Congratulations to Tylor Perry, clutch shooter, baller, bucket-getter and best scoring option on this NT squad. The league’s coaches, administrators, and media (one from each team, not MGN) voted him player of the year. If you are wondering about why they chose him over Jelly Walker of UAB, consider the following:
Tylor Perry played in 20/20 conference games, including 697 total minutes to Walker’s 15 games played and 511 minutes. Walker took more shots, made more shots but Perry made more of the shots he took. Walker is shooting .374 from three on about 13 threes per game (all per/40 minutes). Perry is shooting .420 on about 15 per game. So Jelly was putting up about 26 points per game while Perry had about 19.2 (all per 40). Essentially, Perry was more efficient on a slower-paced team. Walker can obviously score, but so can Perry.
Sports Reference had Perry at 125.1 ORtg per 100 possessions and 100 DRtg. Jelly was at 113/106.7 on his per-100 possession numbers.
In short, it seems the voters liked Perry’s availability, team success (NT beat UAB twice and had a better record) and efficiency. Again, both could have won it, but simply looking at the points-per-game is a little old-school. We have other and more numbers to measure that help justify the eye-test. To my eyes, Perry was so important for North Texas and his consistent production on a team that has limited offensive possessions is incredible.
This is another feather in the cap for the program, led by Grant McCasland, as NT has now produced two league players of the year (Javion Hamlet). Having a great season is laudable, but having more than one and having more than one remarkable player come through to lead those great seasons is next-level stuff.
Rubin Jones was named to the all-defensive squad and Abou Ousmane was named to the third team. I would have had Ousmane over Fielder on the 2nd team, but I don’t know how the voting worked exactly and I am clearly biased. Kai Huntsberry won newcomer of the year, as well. Overall, this was a fair representation for the league’s second best team. NT benefited from FAU not having a big-time star — Johnnell Davis won sixth man of the year and he’s their leading scorer. So the league’s 2nd place team got the POY, the Newcomer, a first-team selection (Perry), and a third team guy (AO) with Jones on the all-defensive squad. That definitely tracks.
Like any award or recognition, it is desired and coveted and targeted, but the half-life is short. Already Jordan Walker at UAB was upset about coming in second, tweeting “Watch this!” The next prize is the league tournament and the next individual prize is tournament outstanding player. On the podcast we said that Perry winning is deserved, but if Walker won it then we don’t have to fear an angry Jelly going off in the tournament. We were joking, but if everything goes according to seed, then the Friday matchup between NT and UAB will be very intriguing indeed.