Aaron Henry was the best basketball player on the court Saturday night when Michigan State defeated Nebraska, 84-77.
His career night helped the Spartans snap a three-game losing streak to start conference play.
The junior captain scored a personal-best 27 points, 17 in the first half, and did so by attacking off the dribble while flashing his jumper, finishing 10-of-16 from the floor.
Yet none of it mattered to him.
"I may have scored more than other nights, and it's probably one of my better nights," said Henry. "But I'm a team guy. The focus today was just to get a win, anything we could do to get a win … I mean, I set a career-high for myself, yeah that's fine and dandy. But I want to win. That's all I care about."
Henry, a 6-foot-6 swingman, also tied his collegiate-high with three 3-pointers on five attempts despite making 4-of-23 from beyond the arc since the season tipped off.
"I just told him that he did what we've been telling him to do. He drove the ball; he went off two feet," MSU head coach Tom Izzo said. "He has worked hard on his shooting; he made some 3s. But without those 3s, he still had 20 points ... he was the best player, and that's what he should be."
After losing Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman Sr. in the same year, Michigan State lost some leadership on both ends of the floor.
Izzo himself claimed the team is missing an alpha dog, saying maybe the head coach should take that responsibility.
But against Nebraska, Henry came one step closer to being the leader MSU needs.
"I was pleased with him, and I think he was pleased," said Izzo. "I think he understands that those are the things you got to do if you're going to be a big-time player."
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