EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State men's basketball junior guard Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) was named a First Team All-American by the Sporting News on Monday morning. The recognition from the Sporting News plays a factor for the official consensus NCAA team.
Winston scored 23 points in Saturday’s 75-63 win over then-No. 7 Michigan as the then-No. 9 Spartans won a share of the Big Ten regular season title. It was the second-straight Big Ten title for MSU, the ninth under Head Coach Tom Izzo and the program’s 15th regular season championship.
The junior guard is averaging 19.0 points, 7.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from 3-point land. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten Conference in scoring, while also leading the league and ranking No. 3 in the country, in assists per game. Winston has scored at least 20 points 17 times this year, has six double-doubles in points and assists, has handed out at least 10 assists seven times and has dished out at least six in 25 games.
He is the only player in the country averaging at least 18.0 points per game, 7.0 assists per game and connecting on at least 40.0 percent of his 3-point attempts this season.
Since 1992-93, Winston is one of only 18 Division I college basketball players to average at least 18.0 points and 7.0 assists per game, including one of three players this year (Ja Morant of Murray State and Colbey Ross of Pepperdine). Among that group of 18 players, which includes Denzel Valentine during the 2015-16 season, Winston is one of just six from a Power Six Conference.
Winston has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week a school record five times this season (Nov. 26, Dec. 31, Jan. 21, Jan. 28 and Feb. 25). He was also named the Most Valuable Player at the Las Vegas Invitational, averaging 19.5 points, 8.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in wins over UCLA and Texas.
Winston is a candidate for several national awards. He is one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, is on the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award and is one of 10 finalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy.
Michigan State, 25-6 overall and 16-4 in the Big Ten, enters this week’s conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Spartans play the winner of No. 8 Ohio State and No. 9 Indiana on Friday, March 15 (12:30 p.m. ET) at the United Center in Chicago.