North Texas star guard Tylor Perry recently trimmed his list of transfer destinations down to four schools; Kansas State, Texas Tech, Florida, and Ole Miss.
The reigning C-USA Player of the Year averaged 17.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.1 APG, and made 112 three-pointers for the Mean Green, who won a school-record 31 games and an NIT Championship. Perry will announce his decision for next season on Tuesday, May 2nd.
Highly under-recruited coming out of Spiro High School in Oklahoma, Tylor Perry had zero Division I offers, so he had to shape his own path by going the JUCO route. After leading Coffeyville Community College to the 2021 NJCAA National Championship and earning MVP honors, he finally garnered D1 interest at the mid-major level and transferred to North Texas. In his two seasons there, the Mean Green went 56-14 with a C-USA regular season title and won the NIT, bringing home the school’s first-ever national tournament title.
In his final season of college eligibility, Perry is headed to either the SEC or Big 12 with the opportunity to display his talent in one of the best conferences in the country. Let’s take a look at all four teams in pursuit of Perry and break down which school he fits with best.
4) Ole Miss
The Rebels haven’t been relevant in the national landscape for some time, but that could be changing soon after the hiring of Chris Beard. The former Texas coach previously led UALR to a 30 win season and then took Texas Tech to the Final Four in his 3rd year there. With his winning track record he should have Ole Miss on an upward trajectory in the near future, but just how long that will take for a school with just one NCAA Tournament win in the last decade is unknown.
Leading scorer Matthew Murrell is testing the NBA Draft waters, and Daeshun Ruffin and Amaree Abram are both transferring out of the program, so the roster has a ton of question marks right now. Tylor Perry could be the big splash needed to jumpstart this program and he would certainly be given the keys to ignite the offense.
Considering he only has one year of eligibility left, and with the Rebels in a serious state of rebuilding, I don’t see Ole Miss being a realistic destination for a player who wants to win another championship to cap off his career.
Florida has been one of the most active teams in the portal this offseason, having already received commitments from four players, including the MAAC Player of the Year Walter Clayton Jr. After finishing just 16-17 in year one of the Todd Golden era, the fans in Gainesville should expect vast improvement come 2023-24.
The Gators would benefit greatly from Perry’s winning persona. His knack for hitting clutch shots down the stretch of games could help improve a Gators’ team that was 1-5 in one possession games last season, and just 2-9 in games decided by 8 points or less.
It would be interesting to see how Perry and Walter Clayton Jr. would mesh together in Florida’s backcourt, and I see him fitting in well with what Todd Golden is trying to build right now, but I don’t see the Oklahoma native leaving Big 12 country.
2) Texas Tech
Choosing Texas Tech would be the safest option for Tylor Perry given the familiarity of coach Grant McCasland, who just left North Texas to take over the Red Raiders program. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Perry follow, as Texas Tech’s style of play matched that of the Mean Green, both of whom have been known to play a grind it out, defensive-oriented style of basketball.
The Red Raiders have already gone portaling to grab the Mountain West Freshman of the Year in Darrion Williams and a 40.7% career 3-point shooter in Chance McMillian from Grand Canyon, but Perry’s playmaking ability and overall scoring prowess is something that is needed for them to be competitive in the Big 12 next season.
Texas Tech’s three Sweet 16’s and one Final Four appearance in the last five tournaments could make this program an intriguing option for Perry’s last college stop. As of right now though, their overall roster isn’t at a level that can compete for a Big 12 Championship and make a deep run in the tournament, which will more than likely deter Perry from following Coach McCasland to Lubbock.
1) Kansas State
The Wildcats are a program on the rise behind the guidance of Jerome Tang. In his first season, he brought a team that was 9th in the Big 12 a year ago all the way to the Elite Eight, earning him the Naismith Coach of the Year. He was able to complete that remarkable turnaround by using the transfer portal to his advantage, as 5 of the Wildcats’ top 6 scorers came from other schools last offseason.
Life in the Big 12 is a grind, with absolutely no nights off in conference play. In order to excel you need players that can contribute on both ends of the floor, and Perry has proven to do just that. Perry’s 17.3 PPG led a Mean Green team who prided itself on its defensive identity more than anything, allowing the lowest PPG total in the country each of the last two seasons.
In my opinion, Kansas State is the best fit for both sides. Looking at the way Markquis Nowell was able to run the offense and showcase his talent to become a national sensation in the NCAA Tournament, I think Perry would be given the same opportunity which would be tough to pass up. Heading into May without a replacement for Nowell, it leads me to believe Tylor Perry is a top priority for the Wildcats, so my expectations are to see him wearing that ‘K-State’ across his chest for the 2023-24 season.