The 2013-14 All-OVC Preseason Men’s Basketball team is headlined by Southeast Missouri State senior Tyler Stone, who was named the Preseason Player of the Year. For two years in a row, Stone was named to the second team all-OVC and this year he looks to improve his status.
During last year’s campaign, he averaged an eye-popping 15.5 points per game and 7.8 rebounds while shooting close to 50 percent for the season. I believe Stone is the most complete player in the league (pause for rebuttal) as even his weaknesses can be improved with an added year of experience and a few fundamental changes.
Tyler shows the rare ability of an OVC post player to display skills as a block to blocking force and mid-range scorer. Most players’ physical abilities limit them to one area on the court thus minimizing their overall effectiveness. Standing at 6’8, 230 pounds, he does not often hover over his counterpart, but he does use his length to get solid looks at the basket. Stone has the quickness to outrun and face up against slower defenders, while having the strength to hold his position and be a presence around the rim. He was fifth in the conference in blocked shots which only enhances his resume.
Stone is a player you must be aware of for the full 94 feet of the court. He is quick to leak out into transition when a rebound is secured by a teammate. He has great hands that allow him to catch passes that should otherwise be a tough grab on the move.
His ability to play face up is the strongest facet of his game, and Stone does a decent job knocking down an open pull up. Most defenders respect his quickness, and he takes advantage of those defenders that give him too much space. He doesn’t take too many defenders off the dribble but he has taken advantage of those opportunities when they’re presented.
When it comes to his block to block post-game he has a prototypical skill set when it comes to most right hand players. The majority of his shots came from his right hand with few attempts from his left. Although his hook shot fell at a surprising low rate he did show nice touch, often rimming in and out or grazing the front of the rim. On the left block he sticks to using his right hand as he has a decent drop step hook off the glass.
His best move to date is his smooth right shoulder turnaround fade away that he likes to take from the left block. He looks to get a gentle kiss off the glass and to do so he likes to use one or two dribbles to create a better angle. Due to Stone’s height and length, he has a clean release thus making this a high percentage shot.
An underrated part of his game is his passing out of the post, which often times leads to a wide open shot. He has great patience on the low block and takes the time to survey his surroundings. He allows for any cutter to clear out while baiting defenses to send a double team while he is stationary. These clips shows that Stone has a great blend of size, skill, and strength to validate the votes his received as the OVC’s best player.