Observing Breein Tyree
July 27th, 2020
by Alan Lu
Recently, Mississippi’s 6-2 senior guard, Breein Tyree was one of the 105 players that made the first round of cuts to be invited to the prestigious NBA draft combine this year. It is uncertain if they will hold a combine, but it is said that they plan to whittle the list down even further to 70 players. I set out to watch him play in a highly, competitive SEC basketball game against Kentucky that took place on February 15th, with thanks to YouTube via O__BALL__O. Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.
Breein Tyree is an athletic, combo guard that can score the basketball, and he is currently projected to be a second round prospect for the 2020 draft. He is a versatile scorer that shoots the ball well, and he can score in a variety of ways. In this game, he started off slowly and he turned in a rather uneven performance, but he had some good moments against Kentucky, as he played better towards the end, and he showed off a solid mid-range game and that he can effectively score off the dribble to get buckets.
Tyree is a solid shooter that excelled at making pull-up jumpers to provide floor spacing his team on offense. He can calmly knock down pull-up threes from beyond the arc, and has a lot of range on his shot. He also can a series of crafty dribble moves to create separation from his defender, which would allow him to effortlessly score from the mid-range. Plus, he also was able to run off of a ball screen to make a quick corner three midway through this match.
He also displayed a decent ability to score on half-court drives. He tends to favor going to his left, but he was able to use a quick overhead ball fake to score on a layup off the glass, and he would frequently take the ball strong to the rack to get to the foul line frequently. However, he struggled more to score in traffic, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls, and he took some difficult shots that lead to misses.
He also showcased fairly average at best playmaking skills in this game. Though he did not pick up an assist, he can throw solid passes off the dribble, and he showed a willingness to find the open man to get them the basketball. However, he also would sometimes be prone to committing careless turnovers. He ran off the ball, but caught the pass out of bounds. On another he threw an inaccurate pass that went behind his teammate, as the ball end up sailing out of bounds. Another time, he appeared to make a nifty mid-range jumper, only to be called for traveling after appearing to use an effortless step-back move.
Plus, Tyree did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would tend to leap up to get boards to help his team on the glass, and he also would bring the ball up afterwards after getting defensive rebounds. However, he will need to significantly improve defensively.
For the positives, he was able to run in to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also jumped on a loose ball that a teammate deflected to help get another. Plus, he showed a willingness to fight through screens to stay with opposing ball handlers, and he also was able to close out on a shooter to force a miss. Mostly though, his focus seemed lacking, and he tended to wander around in an area for too long, which would cause him to allow opponents to get open driving lanes and shots up. He tended to be caught ball watching, and he had a tendency to lose track of his man, which would lead to scramble situations. Other times, he would struggle to stay in front of his man when defending opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.
Overall, Breein Tyree is an athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, and he is a good shooter that has a solid pull-up game, which enables him to score in bulk from the outside. However, he will need to show that he can effectively run the point, and he will have to be a more focused defender in games. Right now, he may be a borderline second round candidate, but in a favorable scenario, if things pan out for him, he could end up being an effective rotation player similar to former NBA veteran guard, Willie Green in the association.
For the purposes of this article, I focused solely on Tyree, as I had watched the Kentucky players extensively before, so what they did in this game would likely have reiterated the skills that they bring to the table. As for the game itself, it was a close one, but Kentucky was able to hang out to get a narrow win over Mississippi.