2019-20 Season

Defensive shortcomings exposed in loss at Michigan State

EAST LANSING — Cassius Winston has a way of getting back down the court after a big shot. He hops and swaggers, backpedaling and smiling. Sometimes he extends an arm. Sometimes he just lets the noise rain down on him, with no prompting. 

With 30 seconds to go in Sunday’s game, after he passed out of a double-team and watched the ball move until it found Rocket Watts, all by himself, watched a 3-pointer go down, heard the noise as Michigan State’s lead extended to 19, Winston didn’t do any of that. He walked slowly. He put a hand up. He let himself enjoy the moment. Michigan, by then, was well-acquainted with his usual routine. Because the Wolverines had no answer for him.

“He’s just an elite level,” Juwan Howard said.

In Michigan State’s locker room, Xavier Tillman laughed, noting that Winston, at one point, made the same circus-shot 3-pointer twice in a row.

“I mean, he’s so good,” Saddi Washington said.

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