Appleton is a Jayhawk

Monday afternoon, junior college standout Tyrone Appleton made the choice of where he'll spend his final two years of college public. The six-foot-three inch combo guard from Midland (TX) College announced during a press conference that he will be a Kansas Jayhawk after considering programs like Kentucky, Iowa State, Texas, Indiana and several others.

Tyrone Appleton’s father, James Dye, broke down his son’s decision.

“I think that when it really boiled down to it he developed possibly a little closer bond with the guys on the Kansas squad,” said Dye. “Those guys got into some kind of a minor relationship because he was able to visit a couple of times and really get to know everybody.

Coach Self is also a very personable person and I think Tyrone really identified with that.”

As a parent, Dye was looking at several other aspects of the decision process. Among those that he was particularly interested in was the academic setup and he said that the Jayhawks led the pack from that standpoint as well.

“I really like the academic structure and how they handle the athletes and make sure that they succeed,” said Dye of Kansas. “It’s really different than any other program that we had spoken with.”

Still, picking up the phone and notifying the schools that wouldn’t be getting him is never an easy task. However, Appleton was at ease because of the relationships that he’d been able to develop with the coaches at each school.

“I think that he relied on the great relationship that he had developed with the programs. Every program advised Ty to do what was best for him and I thought that was great,” Dye told Phog.Net. “I think the relationships basically had a lot to do with putting him at ease. Being a 21 year old and having to tell several coaches that I’m not coming to your school isn’t easy.”

Now that he’s got his decision out of the way, Appleton can get back to the task of helping Midland in their quest to repeat as junior college national champions.

“I think it’s real big for him,” said Dye of Appleton and Midland trying to repeat. “He called me the middle of last week and said we’re just about to finish up our regular season and get into our post season and I really want to win the championship.”

Most scouts who have seen Appleton point to his ability on the defensive end and toughness as his strongest traits. It’s an evaluation that Dye finds to be a fair one.

“I think his biggest asset is defense, I think that from the time he was 8 years old he’s always loved to play defense, so most definitely that’s his strongest asset,” said Dye of Appleton’s strengths. “I think he brings a winning attitude, I think he brings toughness because that’s just his game. As far as his weakness I’m not satisfied with how he’s shot free throws this year and we’ve talked about that a lot this year that he’s a much better shooter than he’s shown. Next year he’s going to get fouled and he needs to be able to step up and make those shots.”

With his commitment, Appleton becomes the sixth member of a recruiting class that already included swingmen Travis Releford and Mario Little along with forwards Quintrell Thomas and Marcus and Markieff Morris. Despite the abundance of talent, there are no worries about playing time and the opportunity to be a major part of a winning program was too much to pass up.

“I think Coach Self pretty much, if you look at that program the way he has it structured,” said Dye. “I think it’s easy to understand that he plays three guards and that those guards are all going to play about equal minutes.

I think Tyrone is really about the program and winning and being part of something like that.”

*Stay tuned to Phog.Net for more coverage of the Tyrone Appleton commitment including Appleton’s thoughts and those of evaluators who have seen him play.

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