Cain Is Able (Tyler Cain)
February 01, 2010 5:26 PM
When the USD basketball program began their transition to Division I, there were a lot of uncertainties, but one thing they could always count on was production from their star center, Tyler Cain. Tonight he's our Taco John's Athlete of the Week.
Senior center Tyler Cain has been a defensive force all four years he's been in Vermillion, and he has been a steady contibuter since the school's final days in Division II.
"He does so many things for our basketball team that are things you can't really coach. He's gonna rebound, he's gonna defend, he's gonna block shots and he's become a very good scorer," said men's basketball coach Dave Boots.
This year Cain is averaging almost 15 points per game, but his other stats are the ones that stick out. He's head and shoulders above every other player in school history, with more than 300 career blocked shots. And he will likely end his career as the number two rebounder in school history as well.
"It's kinda something I had to grow into. I wasn't always a great rebounder. I always got rebounds, but it's a toughness thing that kinda had to be grown into," said Cain.
Despite having room to grow, Cain still had immediate success at USD.
"My freshman year we won the NCC and that was great for me and the competition level was good in that. But taking this step up, the competition is so much better," Cain said.
Not surprisingly, Cain stepped up as well. Last year he was named the all-independent defensive player of the year. Now he's hoping to end his senior year the same way he started it as a freshman. With a conference title.
"You hope you lose good players. You hope that they become good players like Tyler has become. You look at his progress from his freshman year to now, he's made as big a strides as Turner Trofholz made," said Boots.
"I just want to remembered, leaving this place as someone who played hard and a good player in this program," said Cain.
Considering all he's done for the Coyotes on the court, that won't be a problem.
Jason Anschutz, KDLT Sports, Vermillion.