Billy D praises Tyus


In his weekly news conference Monday, Florida coach Billy Donovan went out of his way to note the important contributions of senior forward Alex Tyus.

While junior point guard Erving Walker scored 10 of Florida’s final 12 points in its 73-65 win Saturday over UCLA, Donovan said Florida wouldn’t have been in position to win if not for Tyus’ toughness on the boards. Tyus scored 8 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds against the Bruins.

“The one thing that got lost in the game was Alex Tyus’ rebounding the last two minutes of the game,” Donovan said.

Tyus has had an at times rocky relationship with the Florida coaching staff. Following his sophomore season, the 6-foot-8 Tyus nearly transferred because he felt he was playing out of position at center. Following his junior year, Tyus put his name in the NBA draft without an agent. Again, there were position rumblings (Tyus’ family contended Alex would be utilized better at small forward), but Tyus decided to return to school.

As a senior, Tyus’ scoring and rebounding numbers (8.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are down from a season ago. But Donovan said those numbers are down because Tyus has sacrificed both minutes and shot attempts for the good of the team.

“I have an enormous amount of respect for Alex and his attitude,” Donovan said. “Our offense got frustrated during the Kentucky game (in the SEC finals). It wasn’t going well offensively. Alex was the one guy that never got frustrated to me, even though he had reason to be frustrated. He was open on a lot of plays, and we missed him. That can be draining emotionally, and he’s never done that.

“He has been all about the team and winning. Because of his athleticism, he can have an impact on the game regardless of if he gets the ball or not. I thought his impact in the game was huge. We were getting killed at the backboard (against UCLA). Erving Walker’s points overshadowed all the rebounds.

“Those plays get lost, but he’s had a great year. He’s given up tracking points for the betterment of our team. He could score those points, but I don’t think our team would be where it could be. Alex could get 20 points any given game, but we do need his energy, rebounding and defense. When he does that, he does add a dimension to our frontcourt.”


  1. 13 rebounds against a strong rebounding team like UCLA, impressive. He could have a monster game against the BYU team I’ve been watching.

    The Gators are playing the best “team ball” in the tournament. Four more games, please.

  2. Big fan of Tyus, and I hope he has another big rebounding game against BYU. Kevin, I noticed that Mike Rosario wasn’t on the bench for the Gators in Tampa. I’ve watched him encouraging teammates during warmups, and love the enthusiasm he shows during games. Seems like he will be a very emotional and physical leader for us next year (if his years at Rutgers are any indication). Is there a reason he wasn’t in Tampa? At first I thought maybe he was disciplined or had family reasons, but I noticed Adam Allen wasn’t there to support the team either.

    Also, what are the chances of picking up some Tennessee commits now that Bruce Pearl has been fired? I heard Kevin Ware is now back on the market, and Chris Jones might be too. They are both guards, which we are full of, but just curious.

    Also, I hope rumors of Shaka Smart going to Tennessee are false. I am happy for his success but I hate seeing another Florida assistant go to a rival school.

  3. Overall, we have been playing very good team ball this year. Interestingly, when the Oh-fours were going for their second championship, no one talked about them being a bunch of highly skilled players, they talked about their team first attitude and the fact they always took the extra pass. Let’s hope the situation remains the same this year. Go Gators!

  4. Overall Tyus has had a good year and definitely needed this development year in order to go to the next level. I hope he increases his effort now that we are in the sweet 16, it only gets tougher from here. My only knock on Tyus is that during a game he gets lazy and doesn’t put forth 110% when all other s around him are. He will let a driving player go by him instead of kicking it into a higher gear in order to stay with whoever he is defending. Not all the time but definitely once or twice a game. His energy runs in spurts. We wouldn’t be here without him, and can’t go further without him. I hope he’s the MVP going forward and lack of effort doesn’t hamper him. Go Gators!

  5. Here’s a summary of some of BYU’s “games of note” for perspective sake, such as our ONLY common opponent, UCLA (who BYU lost to), and the lowly USF Bulls, who finished 10-23 (who BYU beat by only 2 points in 2OT)! They also lost twice to New Mexico, who finished 22-12, 8-8 (MWC). That accounts for their four losses.
    On the other hand, however, they defeated Arizona (by 22 points) and San Diego State (twice!) – both of whom are in the Sweet 16.
    GO GATORS! [make the extra pass, boiz!].

  6. BYU has been playing very good basketball and they have adjusted extremely well not having Brandon Davies. If you take away the last SDSU game where they were emotionally and physically drained from the night before after putting everything they had in beating the Lobos who are always playing way above themselves against BYU. There is not a team in the tournament that could put SDSU away three times in one season so anyone who thinks the Gators are just going to march right past BYU is smoking crack. The only other loss they have had since the Davies suspension is to the Lobos and that happened before the team had any time to adjust to his loss. If they play like they did against the third Lobos game and on all cylinders like they did against Gonzaga there is nothing any team in the tournament will be able to do to stop them. Yes they are that good.

    Boyton had better be at 110% and Tyrus better show up or this could be bad.

    The Gators

  7. Sorry I misspelled Boynton totally a typing error and definitely not meant as anything else, I have a niece and a nephew attending Florida right now and have been a Gator Fan since the days of Galen Hall.
    The Gators

  8. Boynton’s ankle is a real concern. I am just going to kick back and enjoy the game and see what happens. I am really looking forward to this. I do love watching Jimmer Fredette as he is a scoring machine and it incredible how many different ways he finds to score regardless of what teams try to do to stop him. This will be a great game and could go either way.

  9. Brr-bon Phil. I agree with you. Tyus is the most underappreciated Gator. As you hoped, he did have a monster game against BYU and play great throughout the tournament earning a spot on the All Southeast Region Team and did Macklin. The kid has Great! Career numbers despite being under utilized. Most would be amazed if they took the time to look up where he ranks in many categories in Gator hoops. Good Luck Alex!