Citing position concerns, family says Tyus gone

By Adam Silverstein
May 7, 2010

With just about 24 hours until he has to make a decision regarding his basketball future (May 8), Florida Gators junior forward Alex Tyus is currently in Portland, OR, getting ready for a workout with the NBA‘s Portland Trailblazers after spending some time preparing at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

At some point after his workout, Tyus will decide whether to return to Florida for his senior season or hire an agent keep himself eligible for the 2010 NBA Draft.

If the majority of his family has anything to say about it, Tyus will not be donning the orange and blue next year – at least that is the impression one receives according to interviews conducted by the Orlando Sentinel and Gainesville Sun.

The Sentinel spoke with his father, Thomas Tyus, who has suggested that his son leave the Gators because, in his opinion, head basketball coach Billy Donovan has been utilizing his son incorrectly since he arrived on campus.

“I don’t think he has anything to gain by returning to the University of Florida basketball-wise,” Thomas said. “I just feel he has not developed his full potential. […] He can go back and get his degree at any time.”

Thomas believes his son could be an “unbelievable small forward” and blames Donovan for playing him exclusively at power forward and center over the last two years.

“He’s certainly capable of playing the small forward position, and he was the moment he stepped on campus,” Thomas said. “He’s never gotten the opportunity to do that. All the kid wants is an opportunity to be the best possible player he can be. […] He tries to do everything the coach asks him to do. He also feels that, at some point, the coach should try to help him as well.”

His uncle, Charles Tyus, told the Sun that there is “no chance” Tyus plays for Florida next year, also citing issues with his nephew’s position. According to Charles, Tyus and Donovan have met extensively over the last month, with the coach explaining that fellow junior Chandler Parsons will start at small forward once again in 2010-11.

“I think right then and there, Alex made up his mind that he wasn’t coming back,” Charles said. “He’ll take his chances and go overseas if he’s not drafted.”

The only one denying that a decision has already been made is Alli Cecchini, Tyus’ finance, who also spoke with the Sun.

“We’ll sit down Friday and really, really talk it through,” she said. “He’s gotten a lot of feedback saying he should come back. […] We even talked last week quite a bit about him coming back.”

Upon entering his name in the draft, Tyus told the Sun that he would only keep himself eligible for selection if he was projected to be a first-round pick. Most NBA draft analysts have Tyus with a “second round or undrafted” grade as of press time.

However, as OGGOA noted early Thursday, it does appear that Tyus’ decision will hinge on “more than just his draft projection.”

PREVIOUS STORY: Will he stay or will he go? Tyus nears decision

12 Comments

  1. Mr. Green says:

    Alex should seriously consider finishing his degree before he bolts. He has good hops, is a good dunker and a decent outside shooter. But he is far from a finished player ready for the pros. Guys with his size and skill set are a dime a dozen after college. His family can say Coach held him back all they want but I’m pretty sure Billy doesn’t cause him to fumble away so many passes around the basket.

  2. gatorzone says:

    Tyus does not have the foot speed to play SG/SF away from the basket. He is not athletic enough.

    Going back to school…that’s a good one. In a recent study nearly 80% of all athletes that leave college early never set foot in a classroom again. And less than half of those actually still go on to graduate.

  3. John Shanks says:

    If he doesn’t come back he’ll play in Europe somewhere…if he feels like Billy isn’t looking out for him wait till he plays professionally.

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    Glad to see his family has his best interest as I’m sure they aren’t planning on finding their way into his pockets. That aside, he is not ready. He is not physical, not quick and just an average college center. That equates to practice squad in the NBA. He needs to stop listening to his moronic family and think about a future outside of the NBA.

  5. JayV says:

    Why is everyone so hung up on the title of “small forward”?
    The 4 spot in our offense does a fair about of handling, distributing, and jump shooting in our half court offense.
    He doesn’t have the range that parsons does, so when Parsons, Boynton, and Walker are on the floor you can’t really stick him on the perimeter. If you can’t beat Chandler Parsons for the 3 spot, then I have a hard time you will all of a sudden become a first round draft pick with a couple of undeserved practices there.

    Alex,
    People change position all the time in the pros. The 2, 3, and 4 positions are pretty much interchangeable in most offenses.
    Everyone develops their jump shot once they get to the NBA.
    Stay in school for the exposure, work on the things you hear in your pro feedback.
    Who should you take advice from? The pro coaches and execs who will actually be the ones evaluating you? Or your family? Don’t get me wrong… Your family wants what is best for you, but in this case, they may not know what is best for you.
    Florida projects to be really, really good next year. Don’t understate what the exposure of being a big piece of a deep NCAA run does for your stock. You will never get another opportunity for the exposure you can get next year at Florida.

  6. JayV – That “if you can’t beat Chandler Parsons for the 3 spot” is 100 percent accurate. Exactly how I felt when I was putting together this story early this morning.

  7. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I think Tyus can play the 3 off the bench in the NBA…..not sure that gets him drafted but then again if he comes back for another year it might not change his draft position a whole lot….I suspect his DNA is keeping him from bulking up another 20-30 lbs which would really help his stock

  8. g8ter27 says:

    he could gain huge amounts of experience and develop more if he comes back being on a national stage at that. Going to Europe will likely kill his dream of ever playing in the NBA. But I agree that his family probably wants a new Pontiac so “lest tell Alex to bolt”

  9. brlgator says:

    My 2bits,

    Cant believe i am going to say this but i think he should leave. if he believes his best shot as a pro basketball player at the nba or european level is as a 3 and billy is going to play him at the 4 he should leave. coming back would likely only improve his draft spot not necessarily his skill. alex needs to look for what is best for him not what is best for billy and the gator nation. after he graduates UF isnt going to pay for his housing or food.

  10. g8ter27 says:

    pS very good advice JayV, I hope he hears this somewhere before it is too late.

  11. gatorzone says:

    “after he graduates UF isnt going to pay for his housing or food.”

    yeah its not like you can do anything more with a degree from uf opposed to having no college degree

  12. brlgator says:

    good point gatorzone but all i was saying is that alex needs to do what is best for him and not what is best for gator basketball. if starting his pro career now and not graduating is the best alternative then he should attempt to get drafted. also a quick trip to your website reveals he didnt make the sec honor roll which means he doesnt have a 3.0 and his degree is in event managment.

    guys make hundreds of thousands of dollars playing in leagues all over the world not just the major ones like italy and spain. a friends of mine’s fiance played proball in japan and he made 300k and they paid his US income tax liability. so if alex wants to start making money and helping his family out and he doenst want to plan parties i cant blame him for leaving

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