For Michigan State senior center Derrick Nix, it was as bad of an offseason as you could imagine--being charged for possession and driving under the influence of marijuana.
At MSU's Media Day in East Lansing, Nix remembered his night in jail.
"Nobody wants to go to jail," Nix said. "I sat there, like, 'this can't be happening to me.'"
After being sentenced to fines and community service for impaired driving in May, Coach Tom Izzo added his own community service and speaking engagements for the Detroit Pershing alum.
"I made his life about as miserable as you could make it," Izzo said.
Despite his issues off the court, Nix has bounced back to being reinstated by the team--along with being voted unanimously as team captain for the 2012-2013 season, along with redshirt sophomore Russell Byrd.
Bay City Western alum and freshman Matt Costello has already followed Nix's lead.
"He's right there in my position, he's been here three years so he knows what's going on," Costello said of Nix.
Junior center Adreian Payne admired his teammate's resilience.
"For somebody not to get down on themselves about decisions they made, it shows the type of person he is--the fight he has in him," Payne said.
Coach Izzo admitted that the decision would be controversial and that leadership would still be a question mark headed into the season - but Nix said he has earned the respect of his teammates.
"They respect me because I was able to get into trouble and still come back, not let my weight go up, not let my grades drop and still have a positive mindset headed into my senior year," Nix said.
Nix and the Spartans begin their season with an exhibition against Northwood (Fla.) on October 30. They start the regular season in the Armed Forces Classic on November 2 against Connecticut in Germany.