Tyus Saved His Best For Last

Alex Tyus has had a mixed, frustrating and unpredictable senior season, but the 6-8 forward from St Louis has clearly saved his best basketball for last. In three NCAA Tournament games Tyus has scored 35 points and grabbed 36 rebounds. It's the most rebounds he has grabbed in any three game stretch of his career and the 35 points is one shy of his best three game stretch this season.

Thursday night against BYU, Alex Tyus snared a career high 17 rebounds, scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting, blocked a shot and dish off perhaps the best assist of his life. BYU decided it would not let Vernon Macklin breathe, leaving it up to Tyus to take advantage of his opportunities and he really did. The 19/17 was just the fourth double-double of the year for the athletic big man, but came at just the right time.

Tyus has been frustrated for much of this season. He has scored in double figures about half the time, never doing so four games in a row. His playing time (25 min./g) is down about four minutes and his averages of 9 points and 6 rebounds are down from 12/7 a year ago. Yet he has hung in there and persevered and the last two games he has been Florida's best player.


Tyus will not go down as one of the best forward in Gator hoops history, but he has had a very good career in Orange and Blue. He has scored 1319 points and grabbed 761 rebounds in his four seasons. He is one of only ten players in UF history to reach both of those numbers. Those stats are even more impressive when you realize that Tyus scored just 155 points and grabbed 93 rebounds as a freshman.


Last spring Tyus announced his decision to leave the Gator program only to reverse course and return for his senior season. At times he appeared to be questioning that decision and his performances were incredibly uneven. He scored 20 against a good Kent State team but just 2 against Kansas State. When the Gators laid an egg in Orlando against UCF, Alex Tyus did not score. Yet when the Gators faced their first SEC road game at Tennessee Tyus came up big with 18 points and 7 rebounds. He had a stretch of 5 SEC games where he averaged 6/5, but then Tennessee came to town, Chandler Parsons got hurt and Tyus delivered a double-double (10/11). He totaled 6 points and 9 rebounds in the last two games of the SEC Tournament and is now playing at a whole new level.


You often hear players talk about not wanting their senior year to ever end or playing every game like it's your last. Alex Tyus may not be talking that walk, but he's surely walking the walk.

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