, March 24, 2013

MSU ROLLS: Derrick Nix and the HOT LICKS

Spartans, What is your profession???!!!! And the Big Green Machine just keeps ROLLING right along...

What a beautiful game by the Michigan State interior, particularly Nix, Payne, and Dawson.   This trio DESTROYED Memphis with its athleticism and just flat out great play.  This MSU Spartan team passes the eye test as a great team to watch, doing all the little things right.  Nix, Payne, and Dawson combined for – get this –  24 rebounds, 5 assists, 8 steals, and 6 blocks.  Combined shooting from the three was 12 of 26, a respectable 46%, but it was the dominance on the glass that made the difference.

For any who questions the Spartan dominance in the second half, just look at the box score: the Spartans scored TWICE as many points as Memphis in the second half: 38 to 19. Ouch. 

Read this lovely pin-up by ESPN's Michael Rothstein.  Nice.

Nix, in all honesty, has turned into an absolute beast for Tom Izzo’s gameplan in this tourney. Derrick Nix, the guy who was fat and couldn’t hit a free throw, is the next edition of Izzo’s great reclamation projects.  This guy has grown into the most consistent, dominant force for Michigan State.  Every single time he touches the ball, and he WANTS IT EVERY SINGLE TIME the Spartans are on the offensive end of the floor, he either takes a great shot or finds the guy to take the shot.  But, even more importantly, on defense, Nix can’t be moved.  He is an absolute brick wall of a defense.  It brings tears to mine eyes. 

Third man of the game?  Give Denzel Valentine some credit, he had a pretty good game and he seemed up to the task for most of the game, weaving in and around the Tiger defense all game long, with excellent ball handling and dishing for points.  Valentine finished with 9 pts, 6 rebs, 6 assists, and ZERO turnovers. 

Turning point:  the blow up on the MSU sideline. Nix and Appling were jawing at each other, and Dawson was brokering the concern.  Wow.  For us watching on tv, Nix was showing more concern and “give-a-shit” at that one moment than he did most of his career.  After that sideline demonstration, MSU exploded and crushed Memphis.  The intensity on defense was stifling. 

The Dukies or the Blue Jays better watch out. Here comes a Big Mean Green!

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