November 12, 2008
Video: Izzo signing day press conference
EAST LANSING - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo introduced his two-man recruiting class on the first day of the early signing period Wednesday.
Big men Garrick Sherman and Derrick Nix give Michigan State much-need reinforcements in the post with the Spartans scheduled to graduate a number of frontcourt players including Goran Suton, Idong Ibok, and Marquise Gray this season.
The 6-foot-10, 275-pound Nix is a low-post banger who gives Michigan State an element of toughness in the frontcourt. But the most impressive thing about Nix is that he also possesses soft hands. During his signing day press conference, Izzo said that Nix has hands that remind him of Chris Webber's at the same age.
"Derrick Nix's greatest attributes are his toughness and his great hands," said Izzo. "He has also played for great programs at both the high school and AAU level, so we know we are getting a well-coached player who is very coachable and wants to be better."
Nix averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds as a junior at Pershing. He teamed with 2010 Spartan commitment Keith Appling to guide the Doughboys to a runner-up finish to Draymond Green and Saginaw in the Class A state tournament.
Nix is ranked the No. 117 player in the Class of 2009 by Rivals.com and the No. 16 center. Rivals rates Nix the top player in Michigan for the senior class.
Like Green and Zach Randolph, Nix needs to re-shape has body. Nix has already made significant strides in that area.
Sherman is a skilled big man ranked No. 63 in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 8 overall center. Sherman has a good face-up game with range out to 17-feet and he can finish with either hand.
Sherman averaged 23.3 points and 15.5 rebounds with 5 blocked shots per game as a junior. The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Sherman is already the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at Kenton coming into his senior season.
"Garrick Sherman is a very well-rounded big man, with the ability to shoot, rebound and block shots, as well as being an excellent passer. Because of where he played he didn't get the early recognition that other players received, but we liked what we saw."
Izzo was asked if Michigan State would add another recruit in 2009. He said that Michigan State was looking at the possibility of adding another player, but wanted that player to be the right fit for the program.
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