Wake Forest's Tyree Appleby sinks a lay up under pressure from Hampton's Daniel Banister during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

Appleby is the New Big Man on Campus at Wake Forest

Former Gator basketball player, Tyree Appleby, committed to Wake Forest in May, 2022 to play in his fifth and final year of college basketball. Some say things have worked out for this transfer player after departing from Florida.

Tyree’s Time in Orange and Blue

Appleby transferred from Cleveland State to the University of Florida after the 2019-20 season and left behind an inconsistent, explosive reputation. This 6-foot-1 point guard started in 44 of his 59 games as a Gator. At the end of the season, he averaged 11.1 points, 3.5 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.

Peak performances came from his game-winning buzzer against Ohio State in November 2021 and in February 2022 when he put up 26-points on the scoreboard to take down No. 2 Auburn. He also had 21-point games in victories over Oklahoma State and Georgia.

However, his 2.7 turnover rate per game did not sit well with newly-hired Todd Golden. He was one of the seven players who left the program but is now doing fairly well.

Appleby is Carrying the Deacs on his Back

Wake Forest currently holds a 7-2 overall record and Appleby has been leading the team by a mile. So far this season, the Demon Deacons are averaging 81.3 points per game and shooting 36.5% from behind the arc. They beat Wisconsin 78-75 and only hit 8/24 from three. Many can thank Appleby for an insane performance. He put up 32 points and five assists.

Appleby is now averaging 19.6 points and 5.5 assists per game after showing up big throughout the season. On top of that, he is currently shooting 53% from the floor and 46% from beyond the arc. That puts him at 35th in the nation in point per game and 34th in the nation in assists per game.

The Deacs need Appleby. Without his offense, they would not have taken victories in Madison or over Utah Valley. When he steps off the court, the team’s offensive and defensive efficiency get worse by over 20 points per 100 possessions.

Is Wake Forest a Turning Point?

The Deacs have only played eight games, with only one of them being ranked in the top 100. They also just lost to Clemson by 2o points Friday.

Next up, Wake Forest will travel to take on LSU Saturday, Dec. 10. This will be a true test for Appleby to build on the success he has seen while growing under head coach Steve Forbes.

About Talia Baia

Talia Baia is a sophomore at the University of Florida studying journalism with a concentration in sports and media.

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