East Lansing — While Michigan State’s Cassius Winston appears to be the clear choice for Big Ten Player of the Year, the junior guard continues to gain national attention.
On Wednesday, Winston was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, awarded each season to the top player in the nation. Purdue’s Carsen Edwards is also on the list, the only two Big Ten players to make the cut. Duke has two players on the list — Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.
The announcement comes just two days after Winston was named one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. He was joined in that group by Josh Perkins (Gonzaga), Tremont Waters (LSU), Markus Howard (Marquette) and Ja Morant (Murray State).
Winston is averaging 18.8 points, 7.6 assists and three rebounds while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 42.2 percent from 3-point range. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring and leads the league and ranks No. 3 in the country in assists.
Winston is also on the top 20 watch list for the Wooden Award and is one of 12 players selected to the Oscar Robertson Trophy final midseason watch list. Both of those awards go to the top player in the nation.
NAISMITH TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
► R.J. Barrett, Duke
► Carsen Edwards, Purdue
► Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
► Markus Howard, Marquette
► Dedric Lawson, Kansas
► Ja Morant, Murray State
► P.J. Washington, Kentucky
► Grant Williams, Tennessee
► Zion Williamson, Duke
► Cassius Winston, Michigan State