Easy 'E' (Eric Tisby)
January 17, 2011 6:02 PM
The USF men's basketball team is full of tall post players. But the team's most dynamic player can't even dunk. Eric Tisby stands a whopping five feet, eight inches off the ground. He also provides the Cougars with their most exciting, highlight-reel plays.
"My whole life I haven't been the tallest guy on the team," said Tisby. "I've always been a point guard. So you gotta have some tricks up your sleeve to be a small player and play college basketball, so all of those tricky lay-ups, I always work on stuff like that."
Head Men's Basketball Coach Chris Johnson sees Tisby up close every day, and he says most bigger schools wouldn't give the guard a chance.
"That's one thing I've tried to do, especially at the level we're at, is not to box guys in based on size," said Johnson. "Can they play or can they not play? And if you can play, then we'll take you."
Tisby can definitely play, and plenty of teams do want him. In fact, the senior guard has been a part of four teams in four years. He started out at a junior college in San Jose, Calfiornia, before returning home to another school near Fort Worth, Texas. He played his junior season at Montana State-Northern, but after one year near the Canadian border, Tisby wanted to play in a slightly warmer climate with more experienced players. USF was the perfect fit.
"I'm pretty skeptical about it, like if I had a guy come in that had been to four schools, but it's just different situations," said Tisby. "If I could go back, I would come here for all four years."
The Cougars would have liked that. After all, Tisby is the team's top scorer this year, averaging nearly 14 points per game, including a 37 point performance against Northwestern that showcased a few of those tricky lay-ups.
"Everything he does is dramatic," said Johnson. "He's got a little bit of flare to what he does. So when you talk about highlights and things like that, he makes plays that make your jaw drop at times."
Not bad for a short guy.