Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Change in plans mean change in strategy for PHU's Stevenson

Tyler Stevenson was expecting to be one of four impact players for the Hurricanes. Now he’s their go-to guy.

Special to the Times

Tyler Stevenson was expecting to be one of four impact players for the Hurricanes. Now he’s their go-to guy.

This was supposed to be one of the best winters ever for Palm Harbor University, a season in which the boys basketball team would flourish behind a quartet of strong, skilled players — Chaz Green, Jordan Jones, Kevin Mc­Kellar and Tyler Stevenson.

It was enough for PHU to discuss making a run toward a playoff berth. Instead the season has provided only questions.

Before the season, Green and Jones transferred to Tampa Catholic and McKellar transferred to Boca Ciega.

That left Stevenson to handle most of the workload.

He has responded by averaging 19 points per game.

Stevenson, though, is an under-the-radar player who has been overshadowed by the county's other burly, frontcourt players, such as Oldsmar Christian's Harold Doby and Clearwater's Okaro White, and outshined by other scorers, such as Lakewood's Shamon Cox.

The spotlight doesn't seem to find Stevenson because he plays on a team that is 5-9 (through Wednesday).

Still, the box scores indicate Stevenson is making an impact.

When the Hurricanes faced double-digit deficits this season, Stevenson sparked the rally. When PHU has needed a big rebound or a big shot, Stevenson provided it.

"It made things tough when so many guys left," Stevenson said. "But you learn to move on. And I knew I was going to have to take on a different role."

Statistics alone fail to define Stevenson's determination. This season, he came back from a torn ACL and has battled diabetes.

He is not alone.

Don't overlook their efforts

There are more players who have been forgotten, the ones who walk — and dribble, pass and shoot — in the shadow of others.

Matthew O'Donnell, St. Petersburg Catholic

The junior guard has taken over as the Barons' long-range specialist, leading the team in points (14.8) and 3-pointers (43). Though SPC is 6-9*, O'Donnell led his team to an upset of Jesuit last month.

Tucker Pollard and Dino Tabakovic, Countryside

After starting 2-4, the Cougars are at .500 at 8-8*. Much of that has to do with the play of Pollard (17.3 points per game) and Tabakovic (15.9), the team's leading scorers.

Ben Patrick, Dunedin

The Largo transfer has been the lone bright spot for the Falcons, who are 4-12*. Patrick is the team's only scorer in double figures, averaging 16.7.

Tanner Wozniak, Keswick Christian

After shining in summer camps, Wozniak is doing the same for the 5-9* Crusaders, averaging 18.6 points.

Srdjan Jankovic, Pinellas Park

The Patriots are off to an 8-6* start thanks to the scoring of Jankovic (16.4 per game).

Flynn Bluett, Seminole

Another surprising team, the Warhawks are 7-6* behind Bluett, who is averaging 16.2 points.

* Records through Wednesday night

Change in plans mean change in strategy for PHU's Stevenson 01/15/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 16, 2009 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation


    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  2. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead


    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  3. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  4. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  5. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.