DANVILLE — Don’t expect to see John Wood sophomore T.J. Tisdale making his way on ESPN’s SportsCenter this week.
That just isn’t how the 6-foot-7 forward has operated this season for the Trail Blazers.
Instead, Tisdale, the only returning player for John Wood’s Region 24 runner-up team from a year ago, has averaged 20.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, helping the Trail Blazers not only claim their first-ever Mid-West Athletic Conference title, but the school’s first NJCAA Division II National Tournament appearance since 1996.
“I just work hard — that’s my mentality,’’ said a reserve Tisdale on Monday night at John Wood prepares to play Central Community College of Columbus, Neb. in a first-round game. “My goal is to try to outwork the guys in front of me. I don’t care how high you can jump or how well you can shoot — it’s all about the work for me.
“I feel like I’ve put in the work this year to be in the position and I will continue to do that.’’
But, as you watch John Wood play tonight at the Mary Miller Gymnasium, don’t be surprised if you look up the scoreboard and see that Tisdale has score more than 20 points.
“Sometimes, he has really quiet games,’’ said John Wood freshman guard Jordan Johnson. “One time earlier this season, he finished with 30 points and 16 rebounds. None of us realized it, because it seemed like he only shot the ball like five times.’’
Tisdale is just the type of player that John Wood coach Brad Hoyt likes to have in his program.
“He is a really good kid and he spends a lot of time in my office,’’ Hoyt said. “But, when you watch film on him and you wonder how he puts up numbers, because he is sort of goofy looking, but he is pretty effective.’’