(Editor’s note: this story was originally posted in mid-season of 2017-2018. In light of Cassius Winston leading MSU to the Final Four this weekend, the timeliness of the subject matter mandates we move the article link back to the top of the site’s feed)
Any time you turn a Michigan State basketball game on this year, keep an eye on #5, the Spartans head-band wearing point guard named Cassius Winston. By the time his career in East Lansing is over, he might reside in the rarified air with Magic Johnson and Mateen Cleaves. MSU has an extremely storied tradition at the one- Scott Skiles, Kalin Lucas, Eric Snow, Drew Neitzel, Denzel Valentine (on occasion) to name a few.
Of course, Cleaves and Magic are on another level as they won a national title. Maybe Cassius Winston joins this elite of the elite club this April?
Whether the Spartans end the B1G title drought or not, you can enjoy watching Winston on the court, and appreciate who he is off of it. Like the Twitter machine says:
Cassius Winston, Michigan State #5, is my favorite player to watch in all of college basketball, and by a very very wide margin.
also, he got into Harvard, and he reads 1 book (not 1 assigned for class, but an actual book, just for leisure) every month. real actual books
— Paul M. Banks (@PaulMBanks) December 6, 2017
Yes, in an era where anti-intellectualism is stronger than it’s ever been, and you honestly have millions of people declaring on basic facts and truth, Cassius Winston reminds us that knowledge is power and being smart is cool. The MSU basketball media guide describes Winston as having a “high basketball IQ that ranks among the best of the Izzo era.”
The sophomore describes math as his favorite subject, as he enjoys solving problems.
The Detroit native has a high IQ off the court too obviously. He came to Michigan State as a consensus top 35 recruit last season, and during his rookie year, his 182 assists were the second most by a freshman in MSU history.
Only Magic Johnson accrued more during his rookie campaign. He also led the B1G in assists and finished fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio.
This year, he’s leading the league again in that category, good for 14th nationally. He’s currently seventh nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio.
His shot release is kind of ugly, but if you recall Mateen had an ugly shot too. It doesn’t matter though as that shot just keeps going in and going in. Winston is fourth nationally in three point field goal percentage, trailing only Aaron Jordan of Illinois among B1G shooters. He’s at his best though when he’s driving to the basket.
If you stayed up to watch the end of the win over UConn in the PK80 Thanksgiving weekend, you were well rewarded. He basically took over that game single-handedly down the stretch, and just did whatever he wanted.
He took it inside, outside, went around and past much bigger opposition.
Once the game was decided, he then proceeded to just have fun with it, mess around like it’s gym class, and he still kept dominating.
The Huskies couldn’t stop Cassius Winston when he was just goofing off, and it conveyed that most opponents won’t be able to stop him when his game is on point this year.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.Follow paulmbanks