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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Breein Tyree

Could the Grizzlies land a Terence Davis type steal?

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Breein Tyree: Guard, University of Mississippi

  • 6’2 195 lbs, 22 years old from Somerset, New Jersey
  • 2019-20 season at Ole Miss: 34.6 minutes per game, 19.7 points per game on 43% shooting (36% from three and 82% from the free throw line) 2.5 assists per game, 3.7 rebounds per game and 1.3 steals per game.
  • 4 seasons at Ole Miss: 28 minutes per game, 13.8 points per game on 42% shooting (36% from three and 79% from the free throw line) 2.5 assists per game, 2.7 rebounds per game and 1 steal.
  • Advanced stats of strength: Box +/- of 5.5 his senior season, PER of 21 (league average is 15), 9.7 career win share.
  • Advanced stats to improve: Defensive box +/- of .5, 4.1 turnovers per 100 possessions, effective field goal % of 49%.
  • ACCOLADES: 1st Team All SEC (2018-19, 2019-20), Jerry West Award watch list, Sixth all time in Ole Miss history in points and threes made. 2nd leading scorer in SEC 2019-20
  • CURRENT BIG BOARD PLACEMENT: Undrafted

Seniors often get overlooked in the NBA Draft. It is no surprise that a senior from a baseball school is getting completely overlooked, but Breein Tyree should be getting much more love than he is. Not only was he the second leading scorer in the SEC for the entire season, but he improved his scoring average by 3 points per game when conference play began.

Tyree is a high-character, high-IQ talent that would be an excellent hidden gem for any team looking for a diamond in the rough. He has been the chair of the SEC Basketball Leadership Council for two years, showing his natural leadership skills. He also has high-level of competition in his blood, as he is cousins with Super Bowl Champion David Tyree. This matters because he has been around professional sports more than most, giving him a bird’s eye view of what it takes. Much like Jaren Jackson Jr., this perspective will give him a leg up on fellow rookies due to his understanding of the required work ethic.


What he does well

Much like the last prospect I covered in this series, Breein Tyree gets buckets. It is quite mind boggling that a player that averaged 22 points per game in SEC play is not getting any attention. He outscored all 8 of the current SEC players projected to be drafted by NBADraft.net.

Four times last season he erupted for more than 30 points, scoring a career-high 40 against heated rival Mississippi State. He has hit 8 threes in a game on 11 shots, which would equal the franchise record in Memphis. The Grizzlies need “that dude” that comes off the bench and runs the floor and fills the bucket. Tyree has plenty of experience in both.


What he needs to improve on

In a podcast interview on the 3 and D pod, Grayson Weir of RedcupRebellion.com put it like this: Breein Tyree is a project in terms of refinement. He does not have a lot of growth to be had. He knows the game and knows how to play it. He will just need to refine his game to adjust at the NBA level.

He will need to cut down on his turnovers and be more of a playmaker, simply because of his size. You do not see many 2-guards in the NBA listed at 6-2. Since he can’t make himself grow taller, he will have to adjust his game to find his fit in the league and that adjustment is the playmaking. Tyree seems to be very comfortable on-ball and scoring off the dribble, but if an NBA team is going to give him the keys to an offense off the bench, he must be ready to make plays for others, and not just himself.

To be fair, his assist numbers do not tell the story of his ability as a playmaker. He can not control the many missed shots by his more inexperienced teammates and hockey assists don't count. Playing against many zone defenses in college lead to a number of hockey assists that get overlooked. He quite often made the right pass, but it does not make the stat sheet.


The Memphis Grizzlies and Breein Tyree

The Memphis Grizzlies currently roster the best back up point guard the franchise has ever had in Tyus Jones, so there is not a need for backup point guard — for once. Tyree is a combo guard in his skillset, just not his size. Tyus is not a score-first point guard, therefore there could be a fit for the Grizzlies to run a three-guard line up off the bench to push the pace.

Another fit for Tyree would be as a 2-way player to groom as the backup point guard of the future. John Konchar could easily find himself in the rotation next season, leaving no room for a rookie guard to cut in. In two years, Tyus Jones could be out of the price range of the Memphis Grizzlies, as they anticipate the extensions of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. Two years as a 2-way player would allow Tyree and Memphis to be patient in his development and be ready to take over.

Prediction: Tyree goes undrafted and plays for the Grizzlies Summer/Fall league team in Orlando, John Konchar signs an NBA deal with Memphis and Tyree joins the Memphis Hustle.

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Stats found on sports-reference.com