Men’s basketball: Sources- Tyson to return on Saturday

(Jordan Tyson photo credit: Ryan Lazo)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

As The Bona Blog originally reported, St. Bonaventure redshirt freshman center Jordan Tyson is set to return to game action on Saturday when the Bonnies host South Carolina State, according to sources.

The 6-foot-10 Tyson suffered a torn tendon in his wrist shortly before school began in August. At the time, the injury had a six-to-nine month timetable and was rumored to be season-ending. Instead, the Columbus, Ohio native missed just the first eight games, in which the team compiled a 6-2 record despite carrying just eight healthy scholarship players.

Tyson only entered one game last season before suffering a broken jaw in a December practice, so right now it is unclear what Bona is going to get out of him this season. What we do know is that he is the tallest player on the roster and adds depth to the rotation, something coach Mark Schmidt will certainly welcome as the group nears Atlantic 10 play.

Freshman forward Derrick Woods may have done enough to retain the starting position for the time being, but Tyson is going to be a very valuable asset for the brown and white going forward. He’s a big presence down low and is someone Schmidt called an “X-factor” over the summer.

The players that make up Bona’s “big three”- Marcus Posley, Dion Wright and Jaylen Adams- have shown they can take over a ballgame in a hurry and create matchup problems for the opposition. But having three great players isn’t enough to be a serious contender in the A-10; you need solid role players to step up as well to beat the likes of Dayton, Davidson and George Washington. Tyson is another key piece in SBU’s puzzle, and his return gives the team a boost in the post.

New big man on campus

By Trystan Rushia @trystanrushia

There’s a new big man on campus, and his name is Jordan Tyson.

Tyson, a 6’10, 225-pound forward from Columbus, Ohio, made his college debut against Dartmouth Sat., Nov. 15.

Before coming to St. Bonaventure, he graduated from high school in Ohio. Instead of going to college right out of school, Tyson spent a year at Fishburne Military Academy in Virginia.

Tyson has had ups and downs transitioning from high school to college basketball.

“I want to do my best and try to make the most out of every moment,” said Tyson. His extra year playing at Fishburne helped him immensely with the change. He gained 15 pounds and became a more disciplined player on the court.

Being the second tallest guy on the team and the essential backup for Youssou Ndoye, Tyson feels no added pressure on him. He thinks that being the backup is actually a good thing, because he can watch Ndoye to help develop his skills once he takes over after Ndoye graduates.

“He’s an all-league big man,” said Tyson on current big man, Ndoye. “Next year it’ll be my time to step up just like he is right now.”

Ndoye has taught Tyson many things to becoming a big man at the college level. Personally, Tyson likes Ndoye’s mentality and competiveness for basketball.

“There are not a lot of big men that work as hard as he does,” said Tyson.

Being a big man, Tyson has the assets of any other usual forward or center; he is tall, athletic, and knows his way underneath the hoop, but that is not all he brings for the Bonnies.

“I bring my competitive fire, a lot of passion, hunger, and desire,” said Tyson.

Expectations for Tyson may be small this year but next year he will have to be ready with Ndoye’s departure.

“For the team, I want us to play as hard as we can for 40 minutes, and do the best as we can. The same goes for me.”

Always with a smile on his face, he got right back to practicing free throws and preparing for Saturday’s game, a win over Dartmouth.

Exclusive: #Bonnies recruit Jordan Tyson resembles Andrew Nicholson

By Ryan Lazo, @RMLazo13, Contributing Writer

PETERSBURG, VA — Try to have a discussion with St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt about Andrew Nicholson and he’ll tell you about how lucky he was to have him commit.

He’ll no doubt mention how an ankle injury and the building of a new science building on campus were key ingredients in the Bonnies nabbing a once in a generation player.

While it’s true players like Nicholson do not come around often for a program like St. Bonaventure, a recruit talented enough to play in a higher conference but rather try to make an impact at a smaller school, Schmidt may have struck lightning twice.

Take a look on the hardwood and it’s hard to ignore the similarities.

There he is. A tall and lanky string bean standing at 6-foot-10 with arms that hang well below his knees. See the way he gets position in the paint, backing defenders down with ease before skying over them with a baby hook.

Hear the way he throws down a thunderous slam while wearing No. 44, a number made special in Bonaventure lore by Nicholson. And finally take a look at the player wearing the jersey and you can be forgiven for having flashbacks because he too, resembles Nicholson.

His name is Jordan Tyson, a member of Fishburne Military Academy and a verbal commit to St. Bonaventure, a school Tyson admitted he had no idea where it is located. But what he did know was how highly the coaching staff thought of him when it was Schmidt who made the first contact with the Fishburne product.

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Jordan Tyson Photo by Ryan Lazo

“It was great because it was such a unique experience, recruiting wise,” Tyson said. “I’ve never had a head coach come up to me that excited and offer me right on the spot … I guess he saw a lot of Nicholson in me and people even say I look like him.”

And while his looks may lead Bona fans to have a double-take, it’s his play on the court which will give them goosebumps.

Facing Richard Bland College, a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, in an exhibition, the Bona recruit starred in limited minutes. All it took was two minutes upon entering the game for Tyson to have an impact.

Backing down his man in the post, Tyson established position in the blocks as he received a bouncing entry pass. With one quick pivot, Tyson turned to his right and floated in a hook over his defender in the middle of the paint.

It’s an example of how polished his game is compared to Nicholson who famously did not play basketball until his junior year of high school. In fact, Tyson’s teammate, USC commit Jabari Craig is similar in that regard.

Yet, to Fishburne head coach Ed Huckaby Jr. there is no comparison as to who is the better player.

“He is polished offensively,” Huckaby said of Tyson. “He goes left hand, right hand, he’s got it. You add 30 pounds to that and it’s on. He’s better than Jabari Craig. I’m watching it everyday.”

And it’s hard not to agree with a coach with 25 years of experience at both the high school and collegiate level who also helped develop 47 all-conference athletes and 22 professional athletes.

Huckaby looks at Tyson and sees an athletic big who can play inside and outside by stretching the floor with his range. While strength will be the biggest aspect he needs to work on, Tyson had no problem with taking it to the hoop twice to finish thunderous dunks.

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Jordan Tyson two-handed dunk Photo by Ryan Lazo

The only thing more impressive than his play on the court is his lofty goals which, you guessed it, echo the words Nicholson spoke of after Bona captured the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship. The senior spoke of committing to St. Bonaventure to bring the Bonnies back, something Tyson also expects to be able to accomplish.

“I love that basketball is the top sport because when I come in there, I’m going to change the culture to make it a winning culture,” Tyson said with a purpose. “I know everyone says it, but that’s my real goal.”

For those who know him like Huckaby, it’s just an example of Tyson’s competitive nature. The lanky forward never backs down and commits 100 percent to the task at hand which during the scrimmage was to focus on boxing out and rebounding, both of which he accomplished.

Yet, Tyson also showed off some of his athletic ability Huckaby speaks so highly of as he helped start a fast break with a rebound, ran the full length of the court and skied for an alley-oop attempt which just missed the connection.

It all adds up to a play his head coach said Bona will be ecstatic to have.

“He’ll play immediately at St. Bonaventure, no question in my mind, because he competes,” he said of Tyson. “They got a hell of a gift, I can’t lie. I don’t know how they pulled it off but congratulations to Jeff Massey because he got that done.”

While Tyson may never be another Nicholson, it’s clear Schmidt has once again nabbed a talent he had no business being in on, helping to continue the building of a successful program at St. Bonaventure.