Michigan State Spartans’ Cassius Winston joins Duke stars as All-Americans in men's basketball
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer
The season did not end as Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett intended. The fabulous freshmen came to Duke to win a national championship and their bid came up short with a loss to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.
Williamson and Barrett still managed to make a bit of history.
The Duke duo was named to The Associated Press All-America team on Tuesday, becoming the second freshman teammates to make the first team in the same season. They were joined by Tennessee’s Grant Williams, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Ja Morant of Murray State.
Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall in 2010 were the only other freshman teammates to take first-team AP honors.
The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williamson electrified college basketball with an array of thunderous dunks and soaring blocks, occasionally having to tilt his head to avoid hitting it on the backboard. He was selected unanimously by 64 voters as a first-team All-American. He averaged 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocked shots and 1.8 steals per game while leaving everyone wondering what he would do next.
“He’s got the most incredible first step,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said. “That’s why he’s getting all those steals. He can take one dribble and cover more space than most human beings that I know can do.”
Winston is not the most athletic player, even on his own team. He is heady, ultra tough and a big reason the Spartans are in the Final Four.
He averaged 18.9 points, 7.6 assists and was Michigan State’s go-to guy when a big shot was needed.
“I didn’t really picture myself in that position at the beginning of this year,” Winston said Tuesday
. “It’s a year full of blessings, for sure.”