Tyler Griffey is a long, 6'9" forward with guard-like skills from Ballwin, MO. The four-star recruit, though, is not going to do what most of the top players in high school will do this summer, and that's play AAU basketball. "I'm taking the summer off from it. I'm going to be a part of this group called 'Adidas Nation.' It's a group of talented players that will work as much as we can on our game, we'll shoot, work on conditioning, and sometime in July we'll get together and play other teams from other countries. I feel this will help me more in the long run to get better," Griffey said.
Griffey is one of Bruce Weber's stable of fine recruits for the class of 2009. Of the four verbal commitments, Griffey checks in rated the highest at number 51 in the country. "I look at rankings occasionally but not every day. My dad and I talked about it and why it's not good to look at those all the time. When I see some of the guys ahead of me that I know I'm better than, I just use it as motivation to work harder and get better," Griffey added.
This past Monday, there is little doubt most of the top high school players watched the men's NCAA championship game and Griffey was no different. But he was somewhat confused by Memphis head coach, John Calipari's comments made to the media last week. "Coach Calipari said that free-throws aren't that important or something like that. Last night it cost his team the championship. If they make a few more free throws they win a national title. I know we have a lot of good players coming in at Illinois, it would be nice to reach the Final Four, but a lot of things have to go our way. As you can tell, the teams there were all very good, but you have to have a lot of things go your way and some good luck," Griffey stated.
Most of Weber's recruits all stay in touch through phones, emails, or text messaging, but Griffey really only talks to Brandon Paul and Demetri McCamey. He said that will change the more he's around campus and his future teammates. "Brandon and I send each other messages on Facebook, he's really nice. I think he tries to talk to all of the players coming in. We should be really good in a couple years," said Griffey.
Don't sleep on Griffey, even if you don't here much about him this summer while others may be raising their stock on the AAU circuit. He's already got a nice game that is very smooth and he finishes well in traffic. Watch the video on Griffey provided by Scout.com to see for yourself. It's also clear that he is highly coachable and has a great basketball mind, given his decision to try something different by foregoing the AAU play to work in a more focused setting to improve his all-around game. We'll try to keep in touch with Tyler as he takes part in this program and prepares for his senior year in high school, and his career at Illinois.
Griffey also mentioned that he just got back from France, he played very well over there. He talks to Coach Jay Price maybe once a week to see how things are going.