COMMERCE — Terry Tyree Jr. hopes to pick up the offensive pace with the Commerce High School boys basketball team.
Tyree recently was named boys’ coach, succeeding Rusty Barker, who stepped down to devote full time attention to his new job as Commerce High School principal.
Barker will continue to be athletic director in the Commerce School District.
“I am not a slowdown guy. I am not a half-court offense guy,” Tyree said. “The game has transitioned to where it’s not a half-court game any more. The kids want to play at a faster pace and they want to get out and run. I encourage that. We will practice it and preach it.
“We will take some losses in the beginning because it’s something that some of them are not quite used to, but its something that I think in the long run will pay huge dividends.”
Tyree, who had coached the Commerce Middle School teams the past three years, inherits a varsity team that went 13-12 last season.
The Tigers beat Hulbert 52-46 in the first round of their Class 2A Are II District 2 tournament at Hulbert but dropped a 68-28 decision to fourth-ranked Dale in the district final.
Commerce then was eliminated with a 42-31 loss to Hominy in regional play at Cleveland.
“You can’t just come down and not have anybody down under the basket and jack up 3s,” said Tyree, whose father, Terry Sr., had coached and was an administrator at Commerce for a number of years. “I am a big guy on transition 3s. I like working the inside-out, maybe a drive with a dish and you still have someone under the basket who can be there for an offensive rebound or a put-back. I still want to emphasize a lot of the bigs because we are going to have a couple kids who are 6-2 or 6-3 that hopefully can help us out.
“We will have athletic kids who can run up and down the court and play defense.”
The younger Tyree is also hoping that some that haven’t played in the past for some reason or another will give it a try.
The Tigers played in the summer league at Quapaw, giving everyone a chance to get a feel of things to come.
“The kids were really able to buy into it,” Tyree said. “We are excited. I tried to play everybody because at this point, I don’t know what kids are going to contribute at the varsity level and which kids are not.”
After graduating from PCHS, Tyree attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (1992) and Pittsburg State University (1995).
He’s finishing up his master’s of art and educational leadership degree at Southern Nazarene.
His first job in coaching was at Breckenridge, Missouri, in 1997-98, where he served as head boys and girls basketball coach.
He’s also taught and coached at Lamar, Missouri (varsity football assistant and junior high boys coach); Liberal, Missouri (head football and junior high boys basketball), and Jasper, Missouri (varsity assistant and head junior high boys basketball).
Tyree was at Quapaw for seven years, including one season (2013-14) as head boys’ basketball coach.
This is his third year at Commerce.
“Consistency” is a big word with Tyree.
“One thing I have always stuck with is attitude, coachability and effort. That equals success,” he said. “That is what we kinda base everything on. Those are things you have control over. Nobody else can take those away from you. How good is your attitude? Are you coachable and willing to listen to me? And what kind of effort?
“That has been the theme that has resonated through the program since I have taken over with the junior high. We will put an emphasis on that with the high school program.”