East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State’s men’s basketball team announced its individual team award winners at the annual banquet in the Breslin Center Monday night.
The Spartans enter the Big Ten Tournament with a 25-6 overall record and are ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches poll. MSU is coming off a 75-63 win over then-No. 7 Michigan on Saturday night, earning a share of the Big Ten regular season title and its second-straight conference championship.
Junior guard Cassius Winston (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) was named the recipient of the Charles S. Phillips Most Valuable Player Award, as voted on by the media, and the Gus Ganakas MVP Award as voted on by the team. Winston is averaging 19.0 points, 7.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from 3-point land. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten Conference in scoring, while also leading the league and ranking No. 3 in the country, in assists per game. Winston has scored at least 20 points 17 times this year, has six double-doubles in points and assists, has handed out at least 10 assists seven times and has dished out at least six in 25 games. He was named a First Team All-American on Monday afternoon by the Sporting News.
Redshirt senior forward Kenny Goins (Troy, Mich./Warren Mott) received the Jumping Johnny Green Chairman of the Boards Award. He leads the team, and ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 9.1 rebounds per game.
Redshirt junior guard/forward Kyle Ahrens (Versailles, Ohio/Versailles) and redshirt junior guard Conner George (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) were the co-recipients of the Unsung Player Award. Ahrens has battled through a lingering back injury all season, causing him to miss four full games and parts of others, but has still averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while being a defensive leader. George has appeared in 16 games and has been a vocal leader for the Spartans on and off the court throughout the season. In addition, Ahrens was also named the Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award winner.
Sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (Grand Rapids, Mich./GR Christiant) won the team’s Most Improved Player Award. Tillman averages 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while adding a team-leading 54 blocked shots, and is second on the team with 32 steals. Tillman was also the recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award. Tillman is a communication major and carries a cumulative 3.61 grade-point average.
The John E. Benington Defensive Player of the Year Award was awarded to senior guard Matt McQuaid (Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville). This is the third-straight year McQuaid has been at least a co-recipient of the award.
Junior co-captain Joshua Langford (Hustville, Ala./Madison Academy) was presented the Stephen G. Scofes Most Inspirational Player Award. The team’s third-leading scorer has missed the last 18 games after undergoing season-ending foot surgery, but has continued to be a vocal leader in the locker room and on the bench during games.
Redshirt freshmen Jack Hoiberg (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and Brock Washington (Southfield, Mich./Southfield Christian) were the co-recipients of the Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award.
2019 Michigan State Men’s Basketball Banquet Award Winners:
Most Valuable Player Award (Team Vote): Cassius Winston
Most Valuable Player Award (Media Vote): Cassius Winston
Scholar-Athlete Award: Xavier Tillman
Unsung Player Award: Kyle Ahrens & Conner George
Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award: Jack Hoiberg & Brock Washington
Most Improved Player Award: Xavier Tillman
John E. Benington Best Defensive Player Award: Matt McQuaid
Stephen G. Scofes Inspirational Player Award: Joshua Langford
Jumping Johnny Green Chairman of the Boards Award: Kenny Goins
Antonio Smith Glue and Guts Award: Kyle Ahrens