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October 14, 2009

Centers of attention

Weight is always an issue when the media is involved, but even more so this year at MSU basketball's media day. Everyone wants to know if Tom Herzog has gained enough and if Derrick Nix has lost enough.

    Herzog: Up to 250, after weighing as little as 220 as a freshman. He actually dropped to 232 at the end of last season, so that's a big offseason of eating and lifting. His arms are considerably larger, and his face has filled out. And yes, he is the guy Tom Izzo would like to see earn a starting position at the five spot. Izzo said he'd rather start big and go small this season than the other way around, so his team will be ready when it has to be big.

    Nix: Down to 281, after pushing 340 as a high school sophomore. Izzo probably threw more praise Nix's way than toward anyone else, because of the work he did this summer to get in shape. Izzo expects him to be in the low 270s by the time practice gets going and that "is an incredible accomplishment already," he said.

    As for the other guys, Raymar Morgan and Kalin Lucas are the first unanimously elected captains since the 1999-2000 season (Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and A.J. Granger). Their leadership and the play at center will be the keys, Izzo said. Delvon Roe is "99 percent back healthy" and Draymond Green is "ready for a blowout year." Korie Lucious finally was fully cleared Tuesday to participate in everything.

    Finally, Lucas got a new tattoo, on his right bicep, a couple weeks ago. It's a big tiger with the words: "Attack or be killed."

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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