An extremely interesting player hit the transfer portal Monday with Cleveland State’s Tyree Appleby entering the portal. A 6’1” guard from Jacksonville, Arkansas, Appleby was one of the most productive mid-major talents in the country last season pouring in 17.2 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game. Dominating the Horizon League with his ability to get to his spots and either finish or dish to an open teammate he made quite a name for himself and found many willing power five suitors who contacted him the moment he entered the portal.
Florida was one of the many teams to contact him. Though they currently don’t have a scholarship open the Gators have a crowded frontcourt and some shakeup at that position is a definite possibility which could leave space for Appleby. Every year there are diamonds in the rough from mid-major conferences and Appleby could very well be one of them and after a redshirt transfer year he could be a force at whatever program he chooses.
I had the chance to speak to Appleby about his game and his decision to transfer from Cleveland State. I’ll note that we spoke on Monday and he references a visit he’s taking “tomorrow” to Arkansas, which means Tuesday, July 2nd.
Here’s my quick chat with Tyree Appleby.
EF: Hey Tyree! I appreciate you doing this. I know it’s a busy time for you. You had two tremendous years at Cleveland State before entering the portal today and are now getting calls from high major teams. What was your recruitment process like out of high school and what went into your decision now to move on to a new program?
TA: Out of high school I only had one D1 offer and the rest were JUCOs. And I just wanted to explore other options and find a new place to call home.
EF: How crazy do you find it that you went from one D1 offer in high school to hearing from power five schools? Do you think you’ve really gotten that much better or do you think you were just slept on coming out of high school?
TA: It feels great just to see a lot of people know what I can do and yes, I think my game has improved.
EF: One of the area you really improved your game from your freshman to sophomore year was the 3-point shot and last year you were killing teams from behind the arc. What went into you becoming an awesome shooter?
TA: Just getting reps up in the gym. Once I knew what I can do and the time I spent my confidence was just high.
EF: Your brother Raheem played for Mike White at Louisiana Tech. Has he told you anything about White’s coaching style or is there anything you saw while watching your brother play?
TA: I loved going to games to watch them play. It was exciting to watch and the style of play was amazing.
EF: What did Florida tell you when they reached out?
TA: They liked my game and just that they would love for me to be a part of the program.
EF: Going back to your game…I’m huge into analytics, and your numbers relating to passing are insane. You’re one of the best passers in the country and did a great job finding open shots for your teammates. Is your passing vision just something in your DNA or is it something you learned and developed?
TA: I thought I was always a great passer but when you get a team you have to study them and find out how they like the ball placed and everything.
EF: Whatever you’re doing really works and any team that gets you is going to really benefit from your passing. When you’re not dishing it out you’re also a deadly scorer with over 17 points per game last season. What do you think makes you such a good scorer?
TA: I’m really fast, that helps a lot but I have a lot of moves and I’m able to make shots, and I’m a good finisher.
EF: Is there anything in particular you’re going to be focused on during your redshirt year? Anything you want to really develop or add to your game?
TA: Just getting work and getting prepared to play next season and building chemistry with my teammates.
EF: Thanks so much for doing this Tyree, I know it’s a super busy time for you. Just one more question—do you know when you’ll start taking visits?
TA: I’m going to Arkansas tomorrow and I’m trying to set up Florida now.
EF: Awesome. Thanks for doing this man, I appreciate it!
You can follow Tyree on Twitter at @Lil_App04.