Agents, scouts, team executives, draft camps, drills, tournaments, weight room sessions, pressure.
This is senior guard Mark Tyndale’s life for the next two months.
Last weekend, the recently-named Owl team MVP took part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va., a three-day event pitting the top seniors in the country against each other as NBA general managers and team executives looked on.
Tyndale was placed on the Tidewater Sealants, who wound up winning the tournament championship. The Owls’ stand-out guard averaged 15.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in the three games his team played in. He also averaged 1.6 steals per game and shot 49 percent from the field. Tyndale even had two very familiar faces on the team with him: Xavier forward Josh Duncan, and Saint Joseph’s forward Pat Calathes.
Despite the rivalry between Temple and St. Joe’s, Tyndale and Calathes had no problems adapting to being teammates, and even wound up becoming fast friends.
“I think we squashed the rivalry,” Tyndale said. “We were working out with each other prior to going to Portsmouth, and then once we got to Portsmouth, we just clicked, we just bonded. We were on the same flight up and back, so that’s my guy, man. He’s a nice human being.”
The two also had another thing to bond over, as both were named co-Big 5 Players of the Year last week.
“I think that was a great accomplishment,” Tyndale said. “I thought Calathes was very well-deserving of it. I was fortunate enough to wind up even with him, I’m just so excited about that. I think that they took the best two guys, and I’m just fortunate enough to be one of those guys.”
Despite the accolades Tyndale received for his play this season, he was still going up against premier players like Massachusetts’ Gary Forbes and Tennessee’s Chris Lofton at the tournament.
But Tyndale wasn’t fazed at all. In fact, he was up for the challenge.
“That’s what I live for,” he said. “I play against pros all summer, Mardy Collins, Jameer Nelson, Aaron McKie, Kyle Lowry, I work out with them guys all summer. I went against guys like that. It was just basketball, we all play the same sport.”
So with that, the focus then turned to Tyndale’s performance, and what he did to set himself apart from the 63 other players participating in the weekend tournament.
And he did a good job in that department.
“They said I was one of the most impressive guys down there,” Tyndale said. “My agent told me that I opened up a lot of doors and a lot of eyes. I’m pretty excited about that, but my main goal is to just get invited to Orlando [for the NBA pre-draft camp].”
Those three letters — NBA — continue to be the only thing on Tyndale’s mind. Not Europe, not the NBA Developmental League. The NBA.
“Honestly, I’m really not focused on [other options],” he said. “I’m just trying to get into the NBA. If it doesn’t work out, then we can go from there. But right now, my main goal is just to get to the NBA.”
Todd Orodenker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.