Branden Dawson is bionic, Adreian Payne is Drew Neitzel, Russell Byrd is a captain and other Media Day notes

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Michigan State basketball team will look decidedly different this season. Everyone already knew that, but it was reiterated in several different ways at Media Day on Tuesday.

The Michigan State basketball team will look decidedly different this season. Everyone already knew that, but it was reiterated in several different ways at Media Day on Tuesday. There were plenty of interesting quotes from a variety of sources, so let's just get right to it.

We'll start with a series of tweets from Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, beginning with an unusual comparison for Adreian Payne:

Payne also offered up this tidbit that Branden Dawson might not be so happy about him leaking:

Speaking of Russell Byrd, he was somewhat surprisingly voted team captain, along with Derrick Nix. Rexrode tweeted a 'wow' along with the Byrd announcement because he, like most outsiders, would've never guessed Byrd is that well-respected in the locker room as only a sophomore who barely played last season. As KJ noted on Twitter, the group of sophomore captains in the Izzo era is a small one.

Nix, because of his offseason off-court legal issues, was certainly not a lock to be captain, but Rexrode reported he was essentially a lock once the players were allowed to vote on it. Ryan Slocum of ABC 12 has a quote from Tom Izzo making it sound like the vote for Nix was likely unanimous.

Izzo seems to think Nix did enough of a penance:

As for Dawson, other than getting dunked on by Byrd, all other news is positive for him. Tom Izzo said he's one of four players who are a lock to start:

As for the big men, it sounds like freshman Matt Costello has already passed Alex Gauna:

I never like to hear the 'doesn't love the game enough' comment from coaches. Not a good sign. As for Costello, after watching the nasty way he played in high school, combined with his skillset, I'm not surprised. And anyone who watched the Moneyball Pro-Am this summer likely saw that Costello is better than advertised athletically.

A few other notes from Rexrode: of the freshmen, Izzo seems most impressed with Denzel Valentine and Tim Bograkos recently commented on how 'old-time' practices are back.

Onto some non-Rexrode tweets. Chris Solari of the Lansing State Journal on Travis Trice's recovery:

Although Izzo spoke on Nix's off-court issue this summer, he also spoke, via Solari, about the incredible progress Nix has made athletically since his freshman season:

LOL at Nix's attempt to be a vegetarian, via MLive's Diamond Leung:

With Nix and Prince Fielder, Michigan might be home to the two largest kinda vegetarians in history.

Via Rico Beard of Spartan Mag, a prediction from Izzo on Keith Appling:

Beard also noted that Izzo said Nix and Payne will be on the court together a lot. Mike Valenti complained about it because that's what Mike Valenti do.

Via Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal, Izzo said there is a method to his recruiting madness — he's going after as much elite national talent as possible right now for a reason:

The implication of that first comment, via Larry Lage of the Associated Press, is that Michigan State is still very much after Jabari Parker. I think if this is 'very good,' I'll settle for just being 'very good' and not 'elite' if it means Izzo coaches longer.

Via Slocum, Dawson's recovery has everyone mystified (in a good way):

Evan Beach of WNEM noted on Facebook that Dawson seems to be all the way back athletically:

"Branden Dawson says with the exception of his conditioning he's fully recovered from his acl tear, so much so that he put down an "easy" between the legs dunk in practice."

In Rexrode's Free Press story, Trice also commented on Dawson's quick healing knee:

"They're gonna need to test his body when he's dead and gone," Trice said. "Medical science, he needs to donate his body to science because that dude is a freak of nature."

In Josh Slagter's coverage for MLive, Izzo noted that playing in last year's environment was important for the returning players, but the instability of the previous season was also big:

"Leadership will be a No. 1 question mark." Says it still will be committee and there's an advantage to going through the past two seasons. One didn't have great leadership, last year did. "They've seen what a difference it can make."

And hey, we started this off with a crazy Izzo comparison, let's end it with another, via Jesse O'Brien of The State News:

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