Time is ticking, and Florida forward Alex Tyus remains unsure about his future.
Tyus is in Portland, Ore., and is expected to make a decision following a workout scheduled with the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday afternoon. Under new NCAA and NBA rules, Tyus has until Saturday to decide whether to keep his name in the NBA draft or return to UF for his senior season.
“We’ll sit down Friday and really, really talk it through,” Tyus’ fiancee, Alli Cecchini, told the Sun on Thursday night. “He’s gotten a lot of feedback saying he should come back.”
But not everyone in Tyus’ family believes returning to UF would be the right move. Tyus’ father, Thomas Tyus, told the Orlando Sentinel he would recommend that his son remain in the draft regardless of his draft status. And Tyus’ uncle, Charles Tyus, told the Sun on Thursday night there is “no chance” of Tyus returning to Florida.
At issue is position. Tyus has wanted to play small forward since he arrived at Florida as a freshman. Tyus played center at UF his first two years and power forward last season. Tyus nearly transferred from UF following his sophomore season because he feared having to play center for a third straight season.
Charles Tyus said his nephew and Florida coach Billy Donovan have had a series of meetings since he put his name in for the NBA draft. In one of the meetings, according to Tyus’ uncle, Tyus was told by Donovan that Chandler Parsons gave Florida the best chance to win at small forward.
“I think right then and there, Alex made up his mind that he wasn’t coming back,” Charles Tyus said. “He’ll take his chances and go overseas if he’s not drafted.”
But Cecchini re-iterated that Tyus has yet to make up his mind.
“We even talked last week quite a bit about him coming back,” Cecchini said.
Tyus is currently projected as a borderline second-round draft pick. There is a strong chance that he could go undrafted, depending on his performance in individual workouts.
If Tyus leaves, he would be the third Florida underclassmen the bolt from the program in the last three years. Center Marreese Speights left the Gators as a sophomore following the 2008-09 season. Point guard Nick Calathes left Florida as a sophomore last season to sign a professional contract in Greece.