McGee Eager to Expand His Role In Senior Season
AMES, Iowa - If you ask anyone one associated with Iowa State men's basketball they would be the first to tell you of the importance of Tyrus McGee on last season's success. The junior college transfer embraced his role as sixth-man, giving the Cyclones a boost of energy when he entered the game.
McGee is looking to expand his role even further as he enters his senior season after averaging 7.7 points and drilling 50 3-pointers in 19.9 minutes per game a year ago.
McGee had his moments in ISU's outstanding season. Like the double-clutch second-half jumper that ignited the crowd in Iowa State's upset win over No. 5 Kansas. Or perhaps one of the biggest shots of the season that gets lost in shuffle.
In Iowa State's incredible come-from-behind victory over Oklahoma State last year, everyone remembers Scott Christopherson's 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the Cyclones a 71-68 victory. But it was McGee's shot just moments earlier that put ISU in position to win.
Down three points with under 0:30 seconds left and the Cowboys with the ball, McGee grabbed a long rebound and instinctively raced down the court to try and catch the defense out of position. He did, and promptly drained a long pull-up 3-pointer with 0:17 seconds left to tie the game.
It was one of the biggest shots of his career.
Iowa State fans are hoping to see McGee's continued progression in his final year in Ames after a fruitful off-season. McGee was named MVP of the YMCA Capital City League, averaging 27.1 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 51.7 percent from the field.
Cyclones.com sat down with McGee recently to ask him about beginning his senior season.
How ready are for the 2012-13 season to begin?
"I am very excited about this year. We have six seniors on the team. The incoming freshmen are looking up to us and we've got to show them how to play the game of basketball with the experience we have."
What were some of the things you learned from last year?
"I learned a lot from last year. I had to learn to slow down and make good decisions and stuff like that. I think the main thing I learned was patience. That's one of the biggest things I needed to work on, but I am gradually getting use to it."
All players are competitors and sometimes embracing the role as sixth man can be difficult. How were you able to embrace it with such ease?
"It kind of hit me before the season started. I figured out how Coach Hoiberg plays everybody and how used the rotations I probably wasn't starting. I just told myself that no matter what, even if I was the sixth man coming in, I was still going to play my role and do anything I can to help this team win. I just knew I needed to sit back and listen and learn from coach because he has a lot of experience."
How rewarding was it to earn MVP of the YMCA Capital City League in the summer?
"It was very rewarding. I was in the gym a lot practicing and that gives you confidence once you start playing out there on the court for real. I like to win. That league was no different for me. I was going to go out and play hard every second I was on the court."
How much did it help you to play with Royce White, Scott Christopherson and Chris Allen last year?
"Playing with Royce, Chris and Scott, it was a great experience for me. They were key players on the team and helped me out in my first year. They helped me accept my role and taught me things along the way."
Your shooting form is almost textbook. Is that something that has always come easy for you?
"I have always been a shooter, but I gradually worked on my form as I got older. I watched Ray Allen shoot. I just watched him and learned. I just picked up from other people. I watched my brother shoot, who also has great form, and I just really learned from watching other people.
How often do you get shots up?
"I am at the Sukup daily. If I miss two days of not coming to the gym, I can tell a big difference in my shot. I am constantly coming in and getting repetitions."