Carson City agent says big things ahead for former Nevada Wolf Pack star
The NBA Draft is Thursday and Tyrone Criswell’s dream of being drafted by any of the league’s teams is a thing of the past. But his dream to play in the NBA is not.
And the next logical step on his way to making it to the NBA — playing in the league’s minor league the NBA G-League — is definitely a reality for Criswell, who first made his mark locally with the University of Nevada men’s basketball team.
Criswell’s agent, Dana Smith, who is based in Carson City, said Criswell is now routinely scoring more than 25 points a game during a tour in China in which Criswell is playing for a U.S. team that’s going up against teams from Europe and Asia.
During the tour, Smith said Criswell has received interest from a Yugoslavian team and from a team in Germany. Smith said Criswell has been a popular player in China and as a result has been invited back for another tour in that country in August.
While mostly European teams have been scouting the current tour, more Asian teams will scout the tour in August, Smith said. Asian teams pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 a month.
As far as his popularity in China, Smith said about Criswell, “He’s been signing autographs for hours so that’s kind of neat.”
But Criswell is also obviously looking at the NBA G-League. The G-League pays $7,000 a month. Smith said Stockton Kings coach Ty Ellis, who was also an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns, has shown great interest in Criswell.
Smith said Criswell has received four workouts with the Stockton Kings so far. “He was just killing those guys,” said Smith about Criswell going up against G-League players at the Kings workouts.
Smith said Criswell stripped the Kings starting point guard five times and at 6-4 also blocked a 7-footer’s shot. And while Criswell’s strength could be considered defense, he can obviously score as well as shown by what he’s doing in China.
“He’s just really, really athletic and gifted,” Smith said, “He can score and get to the basket quick and has got a pretty good shot.”
About Criswell’s defense, Smith said, “He can guard three different positions on the floor because of his quickness and athleticism and his size.” Smith added Criswell is 215 pounds and has a 40-inch vertical jump.
The NBA G League Draft is in November with tryouts and scout camps beginning in September. When the tryouts and scout camps begin, Smith predicts “it’s going to take off” as far as interest in Criswell.
In Eric Musselman’s first year as coach at Nevada, Criswell helped put the Wolf Pack on the map when he helped lead Nevada to the College Basketball Invitational title during the 2015-2016 season.
He was named the CBI Most Valuable Player after averaging 21.3 points, eight rebounds and 3.3 assists in the CBI Championship Series. Throughout the entire CBI, Criswell averaged 19.2 points a game. He was also named as the Mountain West Conference’s Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 13.3 points a game that season.
Criswell was drafted by the NBA G-League’s Reno Bighorns in 2016 but was released after sustaining a hand injury. Before China in his most recent action, Criswell played for the Mesquite (Nev.) Desert Dogs in The Basketball League and was named as the league’s Newcomer of the Year this past season.