Former Putnam City West star Tyson Jolly is back on the recruiting market again. OSU’s newly hired head basketball coach Brad Underwood reaches out to this 6-foot-5 shooting guard with an in-home visit.
Many Oklahomans probably remember Tyson’s great 2014-2015 senior season with the Putnam City West Patriots where he averaged 20.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, and later ended with him signing a letter of intent to the University of California at Berkley a year ago. That all changed on March 14 when controversy swarmed the University after they fired assistant coach Yann Hufnagel for violating the school’s sexual harassment policy following allegations that he sexually harassed a female reporter. In response to that, Jolly decided to leave the program due to “uncertainty at Cal.” Jolly spent the 2015-2016 season at Elev-8 Prep Academy in Delray Beach, FL.
I remember seeing Tyson for the first time his sophomore year. If you remember just a couple years back, the star at PC West was a UTEP Miner named Omega Harris, but there was another guy on that team that looked a lot like Harris physically and could control the game at times just like Harris, that was Jolly. As a matter of fact, there was a point in a particular game when one of his teammates pulled up for a long jumper late in the fourth quarter that rimmed out, and seemingly at the same time the ball was released came a long and lanky kid flying through the lane for a putback slam. From that moment on, I knew Jolly would be a rare talent.
Tyson would be a dangerous tool for Underwood and the Cowboys, following a (12-20) record under former head coach Travis Ford. There were plenty of weaknesses on this young team, but an athletic shooting guard would sure come in handy next season.
He’s a good shooter, but an even better defender with a knack for the ball. His length and agility on the perimeter will help spread the Cowboys’ defensive presence and physicality. Jolly, alongside returning OSU guard-forward Tavaris Shine (who’s also 6-foot-5), if developed correctly could be a scary defensive duo for Underwood. On the offensive end, it’s pretty obvious what Jolly can do. Must I repeat that he averaged 20.1 points per game his senior season? He’s a natural scorer with the physical ability to get pretty much anywhere on the court. We all know how hard it is to average nine rebounds at the guard position in high school as well, but Jolly is one of those fundamental players that know how to box out the old school way…or simply jump right over you.
This will be a homerun for Oklahoma State basketball if they can land this kid. There isn’t much talent just lurking around the basketball market like this, especially this late in the recruiting season.
Tyson has also received interest from Baylor and various other schools.