Sunday, May 31, 2020

Cassius Winston named Big Ten Player of the Year

March 11, 2019
Junior guard Cassius Winston (5) dribbles the ball up the court during the game against Indiana at the Bloomington Assembly Hall Mar. 2, 2019. The Spartans fell to the Hoosiers, 63-62.
Junior guard Cassius Winston (5) dribbles the ball up the court during the game against Indiana at the Bloomington Assembly Hall Mar. 2, 2019. The Spartans fell to the Hoosiers, 63-62. —
Photo by Marie Weidmayer | The State News

Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston is the 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year.

Winston, the 6-foot-1 junior, received the award Monday afternoon, becoming the ninth player in program history to receive the honor and the seventh under coach Tom Izzo.

Winston ranks fourth in the conference, averaging 19.0 points and first with 7.6 assists per game this season heading into the Big Ten Tournament. The Detroit native is shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range and 82.6 percent from the free-throw line.

During Big Ten play, Winston averaged 19.6 points ranked third and he led the league with 7.9 assists. After losing shooting guard Joshua Langford to a foot injury, Winston averaged 20.1 points in the final 18 conference games — and averaged 21.2 points and 8.8 assists in the five games since Nick Ward suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand against Ohio State Feb. 17.

Winston joins Scott Skiles (1986), Shawn Respert (1995), Mateen Cleaves (1998, 1999), Morris Peterson (2000), Kalin Lucas (2009), Draymond Green (2012) and Denzel Valentine (2016) as MSU players to win the award. He earned Big Ten Player of the Week a school-record five times.

Winston was also named a first-team All-American by Sporting News earlier Monday.

The Spartans (25-6, 16-4) begin the Big Ten Tournament on 12:30 p.m. EST Friday against the winner of Thursday's No. 8 Ohio State/No. 9 Indiana.

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