Prep Basketball: Boyle County's Hagen Tyler making fast adjustments
Boyle County sophomore Hagen Tyler (23) drove past Pulaski County's Kody Johnson in last week's game. Tyler has become a starter for Boyle and admits the faster pace of play has been an adjustment for him. (Clay Jackson / December 18, 2012)
Tyler has made the move from a sub called on to sink a few shots and ignite a spark in his freshman year to a starter who has become a cornerstone in the Boyle County boys’ rebuilding efforts in his sophomore year.
It appears to have been a relatively easy adjustment for Tyler, who has emerged as the Rebels’ leading scorer through their first six games. But he said it has taken some work to make the transition.
“Yeah, it did. Varsity’s way different from freshman, JV. It’s a lot faster,” Tyler said.
Tyler, a 6-0 guard, is one of four new starters for a team that lost six seniors after last season. But he also got valuable experience as a reserve on last year’s team, which went 13-16 but got hot late in the season and reached the 12th Region Tournament finals.
He said the experience he and the other returning Rebels got during that late-season run is serving them well this season.
“It gives us a bunch of confidence in the way we’re going to play this year,” he said. “It helped a lot.”
Tyler said he worked primarily on his defense in the offseason, while shooting has always been one of his strengths. He was largely a spot-up shooter last year, but this year Boyle coach Steve Adams is trying to expand his role in the offense.
“I’m trying to work on taking it to the basket more and being stronger like Coach wants me to,” Tyler said.
Tyler is still getting most of his points from the perimeter at this stage of the season, however. He leads Boyle (3-2), which plays Louisville Holy Cross on Thursday in the first round of Mercer County’s Fort Harrod Classic, with 12.8 points per game, and 36 of his 64 points have come from 3-point range, where he is 12 for 35.
He has also made all 12 of his free-throw attempts, he is third on the team in rebounds with 4.8 per game, and he has a team-high seven steals.
Boyle has made its mark on defense early in the seasons, as Adams’ teams often do. The Rebels are allowing 51.8 points per game.
“Overall on defense, we’ve done pretty well,” Tyler said.
And he said playing and improving along with the rest of the retooled Rebels has been a blast.
“I love playing with these guys. It’s a real joy,” he said. “I’m ready for the end, to see what it brings.”
He’s referring to the end of the season, because he said he expects the Rebels to be a much different team then than they are now.
“I believe so, because by the time the (end of the) season gets here we’ll have learned, and I think we can,” Tyler said. “It’ll be a big difference, a big improvement, having a lot of young players.”