Hard work in the offseason pays off

Melea Polk

From one start last season to a starting position this season, one player’s hard work in the offseason has paid off.

Tyler Blount, senior guard, came to Texas State by way of New Mexico Junior College. There, Blount was named First Team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference with 25 starts in his sophomore season. Blount averaged 15.0 points, 2.1 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.

From there, Blount transferred to San Marcos for the 2016-17 season.

In his first season with the Bobcats, Blount played 35 games with one start. The Virginia Beach, Virginia, native averaged 2.8 points, 0.7 rebounds and .4 assists per game. Blount went 34.9 percent from long-distance and 38.0 percent from the field.

With three starting positions opening up in the new season, Blount decided to take his hard work to another level to earn one of those spots.

“During the offseason, I worked really hard,” Blount said. “I was always in the gym trying to improve my game. Sometimes it would just be me in the gym by myself or some of my teammates would join me.”

Blount earned his spot on the starting five this season. In his first game of the 2017-2018 season, Blount shot 50.0 percent from the field goal and 33.3 percent from the three-point line.

With a season high of 22 points, four rebounds and five assists, Blount’s hard work has given him recognition.

The Applied Arts and Science major currently averages 22.0 minutes a game. Blount averages 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

The guard shoots 41.7 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from the three-point line. From the charity stripe, Blount shoots 53.3 percent.

“Going into games, it is all about my focus,” Blount said. “I have great games when I am not rushing. I have to let it come to me.”

Of course, being a starter comes with a lot of responsibility. It is Blount’s job to not only step up as a starter but also as a senior on the team.

“As a senior and a starter, there is a lot of pressure,” Blount said. “You are expected to lead and listen. I try and talk to the younger guys and the new players about the Texas State culture and what to expect out of it. For example, I let them know how to understand what head coach Danny Kaspar wants out of us.”

Although Blount is not a team captain for the Bobcats, he still sees himself as a leader in a sense.

“I am not a team captain or anything, but I am still one of the ones who has been on the team the longest,” Blount said. “I see myself as a leader on the back-end. I lead from a distance in a sense. I still talk to the freshmen and try to be a good role model for them. The only thing I don’t have is the title.”

With the Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament beginning March 7, Blount would rather focus on the next game than the big tournament at the end of the season.

“I just want to finish out the season, then worry about the conference tournament when we get there,” Blount said. “I am just going to take a game at a time.”

Blount and the Bobcats will compete for the SBC Championship March 7-11 at the New Orleans Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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