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Big Ten awards put MSU's Winston, UM's Brazdeikis in elite company

Michigan State guard Cassius Winston drives past Purdue guard Nojel Eastern during the first half Sunday.

East Lansing – Cassius Winston joined some elite company this week, being named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the fourth time this season.

The junior guard joined Draymond Green (2011-12) and Denzel Valentine (2015-16) as the only Spartans to earn four Player of the Week honors in one season. It was also the second straight week Winston was honored, sharing the award this week with Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy.

Winston averaged 20 points, 7.3 assists and shot 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from 3-point range as No. 6 Michigan State went 2-1 on the week, beating Maryland and Iowa – both ranked teams – before the Spartans suffered their first conference loss Sunday at Purdue.

The Spartans nearly erased a 23-point deficit thanks to Winston’s 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

“Cassius tried to put us on his back and what a performance by him,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

Winston opened the week with 14 points and seven assists in the victory at home over Maryland and followed that with 23 points and seven assists in the win at Iowa while going 3-for-5 on 3-pointers.

Winston currently leads the Big Ten in assists per game (7.3), which is fifth in the nation. He’s also fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 45.5 percent (55-for-121).

Ignas Brazdeikis of the Michigan Wolverines shoots the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday night.

No. 4 for Iggy too

Michigan freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis snapped a mini slump and picked up another accolade along the way.

After recording his second double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against Minnesota and his sixth 20-point outing in Michigan’s largest win at Indiana last week, Brazdeikis earned his fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor.

The weekly recognition put Brazdeikis in good company and moved him up the program ranks. He surpassed the three earned both Tim Hardaway Jr. (2010-11) and Nik Stauskas (2012-13) and moved closer to the mark set by Trey Burke (2011-12), who was honored seven times.