Tyler Cheese (196-G-1996, college: Akron) is a 25 year old 196cm guard from Georgia that finished his second professional season with Team Ehingen Urspring (Germany-ProA) playing 24 games averaging 18.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 80.0%. In his rookie season he split time with De Longhi Treviso Basket 2012 (Italy-Serie A) and the Salon Vilpas Vikings (Finland-Korisliiga). He began his basketball career at Albany high school and alos played at Combine academy. He then played At Florida Southwestern State College from 2016-2018 and then finished at Akron (NCAA) playing 63 NCAA games and averaged 15.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 3.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 82.2% as a senior. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his season in Germany.
Thanks Tyler for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I’m currently back in my hometown of Albany, GA. My day to day is centered around basketball so I’m just trying to stay locked in on the things I need to. Also, life is treating me really well, super happy to see my family and spend time with them before I go back overseas.
You played your second professional season in Germany with team Ehingen and your last game was 3 months ago. Are you one of those guys that needed longer to digest the season or did you get it out of your mind and began focusing on the future?
I usually like to give my body a couple weeks to recover and also I had some minor injuries that I played through during the season, so I took my time getting 100% healthy to attack this summer all out. As far as focusing on the future, I tend to try to take things day by day and focus on the present moment!
It was an incredibly tough season for Team Ehingen. You won 1 game against the wiha Panthers. What besides the losing was the toughest for you personally this season?
The losing hurt the most for me for sure because it’s just not something I’m used to!
What besides the losing was the toughest? The amount of injuries you had.
During my time at Ehingen, I don’t think we had a full roster because of those injuries.
You put up very good stats, but lost almost every game. As one of the top players on the team how did you handle blame and wondering if you could of possibly done even more for the team.
Well I put a lot of blame on myself because I was a person that they brought in to try to help change the win-lose records and start building culture throughout the entire program. I think that’s why you seen my play improve throughout the season because I wanted to prove that I wanted to win really bad!
It was a season to forget. Obviously the team had huge problems defending. Did the team just lack more experience?
Yeah I think experience and not having the guys on the floor was obviously the problem so it was a situation where we tried to do our best.
No player ever wants to go through a season like this, but what did you personally learn from this difficult experience?
I learned to always be positive and control all the things that I could control. Making sure I’m always doing the things that I’m supposed to do. Gained a lot of mental toughness from this experience and it has helped me get better as a player but more importantly as a man!
When you only win 1 game, does one cherish the win more over the wiha Panthers? Is that one of those games that you can still remember certain plays in the game?
It was good to get a win obviously but no I remember the losses! I wasn’t happy at all about just winning one game while I was there, instead I was more determined to get us more wins because that’s what matters to me.
The team was so young. You practiced with the kids every day. If you had to pick one guy that you felt improved the most despite the losing who would you pick?
If I had to pick a guy that I felt improved the most throughout the season I would say Kevin Strangmeyer was that guy. I think as the season went on Kev was one of the few that I had really good chemistry with. He became better at setting screens for me or other teammates, he shot the ball better, he defended well for a 6’6 big man against all the trees we were playing against. He got better at finishing when rolling in pick and roll situations. He took the challenge every game so I really respected that.
You averaged 18.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 4.9apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 80.0%. Just from stats alone how would you rate your own season?
I would rate my season as a B-! I felt I could’ve did more and played a lot better both offensively and defensively. On the other hand, I did a lot of good things on the court this past season. I think my playmaking was good whether it was me making a play for myself or for my teammates. I rebounded really well for my position, I was active defensively averaging 1.5 steals, playing passing lanes and being either a weak side or strong side helper. I shot really well in just catch and shoot situations. I think I improved tremendously in iso situations by learning to play with different pace with the way the overseas game is played. So in all, yeah it was a good individual season but I still don’t boost it because we weren’t good as a team and I’ll take winning over anything.
You had a good season in JUCO and in the NCAA and as a professional so far your best season in Germany. Could one classify your Team Ehingen season as your break out season?
I wouldn’t say I’ll classify this as my breakout season but for sure was a season where people have to take notice and see that I’m coming and I’m getting better. I want everyone to not judge me off the Covid year when I went to play in Italy. I want people to see my true value and the impact that I can bring to a team. I’m super motivated to whip out any negative talk that comes about when they mention my name! I just want to show I belong with the best.
You had a very consistent season stat wise. What did you grow to learn as being the biggest challenge of putting up big numbers despite knowing that winning would always be tough?
Umm well the biggest challenge was just adjusting to how teams defended me. I think I struggled with that at first but with a lot of unrequired work I got better and got more comfortable and confident. Film was also a big part in allowing me to grow and have a consistent season.
How important was this losing season for helping your mental game? Can a losing season help build mental toughness?
I think it was important because I learned a lot about myself. Yes, I think it can help you build mental toughness. The reason I say that is because it was so many downs throughout the season and I never gave up. We took those L to the chin and kept going trying to get better as individuals and as a group.
You had a nice triple double against PS Karlsruhe. Was that your best game of the season?
I would say that was my best game statistically, but it was a lot of games where I felt that I was completely dominant in but just didn’t have enough to finish the games out.
You turned over the ball 3 times per game and shot in the low 30’s from outside. Are these 2 area’s that you will focus on in your grind this summer?
Yes these two areas are a focus this summer! I also feel that being around a more talented and experienced team will help me improve dramatically at these two areas because I wouldn’t have to do some of the things I was asked to do during this past season.
What is the next step for you? Could you imagine returning back to Germany?
I’m looking to make that next jump! I want to be back playing in the top leagues of Europe. I could see myself coming back to Germany but to play in the BBL.
Where do you rate Steph Curry right now in the best point guards of all-time?
I would say he’s second all-time behind Magic!
What was the first eatery you visited when you returned home?
I ate Chick-fil-A in the airport going back home, but when I did arrive back, the first thing I ate was some of my mother’s cooking, I always have to tap in with my mom food because I love it!
Thanks Tyler for the chat.