Evaluating transfer Tyrese Hunter with former Iowa State Daily reporter Matt Belinson

Matthew Caldwell, Sports Reporter

The Texas men’s basketball team recently landed Tyrese Hunter, the top-ranked transfer in the country according to 247Sports. Hunter averaged 11 points and 4.9 assists per game for Iowa State last season and earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors.

The Daily Texan spoke with Matt Belinson, former Iowa State Daily reporter who covered Hunter’s freshman season, about what the transfer will bring to Texas.

The Daily Texan: What is Hunter’s playstyle?

Matt Belinson: He’s a naturally aggressive player. One thing I noticed watching him last year was that he always wanted to attack. … He likes to draw contact and get to the free-throw line. But as the season progressed, he would use his aggressiveness to make himself a better playmaker.

DT: What are some of his weaknesses?

MB: For him to unlock a new level of his game, he’s mostly going to need to improve his outside shooting. But if we had to do a different answer outside of his 3-point shooting, I would say his aggressiveness at times would lead him into some foul trouble. … I think it took him a while to realize that there is a line between aggressiveness in a smart way and reckless aggressiveness.

DT: What was Hunter’s best moment of the season?

MB: There’s so many. I would say that first-round NCAA Tournament game in Milwaukee against LSU. That’s one of the greatest Iowa State NCAA Tournament performances in history. He finished with 23 points and was outstanding in that game.

DT: How can Hunter develop his game next season?

MB: He must like the system that (head coach) Chris Beard is developing. He’s going to be put next to (senior guard) Marcus Carr and those two are going to work together, but I think it’s going to be interesting to see how that works. Last season, (Hunter) had the privilege of playing next to someone willing to be more off-ball and (who) wasn’t much of a ball handler in Izaiah Brockington. Obviously we know how good of a scorer (Carr) is, so I think it’s going to be a little different for Tyrese. … It’s going to be interesting to see if those two can click right away.

DT: How does Hunter provide leadership to his teammates?

MB: From a teammate’s perspective, the guys always looked at (Hunter) and understood that, even though he’s a younger kid and hasn’t even finished his first year in college, he could rise in the big moments, and they could trust him. From Tyrese’s perspective, if he senses that trust, he’ll automatically go to war for you, and he’ll fight for you.

DT: What will the atmosphere be like when Texas travels to Ames, Iowa, next season?

MB: I do think he’s going to get a fair amount of boos when he comes back. The idea of him going to a Big 12 rival school definitely plays into that. I don’t think it’s a secret that most Big 12 schools aren’t super big fans of Texas for whatever reason. Unfortunately, fans will give him a little bit of grief when he comes back, but I would hope the majority of them give him a lot of credit, clap for him and cheer him on because the kid won Big 12 Freshman of the Year for the Iowa State program and was one of their leaders that took them to the NCAA Tournament. You could argue he won them their first round game and provided a lot to Iowa State, and I hope people understand that.