SPOTLIGHT: SF Tyrone Hayes [MEDIA:20319]

This is the first of a 4 part look at <b>Coach Leonard Perry's</b> first recruiting class at Idaho (2001). We're going to spotlight all 4 members of that class over the summer, which includes JC transfers <b>Tyrone Hayes</b> and <b>David Howell</b>, plus high school recruits <b>Samuel Jackson</b> and <b>Tanoris Shepard</b>. Freshman <b>David Radlovic</b>, who joined the Vandals in January, is actually a member of the 2001 class.

Player Profile: Tyrone Hayes
School: Okaloosa-Walton JC (Florida)
Hometown: Augusta, Georgia
Height: 6-4
Weight: 196 pounds

2001 Season Stats
15.4 per game
5.9 per game
Shooting Percentage
3.2 per game

BIO: 2001 2nd Team, All-Panhandle Conference Team, F
2000 All Freshman Team, Panhandle Conference
1999 McDonald's All American, Forward
3A Georgia Player of the Year
1st Team, Georgia All-State Team
1998 Honorable Mention, Georgia All-State Team

(Source: Okaloosa-Walton JC)

(Source: Okaloosa-Walton JC)
The Vandals landed an outstanding athlete in Small Forward prospect Tyrone Hayes, a Junior College transfer from Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Florida. OWJC is a member of The Panhandle Conference, one of the strongest junior college basketball systems in the nation. In the 2 years that Tyrone spent at OWJC, he saw 9 of his teammates move on in their basketball careers. One went straight from OWJC to the NBA (Kedrick Brown, Boston Celtics). One went to the University of Southern California (Robert Hutchinson), 1 went to New Mexico (Malcolm Battles), 3 went to Southern Miss, and the list goes on. To call this conference and the entire league a hotbed is an understatement.

Tyrone played an integral role during both his freshman and sophomore years. As a freshman he played mostly the 5 (center) position, shot 16.2 points per game while recording 6.8 rebounds per game, which earned him 2nd Team All Conference and All-Freshman Team honors.

As a sophomore, he helped lead the Raiders to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament, where they finished sixth. He also helped Okaloosa-Walton to the District VIII and Region VIII titles in 2000-01 as the team compiled a 22-6 record. During the season he was moved to the 3 (small forward / guard) position and, although he earned First Team All Panhandle Conference recognition, he noticed a slight drop in his scoring productivity.

In many cases, when a player's numbers drop because of a position change (especially at the JC level where numbers are the key to landing scholarships at 4-year Universities), the results can be disastrous for the player and the team. Tyrone, however, chose to be a team player, making the following statement in a Florida paper during the 2001 season: "I'm just really trying to get my team together, try to play team ball. The conference is going to be intense and I just want to try to settle down, try to make the plays happen and try to do the best I can every night."

This focus is what attracted Tyrone to Coach Perry and the Idaho staff, and what makes him such an excellent fit for the rebuilding job taking place in Moscow. Of course, the fact he also has outstanding basketball skills doesn't hurt either.

As a high schooler in Georgia he was named to the All-State team, All area team, a McDonald's All American, Georgia 3A Player of the Year, and ultimately was ranked among the top 100 high school prospects in the nation by several recruiting services. As a sophomore at OWJC, he was ranked among the top 300 players recruited in 2001.

He's a fantastic foundation to reconstruct a program around, and a welcome addition to the University of Idaho.

NOTE: Tyrone missed the 2001-2002 season at Idaho with an injury, but was able to redshirt the year. When practices start for the 2002-2003 season, Tyrone will have 2 years of eligibility remaining.

Read more:

Official UI Press Release on Tyrone's signing.

Florida Newspaper article on one of Hayes' games at Okaloosa.

Hayes goes for a dunk in High School summer league play.

ALL Vandals Top Stories