When he played at the LeBron James Skills Academy, he went up against older and bigger players, but he easily held his own and, in fact, many times stood out.
Tyler, who just turned 16 years old, said he had never played with that level of talent, and really relished it. "That was the highest level of talent I've played against," Tyler said. "They were the biggest, roughest and most athletic, and they all had an idea of how to play. It was really a great experience for me. Really competitive. I wasn't the biggest guy there, and I'm pretty young, but I thought I did pretty well. I learned how to play smart against guys like that."
It also inspired Tyler, at 245 poinds, to keep working on his size and strength. "Seeing guys like that, who are bigger and stronger, it definitely inspires me. There was a guy like Semardo Samuels, who was really strong and really smart. Seeing someone like that, how strong he was, was inspiring."
Tyler, obviously, is starting to get attention from many elite high major programs across the country. He did, say, though, that he has a preference for staying close to home.
"I'd like to stay on the west coast, so my family and friends can watch me," Tyler said. "Probably the University of Arizona is the farthest I'd go. There's UCLA, USC and maybe San Diego State. Those are my top four right now and I really don't have a favorite among those."
But what about, say, if schools like North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, Kansas and others showed a great deal of interest? Tyler said, "I do want to stay on the west coast, but if some big east coast schools came on, I'm not saying they don't have a chance. They, of course, have a chance. It's just me wanting to stay close to home, too. My parents want me to go wherever my heart says, and where I can get it done to get to the next level."
Tyler wasn't sure what programs among the ones he likes have offered him a scholarship, saying that his coach and trainer have been mostly handling that.
Tyler said he's been to the campuses of all four of his favorites. "I'm pretty familiar with them already. I'm really familiar with San Diego State since I live in San Diego. That's who I'm most familiar with, the people and the campus."
Other important factors in Tyler's potential decision down the line are academics and the feeling he gets from the athletic program. "I'm up to a 4.0 GPA right now," Tyler said. "So, academics are important to me. The vibe of the coaching staff, and the students and the players. I'll look for a lot of that stuff."
Whether a program has been very successful in recent years isn't a big deciding factor for Tyler, however. He said: "For me, by the time I get to college, I'm hoping to be a big impact player, so even if it's a team that hasn't gone to a Final Four or a Sweet 16, I want to help them get there. I don't want to go to a school where it would be really hard for that to happen, but I'd like to go to a school I could help."