Derrick Nix believes his team isn't getting the respect it deserves.
The Michigan State Spartans senior center also feels that he's been discounted by the media at large. Nix said after a recent practice (via MLive.com):
"I just watch a lot of basketball, and a lot of guys get credit that…I think there are a lot of overrated players out there. Like me and (Adreian) Payne, I feel like there are a lot of underrated players. I just feel that way. I don't know if it's us as players, I don't know if it's Michigan State, I just don't know what it is. I just feel like none of us get credit.''
After downing Michigan and Nebraska this past week, it's all but certain that the Spartans (22-4, 11-2) will occupy a spot in the Associated Press top five. Whether or not Michigan State is overlooked is a moot point. Nix, along with his teammates, will essentially have to put up or shut up Tuesday when the Indiana Hoosiers (23-3, 11-2) visit the Breslin Center.
The pivotal duel will give Big Ten followers a clear-cut view of which team is indeed the conference's gold standard.
Indiana defeated the Spartans, 75-70, in January at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Now it's the Spartans' turn to hold serve on their home floor.
There are several areas in which the Spartans must focus on before hitting the court with the Hoosiers. We'll outline the five most crucial aspects of Tuesday's 1A versus 1B slugfest in this slideshow.