Cassius Winston wants to leave Michigan State on a high note. Winning the B1G, the B1G Tournament and reaching the Final Four weren’t enough, so the reigning conference Player of the Year and unanimous All-American is returning for one more season.
On Friday afternoon, Michigan State announced that Winston will be returning to East Lansing for his senior year. He’s hoping to lead the Spartans to their second national championship under Tom Izzo.
“Playing in the NBA has always been my dream. But I have other dreams as well,” Winston said in a release. “This was an incredible season with an amazing group of teammates, but I believe there is still more to accomplish. From the moment the season ended, I started thinking about what else I could do and how I could improve, to help us reach the goals we want to reach.
“It was surreal to be compared to some of the all-time great Spartans during the tournament because in my mind I still have something left to prove. Those goals will motivate me throughout the offseason It will always be my goal to play in the NBA, but that’s a dream that can wait a year. I look forward to improving as a player, an continuing to get stronger. I know my teammates are equally committed to improving and I can’t wait for what our future holds.”
Winston averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game while averaging 33.5 minutes. He was forced to step up in a big way when injuries to Joshua Langford, Nick Ward and Kyle Ahrens occurred at different points throughout the season.
Still, Winston led the Spartans to a 32-7 record and a shared B1G regular season title. Michigan State also won the B1G Tournament and defeated rival Michigan all three meetings. The Spartans then found success in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Final Four with wins over Bradley, Minnesota, LSU and Duke before getting knocked out by Texas Tech.
Winston will be a favorite to be the National Player of the Year in 2019-20.