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Cousy Award becomes irrelevant #HLMBB

On November 29th, I did a breakdown of Kaylon Williams versus Ray McCallum Jr. about who is the better player.  I made the argument that while McCallum scores more, he is far less efficient with the ball and doesn’t win his team games.

Kaylon Williams was passed over for the Cousy Award.

Today, I’m revisiting that discussion. Why? Because Williams and McCallum were the only two representatives for the Horizon League on the finalists for the Bob Cousy Award given to college basketball’s best point guard, and now McCallum is the one to make the final cut to 20.

Excuse me?

Both players, in my mind, are the MVP’s of their respective teams.  Both teams would be lost without them on the court.  They’re even close in size, within one inch and three pounds of each other.  Although come to think of it, if Ray Jr. is three pounds heavier than Kaylon Williams, then James Haarsma is three pounds heavier than me.

So, using the same table as we did at the end of November, here’s Williams and McCallum stacked up now:

Compare Kaylon Williams Ray McCallum Jr.
Points per game 11.6 14.6
Assists per game 6.2 3.6
Rebounds per game 5.3 4.9
Steals per game 1.5 1.3
Turnovers per game 3.5 2.5
Assist/Turnover Ratio 1.8 1.4
Efficient FG% 47.0 47.1
Offensive Rating 93.9 104/1
Free Throw % 49.2 76.1
Clutch Plus/Minus -5 -16
Assist Percentage 42.2 22.0

So what does this all mean?  Well, here we go.  Both players are scoring more per game than they were in November, although McCallum is up 1.5 ppg to Williams’ one ppg.  Both have gotten their assists up, although Williams is still close to doubling McCallum in that category.

It's hard to find pictures of Ray Jr. taking jump shots. That's because he sucks at jump shots.

McCallum has rebounded the ball more now, up .5 rpg.  Both players A/TO ratio has gone up four tenths of a point, where Williams is now at 1.8 and McCallum is at 1.4.  Both players, especially Williams, have drastically cut down their turnovers since the start of December.  Williams now has more steals per game than McCallum, who led the stat last time.  While McCallum’s efficient field goal percentage has stayed consistent, Williams has dropped down after a couple really tough shooting performances; it should be pointed out that they are now separated by one tenth of a point.  This is due to Williams, at 28%, actually being a far superior three-point shooter to McCallum, who is shooting a putrid 21.6%.

The offensive rating for each player has changed a bit, with Williams going slightly down and McCallum going up a few points.  This is due to the increased scoring on McCallum’s part and the lowered eFG% on Williams’ part.

This brings us to the free throws.  It’s well-documented, here and elsewhere, that Williams struggles mightily at the free throw line.  McCallum’s percentage has stayed largely the same (77.3% to 76.1%) while Williams has tumbled (57.1% down to 49.2%).  Should Williams figure his problems out at the line, he’d be extra dangerous.  Shooting the same percentage as McCallum, Williams would have been 45 out of 59 instead of 29 out of 59, adding exactly one point per game to his total, moving him from 13th to 12th in the Horizon League for points per game.

Finally, I added something at the end – Assist percentage.  The assist percentage is a way for statisticians to show how many assists a player is getting compared to the time he is on the court and the possessions the team has.  This is a good statistic for Williams because the Panthers are one of the slowest teams in the nation (64.2 possessions per 40 minutes, 297th in the country) and this negates that difference made by players who play for instrinsically fast teams.

Things are far from perfect for Milwaukee, but there's no player I'd rather have manning the point than this guy.

For instance, Williams is averaging 6.2 assists per game, 17th in the country.  Tops in the nation is Scott Machado of Iona, who is averaging 10.286 assists per game.  However, when you consider that Iona is averaging 75 possessions per 40 minutes, you see Machado is getting 10 more opportunities per game to find himself assists.

In the table, you see there is no comparison; McCallum, on a much faster team (68.6 pos. per 40 min.), is averaging way less assists and based on possessions has several more opportunities than Williams every single game.

In case you didn’t know, while Williams is in the top 20 for assists per game, he is in the top 10 for assist percentage.

So, I leave it to you. Who is the better player?

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