Michigan State Basketball: Building Tom Izzo’s perfect Spartan basketball player

Cassius Winston, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Cassius Winston, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State basketball
Draymond Green, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Defensive Instincts: Draymond Green

This category makes me realize just how perfect Draymond Green was in this part of his game. He wasn’t ever the largest guy. Definitely wasn’t the most athletic. He was a bit undersized. But none of that mattered, he had and still does have the best defensive instincts of any basketball player in the world. He knew where to be and when to be there, and he was one of the smartest players in Big Ten history.

We likely won’t ever see a more complete player again.

Draymond played in the green and white from 2008-12. He is, in its purest definition, a Spartan Dawg. There have maybe been two or three more guys who fit the mold of Tom Izzo’s teams better.

Draymond is another guy that you love to hate; he’s a nuisance to come up against but one of the most beloved guys by his own fanbases.

He was all over the court during his last couple of seasons in East Lansing, earning him the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year awards in 2012. He’d translate these abilities to the NBA, winning himself the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017, along with three all-defensive first team honors.

Next. Predicting a future starting 5 with Emoni Bates. dark