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Tyler Herro says he would have been ‘1 or 2’ in Rookie of the Year race had he not been injured

(Mark Brown/Getty Images)

(Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Tyler Herro has never been short on confidence, even before he spent his lone college season in Lexington.

After one year of playing at the highest level of basketball in the world, the former Kentucky Wildcat is still riding the same confidence that helped him escape the wrath of the still-salty Wisconsinites. In an interview with ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, the Miami Heat rookie said that he would have finished “1 or 2” in the NBA’s Rookie of the Year race had a nagging ankle injury not sidelined him for 15 consecutive games.

I definitely feel like if it wasn’t for that injury, I feel like I would be 1 or 2 in the Rookie of the Year race,” Herro told ESPN. “So I’m ready to get out there and prove myself again.”

Herro’s ankle finally came around right as the coronavirus postponed the season. He played in seven minutes in his first game back against the Charlotte Hornets on March 11, the same day Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with COVID-19, effectively putting the rest of the 2019-20 season on hold.

Prior to his absence, Herro might have been able to back up his statement. He was averaging 12.9 points (8th amongst all rookies) and 4.0 rebounds while playing over 27 minutes per game. He converted on 39.1 percent of his 5.4 three-point attempts through 47 games. Herro dropped 29 points in just his fourth NBA game and tallied up nine outings with at least 20 points. He drilled seven triples in a January matchup against the Washington Wizards – tying the league record for a rookie.

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant was – and still is – seen as the favorite to win the award, and the emergence of Zion Williamson (NOP) halfway through the season propelled him into the conversation as well. But when you take a step back and assess the entire rookie class, there are only a handful of first-year guys who could argue they were playing better than Herro before his injury.

Eric Paschall (GSW), Brandon Clarke (MEM), and Rui Hachimura (WAS) are the few I would group with Herro. You could even add P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA) into the mix. The 2019 class of rookies is stacked with quality talent. Had he been able to stay on the court, it’s hard to imagine Herro wouldn’t have continued his impressive scoring run right into the discussion for ROY.


Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

9 Comments for Tyler Herro says he would have been ‘1 or 2’ in Rookie of the Year race had he not been injured

  1. Cletis75
    10:41 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

    Hahahahaha, you’re in Miami, get some color on them legs. You look like me in KY, ha!

    • Cletis75
      10:42 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Hopefully that’s some compression wear in white!

  2. RAGE
    11:18 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

    I am a Herro fan… I enjoyed watching him while he was here at Kentucky and this year at Miami… However that is a big statement for him to make.. I like the confidence he has in himself but no way he wins ROY this year… Ja Morant should win that hands down… I don’t know who should get second in the race but The best NBA prospect to come out of Kentucky this season in the NBA didn’t come from us

    • memphis wildcat
      8:51 am May 2, 2020 Permalink

      Love Herro as well and I believe Ja wins hands down. But if we remove injuries from the equation, Zion probably wins and Ja is second. Herro is in a large group that gets 3rd.

    • RAGE
      12:08 pm May 2, 2020 Permalink

      Agreed… Memphis that is spot on to my thoughts… I think Herro ego is a little inflated by his statement there…

    • RAGE
      12:09 pm May 2, 2020 Permalink

      But I do like the swagger and hope he continues to help Kentucky with his input and play with future recruits… lol

  3. Dr. Tom
    10:42 am May 2, 2020 Permalink

    Keep the swagger going Bucket!!

  4. dan1965
    2:20 pm May 2, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t think he was over confident at all,he has confidence in his game,that’s what it takes to be great,that’s the way M.J. always thought !
    And he said 1 or 2, and I agree Ja Morant would undoubtedley be 1 ,and won it, but I really believe Tyler could have been 2.
    And no way,and I mean NO WAY SHOULD ZION EVEN BE CONSIDERED !!!
    If he played a full season,or something close, but are you kidding me,he MAY ,MAY have got to play 1/3 of a season if it hadn’t shut down,and now been shortened even more,and some of you think that’s enough to even be considered for R.O.T.Y ! UNBELIEVABLE !!!

    • RAGE
      10:55 pm May 2, 2020 Permalink

      Dan that was me and Memphis said also… I think I can speak for both of us when we said that Zion if not injured would have probably won it based on his small sample size… But that we both said he shouldn’t be considered for the award… I just said that Ja should win the award and he was the best Rookie from the state of Kentucky… I don’t know who would be 2…. I am probably just old school but I don’t really like comments like this no matter who says them… I mean I understand the confidence and all but let someone else say how good you are… I don’t like to hear the said person say how good or what he deserves based on his play… Herro is a good player let the talking heads make comments about your play… I don’t like to hear the player say it about himself… But I am just old school and bored I guess to be making comments tonight lol