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Big Ten Network All-Decade Team: Draymond Green, Denzel Valentine and Cassius Winston honored

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NCAA Basketball: Duke at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the Big Ten Network unveiled its All-Decade team for the 2010s for men’s basketball. The three All-Decade teams were voted on by a 24-member panel of experts. The Michigan State Spartans are well represented as forward Draymond Green and guard/forward Denzel Valentine were named to the first-team, while point guard Cassius Winston was named to the second-team.

Draymond Green:

Green is joined by Trey Burke (Michigan), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) and of course, fellow Spartan, Valentine.

It makes plenty of sense for Green to be included on the first-team. The “positionless” Green brought toughness, versatility and leadership to the Spartans. Here are some of the notable accolades Green accomplished during his time in East Lansing:

  • National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year in 2012
  • Big Ten Player of the Year in 2012
  • Consensus first-team All-American in 2012
  • First-team All-Big Ten in 2012 and third-team All-Big Ten in 2010 and 2011
  • Big Ten All-Defensive team honoree in 2012
  • Big Ten Tournament MVP in 2012
  • Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2010
  • Michigan State’s all-time leading rebounder, and third all-time in Big Ten History (1,096)
  • Scored 1,517 career points (12th in school history)
  • One of just three Spartans to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds
  • Ranks second in program history in steals (180)
  • Helped lead Michigan State to two Final Four appearances (2009 and 2010)
  • Three-time Big Ten regular season champion and one-time Big Ten Tournament champion
  • Jersey (No. 23) retired by Michigan State

Denzel Valentine:

Valentine was a versatile, do it-all player for MSU. He was an exceptional point guard, but also could play the shooting guard or small forward spots with ease. He finished his Spartans career with 1,645 points, 855 rebounds, 639 assists and 132 steals. Here are some of his accomplishments:

  • Named 2016 Associated Press National Player of the Year
  • National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year in 2016
  • Consensus first-team All-American in 2016
  • Won Julius Erving Award in 2016
  • Won Lute Olsen Award in 2016
  • Named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2016
  • Earned 2016 Senior CLASS Award
  • First-team All-Big Ten in 2016 and third-team All-Big Ten in 2015
  • Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2016
  • Led Michigan State to Final Four in 2015
  • Helped Michigan State win at least 27 games in each of his four years
  • Two-time Big Ten Tournament champion

Cassius Winston:

Winston is joined on the second-team by Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) and Jared Sullinger (Ohio State).

An argument can (easily) be made that Winston deserves first-team recognition. Quite possibly my favorite Spartan basketball player of all-time, Winston was the heart and soul of Michigan State’s team over the past couple of seasons. Here are just a few of the accolades Winston accomplished during his college career:

  • Michigan State’s and Big Ten Conference’s all-time leader in assists (890)
  • Scored 1,969 career points (fourth in Michigan State basketball program history, 22nd in Big Ten history)
  • Big Ten Player of the Year in 2019
  • Two-time Associated Press All-American selection (first-team in 2019, second-team in 2020) — just the sixth Spartan ever to receiver multiple All-American nods
  • All Big-Ten first-team selection in 2019 and 2020, and All-Big-Ten third-team selection in 2018
  • Named Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2019
  • Led Michigan State to a Final Four in 2019
  • Named George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year in 2020
  • Big Ten Medal of Honor Award-winner in 2020
  • Three-time Big Ten regular season champion and one-time Big Ten Tournament champion

Congratulations to Draymond, Denzel and Cassius on this very well-deserved honor. Go Green!

BTN will announce its Coach of the Decade tomorrow (June 25) at 10 a.m. It has to be Tom Izzo, right? Then the Player of the Decade will be revealed on Friday (June 26) at 10 a.m.

Next week, the focus moves to football. BTN kicks that series off on Monday, June 29 with running backs and linebackers, and will announce the players at each position, as well as All-Purpose Player and Coach of the Decade, throughout the week.