Michigan State's Derrick Nix slims down, steps up

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 22, 2012
Michigan State center Derrick Nix has slimmed down and stepped up for the ninth-ranked Spartans. Nix trimmed down to 267 pounds for preseason practices after weighing as much as 340. His improved conditioning is letting his talents shine. The junior had 12 points in Saturday's 25-point win over Purdue. In back-to-back games, he scored a career-best 25 points combined. Boilermakers coach Matt Painter says Nix is a ''huge factor'' and he's not trying to be funny. Painter says his team now has to respect Nix because he plays more than for short spurts. Nix makes low-post moves with nimble footwork and has a knack for passing to open teammates. On the other end of the court, Nix was in good enough shape to defend three Boilermakers on a single possession.
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