Michigan State basketball was well-represented on the Big Ten’s all-decade team which was released this week.
Since we’ve hit 2020 and the 2010s are officially over, the Big Ten Network decided to vote on an all-decade team for the conference and it was met with a little controversy.
On Tuesday afternoon, the all-decade second team was released and it included one Spartan who many believed should have been a first-team lock.
Who just missed the first-team cut for Michigan State? None other than one of Michigan State’s best-ever players, Cassius Winston. He finished up an epic career in East Lansing just shy of 2,000 points (thanks, COVID-19) and 890 assists with a 43 percent 3-point shooting rate.
How the heck did he not make first team?
Winston joined the second team along with Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. It’s tough to argue any of the other selections, but having Cassius on that second team is borderline highway robbery.
While he may not be on the first team, the Spartans were well-represented there.
Michigan State basketball makes first-team splash
It’s hard to imagine two Spartans who had better careers than Cassius on the all-decade team for the Big Ten, but that’s what a panel of 24 voters believed.
The first one to make the cut was Draymond Green who was the 2012 NABC Player of the Year and helped lead Michigan State to a couple of Final Fours. He is now making waves in the NBA but people seem to forget just how valuable he was for the Spartans from 2008-12.
The next selection from Michigan State was Denzel Valentine.
Valentine was the 2016 AP National Player of the Year and took over after Green left. He was arguably the best guard Tom Izzo has had since Mateen Cleaves — some would argue it goes Mateen, then Cassius and then Denzel.
Next to Denzel and Draymond, Trey Burke, Frank Kaminsky and Evan Turner were named to the first team.
Out of the 10 players selected to the first and second all-decade team by Big Ten Network, 30 percent of them were Spartans. Not too shabby.