Michigan State's Cassius Winston leads writer's list of country's top point guards

The Detroit News
Michigan State's Cassius Winston leads Andy Katz's list of favorites to win the Bob Cousy Award as college basketball's best point guard for 2019-20.

Cassius Winston said last month he feels he can still make improvements following a season at Michigan State in which he was named the Big Ten's top player and an All-American.

That's scary stuff for opponents.

The Spartans' returning point guard already is considered one of the nation's top players for next season, landing Monday at the top of NCAA writer Andy Katz's list of favorites to win the Bob Cousy Award as the country's best point guard for the 2019-20 season.

Also making Katz's top 25 is Michigan's Zavier Simpson, who checks in at No. 8. 

The 6-foot-1 Winston led the Spartans to Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles as a junior, averaging 18.8 points and 7.5 assists, the latter of which led the Big Ten and ranked third nationally.

He announced in April he would return to Michigan State, where he'll lead the possible preseason No. 1 team in the country.

"He's going to enter the season as a potential Big Ten player of the year candidate, national player of the year candidate," Katz says in an accompanying video. " ... He wants to end his career with a chance to win a national championship, leave an unbelievable legacy at Michigan State — and really in college basketball — because he certainly would leave as one of the all-time greats at that position at Michigan State, which is saying something."

Simpson, meanwhile, helped lead the Wolverines to a second straight season of at least 30 victories as a junior. He averaged 8.8 points and 6.6 assists, and was a fearsome defender, landing on the Big Ten's all-defensive team.

"Juwan Howard has the comfort knowing he will start his head coaching career with a lead guard who can score, distribute and lock down opponents,: Katz writes. "The Big Ten is loaded at this position."

Maryland's Anthony Cowan Jr. (No. 5), who considered entering the NBA Draft, and Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu (No. 9) also are in Katz's top 10.