Rosemont, Ill. — Michigan’s Charles Matthews and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Nick Ward are all looked to be the respective leaders on their teams this season.
The trio also has another thing in common — they were all named to the 10-player All-Big Ten preseason team on Thursday at the conference’s annual media day.
Matthews, a redshirt junior wing, tested the NBA Draft waters before opting to return to Michigan for his third year. The top returning scorer from last season, he started all 41 games and averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30.1 minutes.
Matthews elevated his game during Michigan’s NCAA Tournament run when he was named the West Regional Most Outstanding Player en route to helping the Wolverines reach the national title game.
Like Matthews, Ward, a junior forward, went through the pre-draft process before announcing he was coming back to East Lansing. As one of three returning starters for Michigan State, he averaged 12.4 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds in 18.9 minutes in 35 games. Ward also shot 65 percent from the floor, which was the second-best mark in the Big Ten.
Winston, a junior guard, was one of the Big Ten’s top passers and 3-point shooters last season. He averaged a conference-best 6.8 assists and 52.6 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, in addition to scoring 12.6 points per game.
Ward and Winston each started 34 of 35 games last year and earned All-Big Ten third team honors.
Matthews, Winston and Ward were joined by Indiana’s Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan, Maryland’s Anthony Cowan Jr., Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy, Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr., Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ.
Edwards, who was named the preseason Big Ten player of the year, and Happ were the only unanimous selections.