Player Of The Year MSU PG Cassius Winston Looks To The Season

Hondo S. Carpenter

Breslin Student Events Center

East Lansing, MI

The #1 team in America is right here in East Lansing and of course, we are talking about the Michigan State Spartans and their Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo.

The Spartans kick off the season on October 29, in an exhibition contest against Albion and the season officially kicks off November 5 at 9:30 PM in New York. The Spartans will be taking on the Kentucky Wildcats in the Champions Classic. No doubt that the nation’s attention is already looking at the critical first game of the year heavyweight fight.

Tom Izzo is fired up for the season. He said about this year's Spartans that, "So while I'll embrace the expectations, while I'm excited about it, I'm hoping we're still going to remain the same blue-collar institution that we are and blue-collar program. We're going to continue to preach that. More importantly, our leaders will continue to preach that."

Izzo said of Winston, "A lot of guys say that stuff. But deep down, I don't care if I score 20 points, I'd sure like to score 20 points a game. He doesn't care. He really doesn't. If you talk to Cassius, when we talk to him about NBA opportunities or what's going to happen at the end of last year, you know, it was like sometimes he's in awe of where he is. That is the neatest humbling feeling you can have for a star."

He continued saying about Winston, "What I've been told, though, if sometimes you're too humble, it hinders you from being great. That's the happy medium we have to find. I love his humility. I love his humbleness. But I want to make sure he knows I think he can become one of those special guys and play and help lead us to great things and then play basketball after college."

Izzo also added of his star PG, "I think that's my goal. I think that's his goal. I think it's cool when the coach and the player have the same goals, and I do appreciate his humbleness over the entire time he's been here, but if you really look at what that kid has done, when you look at his freshman year and everybody was disappointed and questioning and this and that, that summer he went to work. He got better that summer, and he got a little better the next summer. He had a great year. Until at the end of the year, the knee a little bit, just wear and tear."

The Spartans Hall of Fame head coach talked about saving Cassius and not over using him.  "I watched a couple of those Big Ten Tournament and NCAA games last year, and he felt like he was -- you could see him almost walking on his knees. This summer, took some time off, and we told him he's got to get those legs stronger, not only for his quads but also his defense because that's one area that has to improve if he's going to really take us to another level."

I thought he did everything we asked of him and more, and I'm anxious to see how that pans out.Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter when you CLICK THE MAGAZINE ICON at the top left of the page or the FOLLOW button back on the main page. Don’t miss any of the latest up to the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter