Michigan State shares first place in the Big Ten standings with top-ranked Indiana and are coming off a dismantling of Michigan on Tuesday night.
While the Spartans are rolling, senior captain Derrick Nix feels like they aren’t getting the respect they deserve.
“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,” Nix told reporters on Thursday. “I just feel like none of us get credit.
“If Michigan would have won, Trey Burke would have been God, Tim Hardaway would have been God, Glenn Robinson would have been God … we won, and they didn’t even show our highlights, it’s pitiful.”
Nix, who scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Spartans’ 75-52 win against the Wolverines, went on to say Branden Dawson is no different than Victor Oladipo, while also comparing Adreian Payne to Cody Zeller, Keith Appling to Trey Burke, Gary Harris to Shabazz Muhammad and himself to Reggie Johnson, wondering why those players were on the draft boards and he and his fellow Spartans weren’t.
“Michigan State is always the underdog,” added Nix.
You can admire the confidence and support Nix has in his teammates, and he’s got a point, Michigan State may have been pushed out of the spotlight in a wild Big Ten season. But why worry about the ink or attention now?
Michigan State is currently playing its best basketball — winners of four straight and 10 of its last 11 games. Embrace the underdog label, and use it as a chip on your shoulder moving forward. The Spartans are in position to win the arguably the toughest conference in the nation, and have one of the best tournament coaches of all time in Tom Izzo.
After Saturday’s road game against Nebraska, Nix and the Spartans get to prove whether or not they truly are overlooked with four consecutive games against ranked opponents — Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.