B.J. Tyson wants them to play better defense.
It’s early on Tuesday morning — long before some East Carolina students have even gotten out of bed — and Tyson is not only attacking the day, he is feasting on the overmatched student assistants who have been tasked with trying to keep him from scoring during full-court fast break drills in the Pirates’ basketball practice facility.
Near the end of the fast-paced, hour-long workout, when fatigue could understandably be setting in, Tyson, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, takes a pass from classmate Lance Tejada, accelerates toward the hoop and, after one dribble, goes airborne. He elevates, keeps on rising, seems to hang in the air as he brings the ball above his head and the rim, and the powerful one-hand dunk that follows causes a brief pause in the action. Everyone in the gym — teammates Tejada, Prince Williams and Charles Foster, assistant coach Mike Netti, the student helpers — takes a second or two to appreciate Tyson’s feat because even though he displays his jaw-dropping athletic ability often, it is still remarkable to see it up close.
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