The recognition just keeps coming for Yogi Ferrell.
A week after being named the Dallas Mavericks’ starting point guard, Ferrell was selected Thursday as the Western Conference rookie of the month for February.
This is the first time a Mavericks’ player was chosen rookie of the month since Devin Harris in November of 2004.
In 11 games last month, Ferrell averaged 12 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, shot 41.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range.
This special season for Ferrell started when the 6-foot rookie from Indiana was plucked from the National Basketball Development League’s Long Island Nets and signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks on Jan. 28.
I never doubted myself, I never doubted by ability. I came into a great situation in Dallas, a great organization, [the Mavericks] wanted me, had confidence in me and just let me rock.
Yogi Ferrell, Mavs’ undrafted rookie point guard
After Ferrell sparked the Mavericks to victories over San Antonio, Cleveland and Philadelphia, owner Mark Cuban skipped a second 10-day contract and instead signed Ferrell to a deal worth $208,000 the rest of this season and $1.3 million next season.
“It feels great,” Ferrell said of Thursday’s award. “I came in here with a lot of confidence, a chip on my shoulders, being undrafted, not getting invited to the combine – all of that.
“I stayed with it, I never doubted myself, I never doubted by ability. I came into a great situation in Dallas, a great organization, [the Mavericks] wanted me, had confidence in me and just let me rock.”
Not being invited to the NBA’s pre-draft combines didn’t sit too well with Ferrell.
“It becomes a big chip,” Ferrell said. “I just want to go out there and play with a lot of energy, play with a lot of heart, and show guys that I belong in this league for a long time.
“Y’all see me still working out here after practice – it always makes me hungry. I’m always the guy who gets in the gym and gets extra shots, and I just want to continue to grow and get better.”
Ferrell has started 11 of the 14 games he’s played for the Mavericks and ultimately made former starting point guard Deron Williams expendable. The Mavericks, who host Memphis at 7:30 p.m. Friday at American Airlines Center, waived Williams at the trade deadline last week. Williams is now with Cleveland.
So well-deserved. This recognition proves that there is untapped talent out there and that hard, enthusiastic play does not go unnoticed in the NBA.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle about Yogi Ferrell
“So well-deserved,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Ferrell’s honor. “This recognition proves that there is untapped talent out there and that hard, enthusiastic play does not go unnoticed in the NBA.”
In Ferrell’s first game with the Mavericks on Jan. 29, he scored nine points and handed out seven assists in an upset win over the Spurs. The very next night against the world champion Cavaliers, he outplayed All-Star Kyrie Irving and scored 19 points and had four steals in another upset.
Two nights later, Ferrell contributed 11 points and five assists in a win over Philadelphia. After that third game, the Mavericks and Ferrell came to terms on a two-year contract.
Ferrell celebrated by pouring in a career-high 32 points and dishing out five assists at Portland. Thus, Ferrell became the first undrafted rookie to tally at least 30 points in a game and also lead his team in assists.
Overall against the Blazers, Ferrell was 11-of-17 from the field, including nine of 11 from 3-point range. The nine 3-pointers tied an NBA record for the most by a rookie in one game.
“I actually never even thought I was in the running for player of the week,” Ferrell said. “I think this is a lot better honor – rookie of the month – than player of the week, that’s for sure.
“I’d say it’s just another accomplishment in my career and it’s a testament to all the hard work that I’ve done. I’m happy, my teammates are happy for me, but at the end of the day we’ve still got one goal in mind and that’s to reach the playoffs and that’s just to win games.”
Mavericks vs. Grizzlies
7:30 p.m. Friday, FSSW