Tyler James Booth, or “TJ,” is a competitive player on the basketball court and a class act off of it.
Booth, the only senior on the Rowan men’s basketball team, is having a standout, all-star caliber (maybe even division MVP) year. The week ending Nov. 26, he was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Men’s Basketball Player of the week, as he averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the team’s two games. Both were Rowan victories.
During his four years at Rowan, he’s been under the tutelage of two different head coaches and three winning teams.
Joe Crispin is in his second year as head coach for the Profs, while Booth’s coach for his rookie and sophomore seasons was Joe Cassidy, who now serves as the team’s associate head coach.
“Going from being coached by coach Cassidy and coach Crispin, it wasn’t that big of a transition, since [Crispin] was still on our coaching staff the first two seasons,” Booth said. “I already knew who he was. Between the two, the style of the play became faster although the practices were similar.”
Among NJAC qualifiers, Booth ranks fourth best behind teammate Ramon Wright in defensive rebounds per game (7.0), sixth best in rebounds per game (8.3), 10th in shooting percentage (.509), and second best in three-point percentage (.500).
He compares his style of play to Golden State Warriors’ forward Draymond Green. According to Booth, Crispin assigns a staff member on a regular basis to watch NBA games and take notes, and Crispin noted similarities between the two players.
“We’re both role players who can drive to the basket, but also step outside and shoot threes if need be,” Booth said in regards to his comparison of Green.
Booth analyzed his four years as an athlete at Rowan by first delving into his frustrations throughout his first two seasons.
“Over the past four years, it’s been very different, but more stable for me over the past two seasons,” Booth said. “My first year we had a lot of guys that left prior to that, we had all new starters, and it was a new yet difficult start for me.”
As for being the lone senior on the team, Booth strives in the role and has been preparing himself for being a leader on and off the floor.
“Being the only senior here, I don’t find it to be difficult at all,” Booth said. “I like the role. I like giving the young guys some pointers, as the older guys did it for me when I was younger, so I like to give back.”
Along with brothers Rob and Nick DePersia, Booth is the co-captain of the team. The senior forward was honored as the Sam Cozen Player of the Week on Dec. 5, by the Philadelphia Area Small College Coaches Association.
Booth grew up in nearby Williamstown, New Jersey, lettering in three sports and was named high school all-conference second-team honors for basketball. After he completes his college degree, he plans on going into medical school.
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