Now that the men’s NCAA tournament has come to a conclusion, it is time for college basketball fans to reflect on the past season before setting their sights on the future. For us, that means breaking down the performance of each player on Northwestern’s men’s basketball team. Next up is Newton, Kan., native Ty Berry.
Coming into the 2021-2022 season, Berry was expected to take a leap. He showed flashes of potential throughout his first year in Evanston, and his performance earned him a starting role at the start of his second carousel. One of the better shooters on Northwestern’s roster, Berry initially earned extended minutes from what he saw a year ago.
About midway through the season, the second-year’s inconsistency on both the offensive and defensive ends saw him move to the bench. He still got minutes, and in many games he was a top scorer for the ‘Cats, but he did not assume the increased role many fans had hoped for. That being said, the sophomore still has time to improve and regain a starting role.
The following stats are from KenPom.com
Offensively, Berry posted almost identical stats compared to what he did a year ago. His offensive efficiency increased by 0.8 points and his effective field goal percentage increased by only 0.1 percent. Arguably Berry’s best quality, three-point shooting, did increase to 38.3 percent — this was refreshing for a Northwestern team that often lacked the shooting it needed in most games. But, the same could not be said for the sophomore inside the arc, as his field goal percentage decreased by over 14 percent.
Defensively, Berry was also similar to a year ago, increasing his defensive rebounding percentage by just 0.8 percentage points. He did, however, slightly decrease his steal rate, which is something the Northwestern team as a whole needs to improve upon for next year.
The following stats are taken from hoop-math.com
What stands out for Berry is that 69.2 percent of his shots are from three-point range, which drastically leads Northwestern (Boo Buie is in second with 48.8 percent). About 90 percent of his threes taken were assisted, showing he does have the basketball IQ to put himself in a position worthy of receiving the ball. However, it does not necessarily mean he made the shot in the end.
It is also worth noting that though Berry needed to improve by the rim, only 11.4 percent of his shots came there, which was third to last on the team. Berry has what it takes from three but might need to take more shots from inside the arc to add another level to his game.
Let me first start by saying this: when Ty Berry is hot, he is HOT. In his best games, players can feed him the ball and he hits shots from everywhere, including this season’s games against Ohio State and Illinois. Berry was able to keep Northwestern in games they might not otherwise have been in and be a spark from deep when the ‘Cats needed it.
The Ohio State game stood out. Berry posted a career high 23 points, shooting 4-6 from three as well as 4-6 inside the arc. This was his best performance of the year, where he showed he was capable of producing from two as much as he was from three.
Berry has shown potential from two in performances as such, and anyone who watches Northwestern basketball knows how lethal of a shooter he can be and how vital he is to the ‘Cats when he’s consistent.
On that note, the sophomore struggles with consistency. While he’s shown he can hit threes from just about anywhere, he’s also shown that his success is often conditional, with more than a few games where he did not make one three at all. He went on a three game stretch in January (vs. Maryland, at Michigan State, vs. Wisconsin) where he was a combined 0-10 from beyond the arc — not the most compelling statistic.
Berry definitely has what it takes to assume the position as Northwestern’s go-to shooter, but until he shows consistent success, it’s difficult for Collins to rely on him to knock down the big baskets.
Other than consistency with already sharp three-point shooting, Berry’s main focus in the offseason should come inside the arc. What’s really stopping him from unlocking his full potential offensively is his efficiency from two-point range.
And, though he has shown some improvement in his mobility around the arc on defense, Berry still has yet to show he can compete with the conference’s best. Increasing his speed up top, especially reflexively, could add some much needed steals to Northwestern’s defensive docket — while the team was already successful in not giving up the ball themselves, creating turnovers was not a particular strength, and Berry could prove quite useful in that way with some slight adjustments.
The Bottom Line
The outlook for the 2022-2023 season for Berry is pretty similar to what it was coming into this past year. Those who have watched his first two campaigns know how much offensive potential he has, but it is just the consistency and polishing his arsenal on both ends of the court that he needs to work on. There’s little doubt Berry’s role will increase in the future, and the hope is he will put those increased minutes to good use.