Tyrus McGee seeking more BCL success: “It was time to join Galatasaray”

2022-11-29T13:16:07+00:00 2022-11-29T14:56:39+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

29/Nov/22 13:16


Sleeping giant Galatasaray Nef shapes the next challenge for explosive scorer Tyrus McGee

By Bilal Baran Yardımcı/ info@eurohoops.net

From being part of the inaugural Final Four to competing in the most recent season-ending tournament of the Basketball Champions League, Tyrus McGee seeks more success.

McGee, 31, started the 2022-23 season in China but made his way back to the BCL via Galatasaray Nef. Limited by fouls, he recorded eight points over 11 minutes helping his new side defeat his previous Champions League team, Hapoel Atsmon Holon last Wednesday. A peculiar situation but he is well-adapted to taking on former teams and old teammates.

“It was very simple and easy. I have always played against Galatasaray. I think it was time for me to join. Fill in the spot, help the team, and see what happens,” the talked exclusively to Eurohoops about his decision to join the Lions and the ongoing effort of restoring the Istanbul giant to its former glory.

“It is very good,” he described his relationship with head coach Andreas Pistiolis, “He understands basketball. I understand basketball and I see that the team does well. As long as we keep playing team basketball, the sky is the limit.”

Pistiolis, 44, recently penned a contract extension. He took over the Galatasaray late in the 2021-22 season, last March.

“Basketball is basketball. I am trying to adapt to the team, the players, the way coach wants to do things,” added McGee previewing his individual impact on the team, “So, it’s going to take time.”

Working in Group C of the Regular Season, Galata matched Hapoel Holon at 3-1 and on top of the standings. Earning the tiebreaking advantage can go a long way in eventually securing a direct ticket to the Round of 16, instead of settling for a best-of-three Play-In series and a second chance to advance.

The Iowa State product is coming off his 59th appearance in FIBA’s club continental competition, spreading the previous 58 between Umana Reyer Venezia in 2016-17, Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez in 2019-20, and Hapoel Unet Credit Holon in 2020-21, plus splitting the 2021-22 campaign between Hereda San Pablo Burgos and Hapoel U-NET Holon. “Hopefully, I can just use my experience and help the team,” he told Eurohoops.

“We got shooters,” he picked out the best quality of Galatasaray, “As long as we keep playing physical and playing defense, I think we are going to be alright.”

Teaming up with Dee Bost at the Turkish club certainly boosts hopes for an extended run in the Champions League and in the domestic BSL as well.

“We are both experienced guys,” he replied to a question about playing alongside Dee Bost, “We understand each other. We are shooters. If someone is hot, you give that person the hot ball. We understand. We play basketball and know the game.”

Playing host to Filou Oostende on 6 December is the next and penultimate step of the double-legged round-robin schedule. The last game will be on the road against Legia Warsaw. Winning the battle for the top seed is the apparent target, while one more win would guarantee at least a spot in the Play-Ins.

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League