Tyus update


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.


  1. I like Tyus, hope he comes back, but he seems to be forgetting one big piece in all this – earning a free degree while still working on his game. It’s one thing for 1st rounders or big overseas contract players to skip out, but Tyus is neither, and giving up one extra year of non-guranteed decent earnings to get that degree could be a big thing for someone so marginal as a pro as him. Parsons is staying at the 3 for one reason – he’s better at it. Tyus is an average shooter at best and is a bad ball handler and passer – look at his asists to TO ratio, it’s awful. That’s not what pros want to see in a 3. He is what he is to this point, an average college PF, which by the way, is exactly where just about any program would put a 6-8 player with his ball handling skills. Can anyone see him guarding a decent 3 in the pros? He needs to spend his summer shooting and ball handling, come back and show improvement in those areas, and get a degree in case he just doesn’t have it. UF is loaded at forward, this is a case where he needs them more than they need him. Hope he takes advantage of it.

  2. Contrary to most people, I think Tyus might as well leave. It’s hard to see him improving with an extra year. His game is what it is at this point. Realistically, he’s not going to ever play a single game in the NBA. He’s a classic tweener – he’s not skilled enough for the 3 and he’s not big or strong enough to play the 4 there. But he could play the 4 overseas.

    In Europe, they have a greater emphasis in practice than they do in professional basketball here so he could probably develop his game just as well there as from playing another year at Florida.

    Also, I don’t even know if Donovan wants him back. With 9 returning scholarship players and six incoming (assuming Scottie Wilbekin enrolls early), they’d be two players over the scholarship limit of 13. Donovan needs to players to leave the program. Tishman would likely be one of them. Tyus is probably going to be the other one.

  3. I agree with Rob that Tyus needs to think long term and be patient.
    If he’s good enough, the professional opportunities will be there next year as well as this year (whether NBA or Europe). If he’s not, they won’t. It’s that simple.

    However, if he earns a degree, or an advanced degree, then he has a different kind of insurance for success in life. He also will have diminished the probability of having burned bridges in his profession and with the many UF alumni (if this were to be as ugly as Uncle Charles makes it out to be).

    I say think hard about being patient, staying, and developing as a person and player before closing a door that can’t be re-opened. Either way, best of luck and if you leave respectfully, you’ll be respected.

  4. Kids are so shortsighted. What he doesn’t understand is whichever team he goes to, he’ll probably be put a power anyway becausr thats how his skills match up (but not necessarily his body)

  5. The sad part about all this is Tyus’s Father is living vicariously through his son and making ill advised decisions. Tyus at best is a European player. I’ve said it in FB and now with the BB team, if a parent is running their yapper to their kid you will have a disease in the locker room .Tyus actually seems like a nice kid that would do anything to win but unfortunately his has to listen to a Father and in this case an obnoxious uncle.

  6. Bad move to leave, get the degree and take it to the bank. Keep working on your game and take your chances after your eligibility is gone. In case you haven’t noticed, they’re not beating down you door.

    Use you head, dude.

  7. Alex Tyus is probably my favorite player on the team, simply because he’s always working when he’s on the court. It would be a shame if he left early. I was looking forward to another year watching him play in a Gator uniform and celebrating with him on Senior Day.

  8. Tyus SHOULD come back. He would benefit from another year of working on his game, and putting on a few more pounds. Unlike some, however, I believe he has an NBA future if he works on the right things. Worrying about what position he plays, however, is a red herring. He is essentially a more atheltic Udonis Haslem, who has had a nice NBA career up to this point. Haslem defends, rebounds, and can hit a 15 foot jump shot. Haslem, of course, was way more consistent as a Gator, and had a great post game in college. As long as Tyus understands what kind of player he can be in the NBA, he will be fine. If he thinks he is a slashing three who can get to the rim off the dribble or pull up and hit jumpers, then he is bonkers. If he could do that, he would already be doing it at UF. It’s not just because Donovan hasn’t taught him or given him the opportunity (that’s for papa and uncle Tyus).

  9. Florida’s biggest problem has been depth, period, since the great run and another departing quality underclassman does not help the 2010-11 to be the best they can be. It makes more sense to be part of the solution, not the problem, and get your degree first. Not being a first round pick places in a very iffy world at best but with a degree you at least have a chance to make a good living doing outside of sports.

  10. Ron and Robert both make excellent points, but I think I agree with Rob: you can always play in Europe after your senior season, and that way you’ll have that free college degree in your pocket. It would be different if he had a real NBA option, but he doesn’t. To anyone who thinks Billy would rather have Alex Tyus leave to make room for freshmen, you’re crazy. Tyus has tons of SEC and big game experience, and he has proven he can score on anyone. None of the freshman have proven anything. Come back, Alex, and enjoy another year of college life!

  11. Well I think Alex made the smart decision by deciding to return to Florida.Number 1:Get that college degree, injuries happen,plus there is a life after basketball.Number 2:Never put yourself in the position of having to say I wish I would have stuck it out.Number 3:He has gone this far,why not finish something he has started.Good luck Alex, and the Gators