It’s been a busy year for 2016 U of D (Mich.) Jesuit four-star point guard Cassius Winston.
Handling the duty of point guard and team leader as just a sophomore for the Cubs, Winston feels it was a year well earned on and off the court.
“It started in the summer,” Winston said. “We knew we had expectations to make it to the Breslin Center. We knew we were going to do big things this year. We had our two big Africans. They took them away at the beginning of the season but that didn’t really phase us. We just thought we had more to fight for, someone to play for.
“So we took that on our shoulders and carried it with us. Had some rough games throughout the season. Had some ups and downs, but towards the end of the season we were finally picking up. Got through a lot of tough games and made it to the Breslin.”
Standing 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, Winston says he made great growth in one specific area of his basketball game, a major point of emphasis for him.
“This year I just worked on getting everybody involved,” Winston said. “Make it more fun for everybody.
“I like to see myself as pass first. Try to get everybody involved and then be able to take over when I can. Just pick my little points and bits where I can make something happen.”
On the Wolverines, Winston tracked their progress this past season, impressed with what they were able to accomplish.
“They had a great season,” Winston said. “They put a whole bunch of pieces together and made it work as a whole, not just one man was the whole show.
“They play together and work hard and win basketball games.”
Winston’s comfort with Michigan has increased with multiple trips to Ann Arbor in recent years, building a significant bond with assistant Bacari Alexander.
“They’re just people you can relate to,” he said. “People you can sit down and talk to. People you can go to dinner with, things like that.
When I go up there (I usually talk to) Bacari Alexander. He does most of the talking. He’s just a cool guy, very fun, and somebody you can relax around.”
Michigan will begin extending scholarship offers to 2016 prospects on June 15 and Winston is expecting one to come his way from the Wolverines at some point.
“From what I’m hearing, after the summer Michigan will offer me,” Winston said.
Noting that distance from home won’t be a factor in his college choice, Winston knows exactly what he’s looking for in a program.
“Of course my parents and where they feel comfortable with me going (is key),” Winston said. “Also playing style, whether I’m going to play or not, things like that. (A place) where I’m going to develop.”