ESPN and CBS Sports High on the Spartan Basketball’s Future

ESPN+and+CBS+Sports+High+on+the+Spartan+Basketball%27s+Future

Blake Froling

Last Friday, Michigan State basketball landed coveted four-star point guard Cassius Winston. His signing catapulted MSU’s 2016 recruiting class straight to the top of the rankings, according to 247Sports.

Now it’s time to get more familiar with the University of Detroit Jesuit product.

ESPN’s Reggie Rankin broke down Winston’s game and gave a scout’s view of how he’ll fit into the Tom Izzo system.

Winston will provide Izzo with a point guard who can push the ball on the break and can settle things down and execute the halfcourt offense, in addition to being ready to call his own number to score and create when the play breaks down, or at end-of-clock and end-of-game situations,” Rankin said in the article.

Winston will provide the Spartans with a completely different look at point guard. While sophomore Tum Tum Nairn Jr. is clearly a pass-first guard, Winston looks to score more.

“Winston’s presence will give the offense two primary ball handlers, and two guards who can apply pressure and create turnovers, leading to fast-break opportunities,” Rankin said.

Rankin compared Winston’s game to that of NBA guards Shane Larkin of the Brooklyn Nets and Aaron Brooks of the Chicago Bulls, who both are known more for their scoring.

“Izzo has once again done a great job of filling his roster needs with quality young prospects who fit his style of play, and are loaded with talent and potential,” Rankin said.

This glowing review of Winston and MSU’s recruiting class is the latest in a string of positive reports on the future of Spartan basketball. CBSSports’ Gary Parrish ranked Izzo’s squad as the No. 9 ranked school that is most likely to have success over the next five years. His ranking was based on coaching stability, young players already in the program and the strength of the recruiting classes.

“The next time Tom Izzo has a bad team will be the first time in roughly 20 years,” Parrish said. “He’s just about as reliable as they come.”