Cassius Winston is the Best Spokesperson Michigan St. Basketball Has


cassius winston

(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)

Michigan State Spartans Coach Tom Izzo has said that point guard Cassius Winston has the highest IQ out of anybody that he’s ever coached at the position. The MSU basketball media guide describes Winston as having a “high basketball IQ that ranks among the best of the Izzo era.”

We’ve seen that he’s a smart guy on the court- time and time again this season, and his hoops intellect was on full display in the historic, record-setting comeback win at Northwestern on Saturday. The Spartans overcame a 27 point deficit, the biggest margin in all of college basketball in 24 years and the largest in B1G history.

“Once we got it to nine you could kind of sense that they were frustrated, the shots weren’t going the same,” Winston responded when asked where he thought the turning point occurred.

“The shots weren’t going in and they weren’t flowing, and we were coming.”

Winston is an avid reader who was accepted to Harvard.

The Lovely Bones, a 2002 novel by American writer Alice Sebold that was later made into a film, was the last tome he completed, and he has designs on reading Phil Knight’s book next.

Overshadowing everything involving Michigan State basketball this season is the university’s scandal involving sexual assault allegations within the athletic department.

cassius winston

Former MSU doctor Larry Nassar is a monster, who was found guilty of sexually abusing more than 150 women over two decades. The scandal at MSU has seen university president Lou Anna Simon resign and athletic director Mark Hollis announce early his retirement.

Additionally, the NCAA is investigating Michigan State athletics. Cassius Winston has spoken as intelligently on the topic as anybody involved in MSU athletics. In a season with so much turmoil off the court, MSU has an astoundingly mature, grounded star player at the one saying what needs to be heard.

“You don’t put up walls,” Winston said.

“This is real life. This is a terrible situation. This is something we’re going to use to tell our daughters one day, or our sons, especially. You can’t ignore it. You’ve got to listen to it. We have to listen.”

“We have to discuss. That’s when you get answers.”


When few people within Michigan State Spartans athletics have spoken up on this most serious of situations, Cassius Winston has separated himself from the herd, establishing his identity as a vocal leader.

The sophomore from Detroit is a leader both on and off the court.

“He’s starting to become more vocal, and take over come things,” said Izzo “It’s one of his biggest improvements.”

Cassius Winston has improved a ton on the court this season, and a lot of that comes from Izzo sitting down and talking with his #5, telling him what he needed to do in order to improve.

“Last spring, he really changed his demeanor, his body, his personality he had some let downs early in the year, and I talked to him about it. You know we’re just go ridiculous as reporters, coaches, fans, we just think all this stuff is going to come overnight,” Izzo continued.

“He has grown a lot, whatever you want to call it- coaching, parenting, confrontation, it’s been a good thing.  I’m proud of him, I’m proud of what he’s done.”

 Izzo also praised how Winston has improved his defending, rebounding, and doing the grunt things. Winston is and has always been a great shooter.

“That’s cash, money, he’s a big time player, fourth quarter/second half whatever, he always comes up big whenever we’re on or not,” said forward Jaren Jackson after the big comeback.

He spoke highly of the point guard’s intellect too.

“Any time you can get good grades where you’re in this situation, you’re on a top team and practicing so much, it’s almost overwhelming in some situations, but he’s able to manage it and pretty much thrive in it,” Jackson added.

Miles Bridges, like Jackson another star big man with sky high NBA Draft potential, agrees with Jackson’s assessment of Cassius Winston.

cassius winston

“He’s one of the smartest players IQ wise, basketball that I’ve ever played with. It really helps us out a whole lot,” Bridges added.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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