Michigan State Basketball: 2 former Spartans set to make their NBA debuts

Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Two former Michigan State basketball stars, Xavier Tillman of the Grizzlies and Cassius Winston of the Wizards, both make their NBA debuts Wednesday night.

Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston are two names that Spartan fans will not soon forget. These two players embodied what it meant to play basketball at Michigan State.

Spartan success in the National Basketball Association is nothing new, and on Wednesday night, these two look to carry on that tradition.

Xavier Tillman
Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Xavier Tillman, PF/C, Grizzlies

Tillman will be making his debut against the San Antonio Spurs.

Through three years at MSU, he averaged 8.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Tillman decided to forego his senior season and declare for the NBA Draft. This ended up working out in his favor. Being drafted by the Grizzlies means Tillman will be reunited with former teammate Jaren Jackson Jr. This duo isn’t something that the Association should just ignore. Having played on the same team before should bring a sense of comfort to Tillman, allowing his transition into the NBA be a smooth one.

Cassius Winston
Cassius Winston, Washington Wizards (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Cassius Winston, PG, Wizards

Cassius Winston will be making his debut against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Through four years at MSU, he averaged 14.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.

Winston couldn’t be in a more ideal situation. He will be shadowing two NBA All-Stars in Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. Sure, he won’t see the minutes he saw in college right off the bat, but he will serve as a solid backup to Westbrook. Having these two to help him grow and ease his transition into professional basketball makes for the perfect landing spot for the former Spartan standout.

Note: Cassius Winston will start his season in the G-League while Xavier Tillman was out for the opener with knee tendonitis.

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