Tyson playing ‘like it’s my last day’

Published 8:43 pm Monday, January 29, 2018

GREENVILLE — Senior B.J. Tyson has been with East Carolina through many ups and downs. Now is a time for reflection as the last games of his collegiate career fast approach.

Tyson committed to ECU in the spring of 2013 and enrolled in the fall, but was ineligible for competition. He joined the team for the 2014-15 season, but the late start did not hold a young Tyson back.

Tyson has played in 91 career games as of ECU’s trip to Southern Methodist over the weekend. The 6-foot-3 guard has averaged 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. His offensive talents were apparent as a freshman, and Tyson has cemented himself as one of just 29 players in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

This season has taken some twists and turns, giving seniors like Tyson much to overcome. Tyson agreed that it has taught him to be a better role model both on and off the court, “especially with us having all new faces.”

“I take on a big role here being a senior because, like they say, when you’re an older guy you know what it takes,” Tyson said. “I try to just be that teacher, that leader, and also a student of the game.”

Interim head coach Michael Perry has sat down the seniors and established reflection in them, giving the players fuel to finish strong. Perry explained since they have reached the second half of the conference slate, there should be a sense of urgency for Tyson and the seniors.

“Every day is valuable because it goes quickly. As a lot of times as a freshman, you come in and people tell you it’s going to go pretty quickly. As a senior you start to realize just how quickly it goes,” Perry said.

Tyson understands the message Perry has communicated with him and his other teammates. He feels he still has a lot to accomplish as a leader. Even when Tyson’s gone next season, he can leave an impact on the crop of younger players on the Pirate squad.

“Bring more intensity, more impact on both ends of the ball,” Tyson said. “Just be that guy that can hold that role and show players that they can get behind me and we can do a lot of things.

“We’ve got a lot of pieces to the puzzle and it’s finally starting to come along. If we can find ourselves … we’re going to be good.”

He believes that to keep those pieces intact, finding players who are more invested is key.

“If you can bring in guys that have the experience of playing in the NCAA tournament or have played on a team with a winning program that would be a great thing for ECU,” Tyson said.

He’s confident the program will succeed with Shawn Williams, Isaac Fleming and Kentrell Barkley back next year. As for him, Tyson says he’s going to continue training and see where his career takes him.

But for right now, it seems that Tyson is living in the moment and enjoying every last second the clock has.

“I come in every day and play like it’s my last day.”