Tyrus McGee recently became the first Cyclone in history to lead the NCAA in a statistical category. His 46.4 percent conversion rate from three-point land was best in the nation.
When Fred Hoiberg was outlining roles for his team last fall, he had to convince McGee that coming off the bench would be most beneficial to the team. Most players like to start and it would be understandable if McGee felt that way, too.
Hoiberg, the NBA’s three-point shooting leader in 2004-05, never started a game for the Timberwolves that season. Among the last nine NBA leaders from long distance, only the Pistons’ Richard Hamilton (2005-06) started routinely.
Steve Novak (Knicks), Matt Bonner (Spurs), Kyle Korver (Jazz), Anthony Morrow (Warriors) and Jason Kapono (Raptors then Heat), preceded Hamilton and Hoiberg as NBA leaders in three-point percentage. Only Kapono with the Heat started much (35 games).
So, when Hoiberg sold McGee on being a spark off the bench with his uncanny ability to hit long-distance shots, the Oklahoma native accepted the role enthusiastically and then thrived.
Given the opportunity, McGee capitalized. The reward is that his Cyclone career now includes leading the nation in a statistical category. Nice legacy.