Alex Tyus has had an interesting college basketball career, in which he declared for the NBA Draft and explored transferring before ultimately returning as senior as one of the essential components of Florida's 2011 NCAA Tournament run.
Tyus has always been an NBA-caliber athlete, possessing elite explosiveness, but is clearly undersized for a big man. He stands just 6'6 ½ without shoes with a wiry 207 pound frame, but has a solid 6'11.5 wingspan which helps compensate somewhat.
Tyus is also as raw as they come at the ripe age of 23, showing very little in terms of skill-level at this juncture. He scored most of his points here around the basket with a host of put-back dunks, alley oops, and acrobatic finishes in transition.
On a team without a true point guard, Tyus had very few plays run for him and his athleticism and aggressiveness were on display as he scrapped around the basket, moved without the ball, and ran the floor well in transition.
His footwork around the basket is very poor and he struggled to finish with his back to the basket in this setting.
Tyus doesn't show much in terms of a face-up game, which will be necessary considering his lack of ideal size for the post. His shooting form still needs considerable work he releases the ball over his head with a nasty hitch and inconsistent mechanics but he hit a pair of jump shots in the tournament and shot the ball well from the foul line.
Though he spent most of Portsmouth matched up against post players, he did a solid job of guarding his man inside. Despite his lack of ideal size, he compensated through sheer energy and effort, bodying up his man and altering shots around the basket. He used his athleticism and mobility to his advantage, sticking with big men inside and outside and even showcasing his above average lateral quickness on the few occasions that his man dragged him to the perimeter.
Something that may hurt Tyus in the evaluation process is the fact that he was not a very impressive rebounder over the course of his career, especially not offensively, which is surprising considering how limited his role was. An athletic undersized 4-man like Tyus would have to make a living as a scrappy hustling type, and his numbers don't support that notion.
While Tyus is neither the most productive nor most fundamental player, he certainly helped himself at Portsmouth by shining in a supporting role and by playing with energy despite a lack of touches. His production over the course of his career at Florida was anything but consistent, but he came on very nicely late in the season to help his team make a deep NCAA tournament run.
The NBA may be not be a very realistic goal when it's all said and done given his age, lack of size, unpolished skill-set and limited potential, but Tyus certainly showed scouts that he has much to offer at the professional level and that he could emerge as a legitimate prospect down the line should he continue to improve.