Western

Missouri Western junior forward Tyree Martin played the 2019-20 season after undergoing knee surgery the year before.

During the 2019-20 season, Tyree Martin showed just what he’s capable of for Missouri Western.

As a sophomore, the sophomore big man put together a pair of 20-point double-doubles. But on his way to finding consistency he felt the effects of a season-ending knee surgery from the year before.

“That’s my biggest goal this summer,” Martin said during a recent video interview, “just get my body where it needs to be where I can play a full impact game.”

Martin appeared in 12 games with six starts as a freshman, recording a double-double during the opening month of his career. He shot better than 50% in eight of those games.

A knee injury ended his campaign, and he worked back into the lineup right away as a sophomore. As Martin gained trust in his knee, he searched for comfort battling against players and doing so with a bulky knee brace.

Martin played fewer than 20 minutes in 12 games and had at least four fouls in 11, often coming from fatigue and sending him to the bench. He played a total of 15 total minutes in back-to-back games against Missouri Southern and Northwest, the top two teams in the MIAA, and is pushing himself this offseason to make a consistent impact.

“Right now my body feels good. I’m just trying to keep busy. I can really get my body in tune this summer,” Martin said. “I don’t want my stamina to affect it. If I have a bad game, I want it to be a bad game, not like, ‘I could’ve done this if I trained hard.’”

Martin’s inside presence with his ability to use the glass and a jump hook have pushed him to expand his game this offseason to closer to the 3-point arc with hopes of making him harder to defend.

“I’m trying to develop somewhat of a perimeter game,” Martin said. I know I’ve got an inside presence. Now let’s see if I can stretch the floor to a 15- or 17-footer, see if it will open my game up.”

Martin will begin his junior year under a coach he’s worked beside for two years with Will Martin taking over Missouri Western’s men’s program. Fresh off a fourth-place finish in the MIAA and trip to the MIAA Tournament semifinals, Martin hopes his offseason growth coupled with the team’s experience from a season ago leads to even bigger things this winter.

“Now it’s like everybody’s been to this place, we know what we need to do, but also know we need to do more,” Martin said. “I feel like that’s the fuel in the fight right there. We know we’re nothing but capable of getting there. Now that’s the low. Now we can get there and have to see what we do when we get there.”

Brandon Zenner can be reached at brandon.zenner@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZenner.