by Mustafa Kocatürk / firstname.lastname@example.org
Galatasaray’s off-season is full of action thus far. The club seeks a strong Euroleague return and continues to make moves toward strengthening its frontline. Alongside Austin Daye, Nenad Krstic and Deon Thompson, “Cimbom“’s big-man rotation is completed by a former Euroleague champ, Alex Tyus.
Tyus was a member of the Florida Gators during his college career, a school that has provided many great players, and became pro in Israel with Maccabi Ashdod. An impressive rookie season (12.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg) paved the way for him to take the next step. He signed with Cantu which was coached by ambitious Andrea Trinchieri at the time and had his first Euroleague experience there. That was the 2012-13 season and since then, he has been present in Euroleague every year. His inclusion in Europe’s elite centers didn’t take long. He returned to Israel to pen a long-term deal with Maccabi Tel-Aviv and became an essential part of the team which won every trophy they were competing for that season. Reaching the Euroleague triumph, he had two impressive Final Four games as well (11 ppg, 8 rpg, 17 PIR).
However, with the departure of David Blatt and his system that maximized the efficiency of Tyus’ game, his second season in Tel-Aviv did not go well. Therefore he left Israel to join Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Being frequently cut out of the roster due to foreigners limit in the domestic competition and Efes’ ambiguously defined roles within the team certainly did not help him elevate his game again in Turkey. After two average seasons, Alex Tyus can find his true self again in Galatasaray.
What he can offer
The first thing that comes to mind about Tyus is his expertise in diving to the basket after setting a solid pick. His ability to position himself at the right angles after the pick and soar to the basket very quickly, band together with great finishes around the rim and makes him one of the precious big men in Europe.
Although he is an undersized center (2.03 m), he possesses a monstrous vertical jump, therefore he can cover his physical handicap in rebounding and rim protection. Statistics proved that throughout his career. He has cleared 17% of the rebounds when he is on the floor. As a comparison, Felipe Reyes – who is known to be an all-time great rebounder – is only one percent better than Tyus.
His most blatant downside can be addressed at his offensive limitations. Apart from pick & roll plays, he doesn’t have any other way to score. Considering that he is the heir of Stephane Lasme, he will not provide the same offensive arsenal as Lasme did for Galatasaray. It’s also worthy to note that he gets easily into foul trouble when matched up with bigger-sized players, especially on post-up situations.
The prediction about him as a Galatasaray player
As aforementioned, Alex Tyus is pretty much dependent on his guards. Galatasaray must form such a backcourt rotation with players capable to run pick and roll plays on a high level of quality and find Tyus around the rim in a good position and on a good timing. Galatasaray’s selection of guards should be focused on what Tyus can do, in order to yield an optimum performance.
On the other hand, Tyus, among all other Galatasaray big-men, will be the only player who is expected to shine defensively. Krstic, Daye and Thompson are all known to be underperformers on the defensive end. From this point of view, he will have a lot to cover on defense, protecting the rim and coming in for help. Having to carry this much burden on his shoulders, it will be a first for him in his career. Therefore we can easily put a question mark on how he will handle this situation.
Alex Tyus is coming from an underwhelming season and he is certainly very eager to see more playing time in order to show Europe again what he is capable of. Galatasaray is a good place for him to achieve this as the club will compete in the highest level and the team is desperate to give him plenty minutes on the floor due to his abilities on defense.