Michigan State Spartans Men’s Basketball Team of Last Decade

Michigan State Spartans Men’s Basketball Team of Last Decade
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

What once seemed like a foregone conclusion has turned into an unfamiliar concept in East Lansing, as the Michigan State Spartans’ men’s basketball program wanders its way through another early March Madness exit.

This year’s loss in the Round of 32 extended the Spartans’ Final Four drought to five years. Michigan State has failed to advance past the Sweet 16 during that timeframe, with losses in the First Four (2021), Round of 32 (2022 and 2024) and Sweet 16 (2023) along the way.

It’s not what Spartans fans in the Tom Izzo era have come to expect and has been a surprise at Michigan betting sites.

Still, despite Michigan State’s recent tournament woes, there’s no denying that the recent Spartans teams have had their fair share of talent donning the forest green and white, with stars like Cassius Winston, Denzel Valentine and Nick Ward making their way through East Lansing between 2014 and 2024.

Utilizing SportsReference.com, BetMichigan.com, your best bet for online Michigan casinos coverage, developed the Michigan State team of the past decade, from 2014-15 to 2023-24. The players included had to have played for the Spartans during this period and it is based on combination of Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Win Shares (WS) during those years with the team.

Michigan St. Basketball Team of Last Decade

PositionPlayerYears With Team During DecadeCombined PER & WS
GuardCassius Winston2016-2043.3
GuardDenzel Valentine2014-1639.0
ForwardMiles Bridges2016-1831.9
ForwardNick Ward2016-1941.7
CenterXavier Tillman2017-2038.8

Caesars Sportsbook Michigan has the Spartans back in the pack at +4000 to win it all next season, with UConn the favorite to threepeat at +1000.  

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Here’s Your All-Decade Starting 5?

The top player in Michigan State’s recent (2014-2024) history, when broken down by cumulative PER + WS figures, is Winston, who averaged 14.2 points per game with a PER of 22.4 and 20.9 win shares in 139 NCAA games.  Winston eked out the top spot among eligible Spartans, with Ward (41.7 PER + WS between 2016 and 2019) and Valentine (39.0 PER + WS between 2014 and 2016) being the next closest.

Throw in center Xavier Tillman, who had 38.8 PER + WS between 2017 and 2020, and forward Miles Bridges (31.9 PER + WS between 2016 and 2018) and you have the full list for Michigan State.

Of the five, Winston was a two-time consensus All-American at MSU, Ward was an All-Big Ten selection in 2019 and Valentine made the All-Big Ten team in 2016, in addition to being named the conference and AP Player of the Year that season.

Tillman was an All-Big Ten team selection in 2020 and was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year that season as well. Bridges was a consensus All-American and an All-Big Ten member in 2018 for Izzo and company.

You can count on BetMichigan.com for coverage of the Spartans from a sports betting perspective as well as for Michigan sportsbook promos.

USA Today photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier



Christopher Boan is a staff writer for BetMichigan.com. He has covered sports and sports betting for more than seven years and has worked for publications such as ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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