Saturday, May 28, 2011


Jeremy Tyler is the biggest mystery in this year's draft. First impressions of this 19 year old are that he's immature, unprofessional, undisciplined, and lacks the heart and work ethic to succeed at the NBA level. After forgoing his senior year of high school, he had a disastrous year playing professionally for Maccabi Haifa of Israel. He quit the team early and the following season signed to play with the Tokyo Apache because he was still too young to enter his name into the draft, not to mention he had destroyed his reputation as well.

There, he supposedly learned from his mistakes and has grown as a player and person under the guidance of ex-NBA head coach, Bob Hill. In a NY Times article that reflects on his 2nd chance to play professionally, Hill gives us an idea of just how much Tyler has evolved from his time in Israel.

Hill, who mentored David Robinson while winning 62 games with the San Antonio Spurs in 1994-95, also coached the Knicks, the Pacers and the SuperSonics. He joined the Apache this season in Japan’s basketball league, where teams often play three United States players at a time. He said Tyler was simply too young to jump from his junior year at San Diego High School to a different culture.

“How can you send an 18-year-old to Israel by himself?” Hill said. “First of all, the Israel league is good. There’s no way he was ready, especially if he didn’t have an American coach who could bring him along. I mean, they took him out of high school in his junior year. It was a disaster. He didn’t do well. He’s doing much better here than he did in Israel.”

Hill said he has tried to wean Tyler off a permissive American grass-roots basketball culture that, he said, is “at an all-time low” in terms of grooming prodigies for the adult rigors of basketball life.

Too often, young players are told how great they are, Hill said.

“Young 17-, 18-year-olds believe it,” he said. “Jeremy is a product of that to some degree. I’ve had to break him. I’ve had to get to a point where he says, ‘That was my fault,’ to take accountability for his actions. He’s finally there. It’s taken eight or nine months, and I’m proud of him. He’s going in the right direction.”

It sounds as if Tyler is starting to 'get it,' but many are still skeptical, and rightfully so. He could be a big steal for a team willing to take a chance on him late in the draft, or a big bust to a team willing to risk a lottery pick on a promising player who few have scouted personally since falling off the radar after he quit Maccabi.

The talent and physical tools are there, as evident in this video when he was the #1 Ranked Player in the Class of 2010. The question is, does Tyler have the mentality and drive to reach his full potential? In a weak draft year such as this, there might be a team desperate for a Big Man that will take that gamble. Will it be the Warriors?

Thanks to 'hoopasia2011', we can see some of the games Jeremy Tyler played on Tokyo Apache. I've organized them in chronological order, so you can see the development (or lack there of) as the season progressed.


16 min, 4-6 fg, 3-4 ft, 5 reb, 1 ast, 1 pf, 1 stl, 2 blk, 5 to, 11 pts


10 min, 1-3 fg, 0-2 ft, 5 reb, 1 ast, 4 pf, 0 stl, 1 blk, 1 to, 2 pts


5 min, 2-3 fg, 0-1 ft, 2 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 to, 4 pts


13 min, 2-6 fg, 0-0 ft, 4 reb, 0 ast, 2 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 to, 4 pts


17 min, 5-7 fg, 2-6 ft, 10 reb, 0 ast, 2 pf, 2 stl, 4 blk, 2 to, 12 pts


11 min, 4-8 fg, 0-0 ft, 4 reb, 0 ast, 4 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 to, 8 pts


25 min, 6-17 fg, 2-6 ft, 11 reb, 0 ast, 5 pf, 1 stl, 1 blk, 4 to, 14 pts


19 min, 5-11 fg, 2-6 ft, 7 reb, 2 ast, 2 pf, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 to, 12 pts


23 min, 11-18 fg, 2-7 ft, 11 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 0 stl, 1 blk, 1 to, 24 pts

Games with 20+ minutes
10/31/10: 20 min, 8 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 4 pf, 1 blk, 1 stl, 2 to
11/07/10: 26 min, 27 pts, 11 reb, 1 ast, 4 pf, 0 blk, 0 stl, 3 to
11/20/10: 24 min, 18 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast, 2 pf, 1 blk, 0 stl, 5 to
01/09/11: 20 min, 10 pts, 8 reb, 0 ast, 2 pf, 1 blk, 1 stl, 5 to
01/27/11: 20 min, 6 pts, 13 reb, 1 ast, 3 pf, 2 blk, 2 stl, 3 to
02/16/11: 21 min, 16 pts, 12 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 1 blk, 0 stl, 4 to
03/06/11: 25 min, 14 pts, 11 reb, 0 ast, 5 pf, 1 blk, 1 stl, 4 to
03/10/11: 23 min, 23 pts, 11 reb, 0 ast, 3 pf, 1 blk, 0 stl, 1 to

Season Highs
26 min
27 pts
9-13 fg
5-6 ft
8 oreb
10 dreb
13 reb
2 ast (4 times)
4 blk
2 stl (2 times)
7 to

Obviously, Jeremy Tyler is a project that needs a lot of refining. 2009 was almost a lost year in terms of his on-court development, but he's finally getting on track with good support and coaching. Areas of concern are his footwork, shot selection, and black-hole mentality. Tyler needs to develop a few go-to moves and not rush it too much in the paint. He'd also be best served to stop thinking himself as solely a scorer and not force the issue all the time. If he can learn to pass out of the double team and focus more on the defensive end (less fouling), Tyler has a chance at being a future starter in the NBA.

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