The Tyrese Hunter Show (Gonzaga wins GIF Breakdown)


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Last Wednesday, the Texans outscored second-ranked Gonzaga, 93-74, in front of a massive crowd at Moody Center, where they are now 3-0. Of all the impressive performances in that game, one player stood out the most: transfer PG Tyrese Hunter, who walked away with a career-high 26 points in the win.

He did it from all over the court: driving in the fairway, hitting from mid-range, and sinking three triples (5/8 of deep). Considering the outside shooting struggles the Longhorns struggled with over the first two games, it was a relief for fans to see them step up and shoot 39% from outside the arc. I’ll show what he did to score his points in the next GIF breakdown.

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Below, watch how Hunter fakes a pump to knock a defender off his feet, resulting in an open lane. The scouting report on Hunter respected his ability from three, although prior to this game, he hadn’t had much statistical success this season as an outsider. However, when a player extends his game beyond the middle range, he forces the defense to take this possibility into account. So when he fakes a three, his defender jumps in, and it’s too late to recover. Hunter gets an easy leap as you see him against a team like Gonzaga, and converts to a new religion. 2 points for Longhorns.

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In this GIF, watch how Christian Bishop distracts Gonaga guard Malachi Smith by getting in his way into a near-sliding screen at the top of the switch, which in turn gives Tyrese Hunter room. The defense settles for Timmy Allen, who backs off defender Sallis until he sees the open hunter at the top of the arc. By the time Allen feeds him the ball, it’s too late for Malachi Smith to shut him up, and Hunter makes him pay.

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Watch here how he uses Brock Cunningham’s ball screen to give himself a little breathing room. Timme, anticipating the off-screen drive, props himself up toward the basket in anticipation. Realizing the space he has now then, Hunter decides to pull over and shoot. Still entangled with Cunningham, Sallis, the other defender in the ball’s screen motion, has no time to defend the shot. Hunter’s mostly open look leads to two more points for Texas in a crucial period of time at the end of the first half, giving them a seven-point lead.

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Watch here as Hunter goes on the offensive in a pick-and-pop combo with Brock Cunningham. Cunningham screens Hunter and instead of sliding into the hoop, simply flails to the three-point line, where he is met by Drew Timme, who doesn’t really stamp him with any real urgency. Despite Cunningham’s hesitation, which a player usually doesn’t play with in this type of play, he hits and delivers a great shot, giving the Longhorns an eight-point lead with two minutes left in the half. Give Cunningham credit for this game as a whole; He played excellent basketball in 12 minutes, scored seven points and made an effort/hustle to play the entire time.

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Nothing fancy here, just a straight pull from Tyrese Hunter’s dribbling depth. Disu’s screen gives him extra room here, as Rasir Bolton gets caught trying to stick around. When he is unable to, Hunter sees that he has an extroverted eye, and knocks him out. Three points for the Longhorns.

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Here, the vitriol goes with the district defense to try and stop the Texans’ offense, but to no avail. Tyrese Hunter punishes them again from the outside. The wing doesn’t glide fast enough, leaving him enough room to hit three more, one out of five on the night.

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In another example of Texans attacking the area, Hunter fielded the ball to Marcus Carr, who gave a pair of fake punts before finding Hunter after he slid from the baseline to just outside the three-point line. Racer Poulton didn’t find him fast enough, allowing him to make an easy three, which nailed him again. This shot gave the Longhorns a 61-42 lead, and was part of a series of shots that broke the Zags back.

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Here, Hunter finds himself wide open on the weak side of the area. Carr threw a jump pass to him, and he faked the three-point shot, again guarded by Racer Bolton, who bites. Given that kind of space, Hunter takes it and pulls the dribble to hit a midrange jumper, giving Texas an 18-point lead. His ability to shoot from the outside opens many other doors for him and, by extension, the entire team on the offensive end.

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Here, Hunter shows off his speed by beating a late defender in the transition. Although he wobbles in the pass, he is able to regain control of his dribbling before scoring with a bunny fumble. He again burns Rasir Bolton, who must be tired of guarding Hunter at this point in the game.

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Overall, Tyrese Hunter has brought a whole new dynamic to offense this season that last year’s team was sorely lacking. Both his shooting ability (from mid-range pull-ups to three-pointers) as well as his skills when driving the ball give this offense a whole new level of unpredictability when trying to plan defensively. You can’t simply pack and sell paint to stop the drive, because it will be able to draw and hit shots from recoil. You can’t double him up for his passing ability, and as deep shooting develops from a more confident attack, that ability is only amplified.

This team has improved greatly from last year’s team in many aspects, but you can’t overstate Tyrese Hunter’s ability on the offensive end. Oh yeah, and he’s a great defensive player, too.



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