Michigan State basketball: All-time starting 5 – From Magic to Mateen

Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT
Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT /
1 of 5
Michigan State basketball all-time starting lineup
Mateen Cleaves #12 of the Michigan State Spartans with Morris Peterson #42 /

Mateen Cleaves and Magic Johnson are among the standouts on Michigan State basketball’s all-time starting lineup.

Michigan State basketball has had several All-Americans and future NBA stars come through East Lansing over the years. Filling out an all-time starting lineup of former Michigan State basketball stars is tough because several great players will be left off the list.

The most-watched basketball game of all time involves Michigan State, which has produced some legendary basketball figures. The Spartans have also had a rebirth under Tom Izzo, who has a national championship under his belt and has taken Michigan State to eight Final Fours since 1999.

There were plenty of players that could have cracked the starting five, including Scott Skiles, Johnny Green, Shawn Respert, Jay Vincent, Greg Keiser, Denzel Valentine and recent graduate Cassius Winston. The first spot on the squad will go, however, to a key member of the 2000 national champions, Morris Peterson.

5. F Morris Peterson (1995-2000)

Although he was arguably the second banana to Mateen Cleaves, Peterson was actually the more decorated player during the Spartans’ title run in 2000. Peterson led Michigan State in scoring in his senior year and starred in postseason play, being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans also saw Peterson be named the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2000 as well as earn second-team All-American status. Peterson’s no. 42 has since been retired by Michigan State.