Tyrese Tanner Sparks Off The Bench
Jan. 31, 2012
By Claire Fisher
With a love of basketball running through her blood, it is no surprise that Tyrese Tanner has become a standout player on the Auburn women's basketball team this season.
Tanner comes from a line of basketball players, including both parents, two uncles and a cousin, that have all contributed to her success as a player.
"I've been playing basketball since I was four, so just for me to have that generation behind me, I'm looking to keep it going," said Tanner.
So far, she is doing a great job at continuing her family's legacy. After averaging 4.8 points per game last season, Tanner has improved her average to 10.9 points per game, which is the highest on the team this season. Becoming the leading scorer for Auburn was one of Tanner's goals coming into the season, and she's doing it all off of the bench.
After being named the Alabama 6A Player of the Year her senior year in high school and shining during her years at Hoover High School, Tanner is not fazed with the fact that she hasn't been starting on the team.
"It's pretty good for me to just be a spark of energy coming off of the bench," said Tanner. "Coach Fortner always told me that I need to be that energy and that we don't need to have all our scorers in at one time."
When Tanner enters the game, she takes advantage of her versatility and ability to replace almost any player on the floor. That is a change from high school as before she started at Auburn, Tanner had only known the post position, but she is warming up to playing multiple positions.
"Sometimes it can get a bit confusing, but when the flow is going right and everybody's on their role and everybody knows what to do, it's pretty good," said Tanner.
While Tanner has already reached her goal of becoming the team's top scorer, there is still a lot that she wants to accomplish. As a team, Tanner hopes to win an SEC Championship and make it to the top of the NCAA Tournament.
"I'd really like us to be the national champions, but right now I just want for us to take our steps in improving. I think we should at least get to the tournament and be at the top," said Tanner.
Individually, Tanner has goals to be named to the First Team All-SEC list and to play professionally overseas or in the WNBA. Aside from moving ahead with her basketball career, Tanner is also interested in using her love for kids to teach at an elementary school.
"I love kids and I love being around them," said Tanner. "That's what I'm happy for here at school. We have camps and stuff where we get to interact with kids."
Tanner's love for kids can also be seen before each game.
"She talks to all of the towel girls and gives them a fist bump before every game," said teammate Blanche Alverson. "She always spends time with the fans and signs autographs for all the kids that come up."
Even though she is coming off the bench, Tanner is having a standout season so far. She ranks 20th in the league in scoring and put up a career-high 22 points at Arkansas earlier this season. She has also set career marks with eight rebounds against Central Connecticut State, four assists vs. South Carolina and four blocked shots against Georgia.
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