College Sports The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time  

Ranker NCAA Basketball
7.1k votes 1k voters 20k views 38 items

List Rules Upvote the best basketball players in Spartans history based only on the player's college career.

Michigan State basketball fans, we’re ranking the best Michigan State Spartans of all-time. This list of Michigan State basketball players includes current and former players, along with the seasons played with the college. Featuring All-Americans, players in the NBA, and school legends who had their jerseys retired, the top players from Michigan State University men's basketball team history include Magic Johnson, Draymond Green, Scott Skiles, and Steve Smith. Who is the best Michigan State Spartan ever?

Vote up the ones you think are the greatest MSU basketball players in Spartans history. Feel free to add any Spartan freshmen, NBA rookies, or Michigan State alumni missing from the list.

list ordered by
1
553 35
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Point guard, Power forward

1977 - 1979

NCAA Champion (1979)

NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1979)

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons. ...more
2
264 108
Steve Smith is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Shooting guard

1987 - 1991

Steven Delano "Steve" Smith is a retired American basketball player. After a collegiate career with Michigan State, he played with several teams in his 14-season National Basketball ...more
3
197 69
Cassius Winston is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
sschmi7 added Point guard
Cassius Winston (born February 28, 1997) is an American basketball player for Michigan State University. His 182 assists were the second most ever by a freshman at MSU, trailing only Magic ...more
4
362 166
Draymond Green is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Power forward

2008 - 2012

Draymond Jamal Green Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Green, who plays primarily at the power forward ...more
5
270 114
Mateen Cleaves is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Point guard, Guard

1996 - 2000

NCAA Champion (2000)

NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2000)

Mateen Ahmad Cleaves is an American former professional basketball player who played in six NBA seasons. He is currently a music talent manager and an analyst on the television program Inside ...more
6
225 88
Zach Randolph is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Timothy Hayes added Power forward, Center

2000 - 2001

Zachary McKenley Randolph (born July 16, 1981) is an American professional basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "Z-Bo", ...more
7
217 84
Jason Richardson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Shooting guard, Small forward

1999 - 2001

NCAA Champion (2000)

Jason Richardson is a professional basketball player and an actor.
8
230 92
Denzel Valentine is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Guard

2012 - 2016

Denzel Robert Valentine is an American professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for Michigan State. As a senior, ...more
9
216 85
Scott Skiles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Point guard

1982 - 1986

Scott Allen Skiles is an American former professional basketball player and the former head coach of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks. Skiles holds the NBA record for ...more
10
192 71
Gary Harris is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Timothy Hayes added Shooting guard, Guard

2012 - 2014

Gary Harris is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball at Michigan State
11
175 68
Greg Kelser is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Small forward

1975 - 1979

NCAA Champion (1979)

Gregory "Greg" Kelser is a retired American basketball player and current television color commentator. Kelser played in the National Basketball Association from 1979 to 1985 and is ...more
12
223 99
Miles Bridges is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Small forward, Shooting guard

2016 - 2018

Miles Emmanuel Bridges is an American professional basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Michigan State ...more
13
166 63
Shawn Respert is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Shooting guard

1990 - 1995

Shawn Christopher Respert is an American retired professional basketball player who currently works as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association. A ...more
14
94 19
Morris Peterson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
EdKoster added Shooting guard, Small forward
Morris Peterson is a professional basketball player and an actor.
15
192 83
Jaren Jackson Jr. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Center

2017 - 2018

Jaren Jackson Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Michigan State ...more
16
130 49
Eric Snow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Point guard

1991 - 1995

Eric Snow is a retired American professional basketball player and businessman. He is currently the Assistant Coach for the Florida Atlantic Owls men's basketball team.
17
103 37
Johnny Green is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Power forward, Center

1956 - 1959

John M. "Jumpin' Johnny" Green is a retired American professional basketball player.
18
119 51
Kalin Lucas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Kalin Lucas Point guard

2007 - 2011

Kalin Jay Lucas is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for TED Ankara Kolejliler of the Turkish Basketball League. He attended St. Mary's Preparatory in Orchard Lake, ...more
19
110 45
Adreian Payne is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Timothy Hayes added Forward

2010 - 2014

Adreian Payne is a basketball player.
20
89 30
Shannon Brown is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Coleton_j added Point guard, Shooting guard

2003 - 2006

Shannon Brown is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. He attended Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, ...more
21
92 34
Sam Vincent is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Point guard

1981 - 1985

James Samuel "Sam" Vincent is a retired American professional basketball player and the former head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. Vincent won the State of Michigan "Mr. ...more
22
90 35
Jay Vincent is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Small forward

1977 - 1981

Jay Fletcher Vincent is a retired American professional basketball player. A 6'7" forward, Vincent played at Michigan State University under coach, Jud Heathcote, where he teamed with Magic ...more
23
108 53
Drew Neitzel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Drew Neitzel Point guard

2004 - 2008

Andrew "Drew" Neitzel is an American professional basketball player.
24
63 28
Ralph Simpson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Shooting guard, Small forward

1969 - 1970

Ralph Derek Simpson is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally in the ABA and NBA from 1970 to 1980.
25
64 30
Antonio Smith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Michigan State Basketball Players of All Time
Antonio Smith Forward

1995 - 1999