UH’s Cameron Tyson credits practice for recent success: ‘He’s kept himself ready to play’
For a lot of the season, sophomore guard Cameron Tyson spent time on Houston’s scout team. His role was to be the opposing team’s best player in practice.
The Bothell, Washington, native found himself outside of the top five in the Cougars’ guard depth chart, but don’t confuse that with him not being talented. Back in 2018-19 with Idaho, Tyson broke the program’s freshmen scoring record and shot over 40 percent on 3-point baskets.
At UH, he just happened to be behind guards DeJon Jarreau, Quentin Grimes, Marcus Sasser, Caleb Mills and Tramon Mark. That, however, did not discourage him from continuing to work on his game every chance he could.
Early in the mornings, even on Sundays, Tyson went to the Guy V. Lewis Development Center. After games, he went there too, at times even staying past midnight just to perfect his shot. Some days he aimed for 700 or 800 makes.
“He’s a high-level gym rat. He loves to practice,” said UH head coach Kelvin Sampson. “He’s kept himself ready to play … That didn’t stop him from practicing, and preparing and living in this gym.”
Then, in early January, Mills decided he was going to transfer away from the Cougars and the door opened slightly for Tyson.
He began to see more playing time than before, but his minutes were still not set. One game he played 15 minutes, then in others, it was only seven.
On Jan. 28, the door moved more. Grimes could not play due to an ankle sprain he suffered in practice.
This time, Tyson kicked the door wide open.
“It was tailor-made for Cam,” Sampson said.
At about the halfway point in the first half against Tulane, the ball found Tyson’s hands and he rose up for a 3-pointer.
A few seconds later, the ball found his hands again. Tyson shot another long-distance shot.
By halftime, the 6-foot-2-inch guard had notched five 3-pointers.
By the end of the game, he had tied Robert McKiver for most threes in a single-game in UH program history with nine, and had set a new career-high of 31 points.
“Oh, you guys know Cameron Tyson now?” Sampson joked on Friday following Tyson’s big night. “I hadn’t heard his name since he’s been here.”
After the countless hours spent in the practice court for UH, it had finally paid off for Tyson.
“I’m glad Cam got a chance to show what he can do,” Sampson said.
The head coach was first made aware of Tyson by a video intern as the Cougars prepared for a nonconference opponent. There were rumors that he wanted to transfer out, and UH reached out to him.
When Tyson finally stepped foot on campus, it just felt right for him.
“It just felt like family,” he said. “The love feels so genuine. I feel like the coaching staff to the players, everyone has your best interest and everybody here wants to see you win.”
Tyson felt that atmosphere again versus Tulane.
With each shot he made, his teammates grew louder. Everyone kept telling him to keep on shooting. They got upset when he passed up shots.
“They were reveling in his success,” Sampson told reporters after the game.
What Tyson’s performance did was let the rest of the nation know just how deep UH’s roster is.
“On any given night, you got guys that can go for 30,” Tyson said. “It just shows how special this team can be.”
As for the newest record holder for most threes in a single-game by a UH player, he knows he turned some heads against Tulane as well.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the scouting report,” Tyson said.