SI: Oakland’s Felder is mid-majors’ top player, so far

The Detroit News

The nation is getting to know Kay Felder.

Oakland’s 5-foot-9 junior point guard leads the country with 9.2 assists per game, and ranks third at 26.1 points per game. He’s had major games against major teams (38 points and nine assists in 35 minutes in a victory at Washington; 37 points and nine assists in a near-upset of then-No. 1 Michigan State; 30 points in a loss at then-No. 5 Virginia).

And, according to Sports Illustrated, the Detroit Pershing product just might be the best player among the mid-majors.

The publication named Felder its “player of the year so far” outside the major conferences in its “mid-major reset,” which came out Tuesday.

“There would have been no debate for who deserved this honor had the Golden Grizzlies managed to upset No. 1 Michigan State at the Palace of Auburn Hills last month (they lost by six in overtime)” SI’s Chris Johnson wrote. “But Felder is a really strong candidate nonetheless. He leads Division I in assists per game and Offensive Win Shares, ranks (third) in points per game and fifth in minutes played per game. ...

“Felder is an electric scorer who’s proven he can light up major conference teams; let’s hope he gets a chance to display his talent in the NCAAs.”

The news wasn’t all good for Michigan teams in SI’s reset, however. A 7-6 start has Central Michigan, a preseason pick to win the Mid-American Conference’s West Division, as SI’s biggest “flop team.”

“... Central Michigan may not even be the best directional school in its own state,” Johnson wrote. “Coach Keno Davis’s team has already lost six games and has yet to notch a win against a team in the top 220 of kenpom.com’s rankings. The Chippewas are hemorrhaging points — they rank 318th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency — and aren’t scoring enough to make up for it on the other end of the floor. The good news? Central Michigan has won four of its six games since senior point guard Chris Fowler returned from an injury.”