By Rebecca Carney
For three straight games, Tyler Brown has been a starting guard for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team. For Brown, this has come as a bit of a surprise, since his playing time has not been where he would like it to be since the start of the season.
Brown, who played in high school at first Valley Center and then Derby, didn’t even play against Garden City, the game before this three-game run.
For Brown, whose first start came in the game against the Pratt Beavers, came as a bit of a shock. But then, like the flip of a switch, Brown has started in three consecutive games.
“I went from the Garden City game, and then Coach (Steve) Eck told me that I was starting the next game,” Brown said. “I was just surprised, honestly. I wasn’t expecting that. I was just happy to have the opportunity.”
For Brown, starting in high school and starting in college have completely different feelings. It was a different feeling for Brown, but in a positive way. For him, the atmosphere is more intense, and it’s one that Brown liked and one that makes him feel more comfortable.
“I feel a lot more comfortable on the floor. I was a little bit nervous at the start of the season, because its just a different feel, and I had to get used to the new environment,” Brown said. “I feel a lot more confident and comfortable. Everything is just starting to click together.”
Eck has made some changes to the starting lineup throughout the season, changes that seem to be helping the team play together as whole and on a more competitive level.
“Tyler is a competitor, and I felt like we were not competing as hard as we should be on defense,” Eck said. “So, I put Tyler in there because I wanted us to compete harder, and show everyone that every person is valuable to the team.”
Brown has shown just how valuable he is to the team, both offensively and defensively. Brown shoots 36.9 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from 3-point range. He shoots 82.6 percent from the free-throw line and averages 4.3 points per game. In addition, he has had 10 steals throughout the season as well as bringing leadership to the court.
During his starts against Pratt, Dodge City and Colby, Brown has scored a total of 21 points.
“He brings leadership to the team, brings confidence to the team. The guys have confidence in him and they support him really well. It brings the team together more,” Eck said.