Player Preview: Tyler Griffey
Now that the offseason is here, it’s time to look towards the future. Each of Illinois’ incoming recruits will be broken down, and at the end all will be ranked along with a 2009-2010 lineup projection. Enjoy.
Scout.com - 3 Stars, #34 PF, Overall N/A
Rivals.com - 3 Stars, #34 PF, #150 Overall
On paper, Tyler Griffey is the most highly regarded big man recruit Illinois has pulled in since Mike Tisdale three years ago. Like Tisdale, Griffey has a well developed shot with big time range. Griffey can knock down threes with alarming regularity. His strong passing and quick shooting are both great fits for the motion style of offense employed by the Fighting Illini. By college standards he has fantastic size at 6’8”. He could stand to put on more size, however there is no doubt he has the frame to do so without loss to his quickness.
Despite his size, Griffey is not overly strong and has a real hard time rebounding. Currently, Griffey shies away from contact, especially in the paint. He didn’t play very much in the paint in high school, and as a result, he is not much of a post presence. It may be too late to develop this element of his game enough to make him an all-around player. Griffey’s conditioning isn’t terrible, but leaves a lot to be desired.
Tyler Griffey is a name that Illini fans should familiarize themselves with. While he is certainly not the most highly touted recruit, he is very likely to make a lasting impact on the team. The Illini seemed dreadfully short on reliable big men after starters Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale this year, indicating a vacancy which Griffey could fill. He’ll be overshadowed by Davis and Tisdale his freshman year, and will likely fall behind future Illini big man Meyers Leonard at some point, but Griffey will see significant minutes during his Illinois tenure. With a few years of work, Griffey will be able to increase his size and strength, which will likely lead to increased effectiveness in his rebounding numbers. Because of his shooting and passing abilities, abilities which far exceed most players of his size, Griffey will be an excellent fit for Bruce Weber’s motion offense. Griffey may not see the floor much his freshman year if he cannot beat out Dominique Keller for playing time. However, given his ability, Griffey could very well steal many of Keller’s minutes by mid-season.