As a prep player, Winston led U-D Jesuit to four straight Catholic League titles. The team went to the Class A semifinals three times and won the Class A State Championship his senior year, when he averaged 21.9 points and 7.5 assists for a 28-0 team, winning Michigan’s Mr. Basketball award in the process.

Some doubted that his game would translate at the college level, because Winston does not wow you with incredible speed or athleticism. But those that doubted him failed to comprehend the powerful arsenal that was inherent in his unorthodox game.

The Journey: Cassius Winston Recruitment

Catch the premiere of “The Journey” at 10 p.m. ET Sunday.

Among people who know basketball, they’ll tell you that he has “an old man’s game”, in the same vein as a player like former Spartan Draymond Green.

This season, Winston averaged 18.8 points and 7.6 assists per game en route to leading the Spartans to the Big Ten title, Big Ten Tournament title, 32 wins and now the Final Four.

“What’s funny is that people bet against him in high school, saying oh, he wasn’t big enough, he wasn’t fast enough, wasn’t strong enough to be that kind of a player in the Big Ten and to play at Michigan State,” Donnelly said. “Somebody asked me the other day, did you know he was going to be this good of a player, and I said yes. Did I know he was going to be Big Ten Player of the Year? No, I can’t say that I ever even thought about that. But I know that his aspirations were to have an opportunity to play in the NBA. And he’s going to work his tail off to try and get that opportunity, until somebody tells him he can’t.”

Against Duke, Winston was in perpetual motion on Sunday night. Pushing the rock at a frenetic pace that had Magic Johnson smiling from ear to ear, he had the Blue Devils on their heels all night. And he did all of the little things as well, like setting the screen on the game-winning 3-pointer from forward Kenny Goins with 34.4 seconds left.