The Perth Wildcats MVP Ball is this Saturday 18 March at Crown Towers, where the Gordon Ellis Medal for Perth Wildcats MVP will be awarded.
In a year where the Wildcats claimed its second straight NBL Championship, it’s no surprise that numerous players made outstanding contributions throughout the duration of the season.
Let’s take a look at some of the contenders.
Bryce Cotton’s Grand Final performance will be fresh in the mind of Wildcats fans. He broke all kinds of records with his 45-point effort in Game Three and claimed Grand Final MVP honours in the process. In the regular season Cotton was also named NBL scoring champion for his 22.1 points per game. However, of a possible 33 Wildcats games in 2016/17, Bryce Cotton only played 16 after his mid-season signing in January.
Casey Prather is the reigning Gordon Ellis Medallist, and with a season of NBL experience under his belt, he was even more damaging in 2016/17. After missing just the one game throughout the season, Prather finished with an average of 19.5 points per game and his assist numbers almost doubled from the previous year, to an average of 3.5 per game. The 25-year-old is one of just four players in club history to win championships in his first two years.
Damian Martin had a season interrupted by injuries to his jaw and his knee – missing 11 games of the regular season. However, of the 22 games he did play, the captain led the Wildcats to 17 wins for a staggering success rate of 77 per cent. To put that into perspective, the Adelaide 36ers finished top of the NBL ladder after winning 61% of their games. Martin ended the season with an average of 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Matt Knight missed six games throughout the year but still staked his claim as one of the Wildcats most important players. He was big in the latter part of the season and was a big reason for the Wildcats undefeated stretch to end the year. Shooting at 43 per cent, Knight rounded out the season with 9.0 points per game plays 6.0 rebounds on the way to becoming a three-time Wildcats champion.
Jameel McKay’s energy provided sparks and his defence a lot of headache for opposition scorers in 2016/17. His 45 blocked shots was good enough for second in the league, while his ability to change shots is something that doesn’t appear on the stats sheet. McKay shot the ball an efficient 55.7 per cent and averaged 7.7 points per game. His work on the glass was also impressive, with an average total of 6.4 boards per game.
Find out who takes out the medal on Saturday night. The Members MVP (voted by the Red Army) will be revealed on Friday!