Michigan State basketball adds yet another accolade during an already successful quarantine period


Xavier Tillman/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Brendan Schabath, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING – Tom Izzo has been busy lately.

Whether it’s recruiting some of the best players in the nation or adding to an already long list of accolades, Michigan State basketball has been about as busy as it can be during quarantine. The latest addition to the list comes from the classroom. 

Xavier Tillman and Jack Hoiberg have been selected to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court. The NABC recognizes men’s college basketball student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom. In order to be named to the Honors Court, students must be a junior or senior credit-wise and have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. 

Tillman and Hoiberg aren’t the only ones who qualified for additional academic recognition. The entire Michigan State men’s basketball team was a recipient of the Team Academic Excellence Award for having a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the 2019-20 season. 

The Spartans have done everything right since the statewide lockdown began back in March. Multiple former men’s basketball players, most recently Cassius Winston, were named to Big Ten All-Decade team. Assistant coaches Dwayne Stephens and Dane Fife were recently voted first and third, respectively, by other conference coaches as the most valuable assistants in the Big Ten. This comes on top of the commitments of five-stars Emoni Bates and Max Christie. 

The academic awards speak to more than just the team’s superb work ethic in the classroom. Student-athletes who work hard off the floor usually work just as hard, if not harder, on the floor. After all, an intelligent student is an astute player. 

Follow Brendan Schabath on Twitter @Bschabath3.