Winston, Tillman named to Naismith Player of the Year watch list

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EAST LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- Two Michigan State basketball players have been named among 50 candidates for the 2020 Citizen Naismith Men’s Player of the Year.

The award, given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, recognizes the nation’s most outstanding player.

MSU’s candidates: senior point guard Cassius Winston, a Detroit native, and junior forward Xavier Tillman, of Grand Rapids.

Winston was the 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year and is a preseason Associated Press All-American this season.

Michigan guard Zavier Simpson, a senior from Lima, Ohio, has also been named to the award’s top 50 watch list.

The Naismith candidate field will be whittled down to 30 players by February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s website said.

The trophy will be awarded April 5 to the nation’s top player in Atlanta during the NCAA Final Four.

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