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Center Adreian Payne goes for a dunk
The Spartans will be leaning on junior Derrick Nix and sophomore Adreian Payne to play like the big guys the Spartans recruited in 2009 and 2010. Nix and Payne are the big guys who will be relied on to take care of business down low. The Spartans aren't very deep in the bench with their big guys, so Nix and Payne will have to play smart basketball and stay out of foul trouble.
Payne has great athletic ability for a big guy so it's important he uses that for his post game and rebounding. So far he has yet to to live up to his potential but believes he can put all the pieces together to have a big year.
Nix is in the best shape he has ever been in, losing over 25 pounds in the offseason. Coming in to East Lansing in 2009, Nix weighed in at 314 pounds. His weight is now at 267. Coach Izzo believes the lost weight will help Nix become quicker and more agile and will likely improve his stamina to get up and down the court. So far Nix has not been playing too well this year, missing easy shots down low, committing bad turnovers and dumb fouls.
This is the beginning of the season so there is a lot of time to improve, but if the Spartans look to compete with the top schools this year, they will need their interior players to play at the top of their game.