WSU Freshman Tyson Etienne Prepares for Long Career in Basketball

WSU guard Tyson Etienne, Photo Courtesy: Wichita State University

Wichita State’s Tyson Etienne is serious about his routines, which he sees as the path to basketball success, now and in the future.

From diet to basketball workouts to recovery, Etienne is invested in the details and the time it takes. He arrives on court before a game with a black water bottle, black foam roller and massage gun. He wears his black Beats headphones and listens to Jay Z, T.I. and Young Jeezy.

“A bunch of old music, but it’s what helps me,” he said. “Same type of playlist I’ve been listening to for a while.”

Stick with that vibe. It works.

The Shockers (9-1) are on the verge of breaking into the Associated Press top 25 after wins over Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. They can add to their list of quality wins against VCU (8-2) on Saturday (11 a.m.) at Koch Arena.

Etienne, a freshman guard from Englewood, N.J., averages 11.1 points and is shooting 45.6 percent from three-point range. He moved into the starting lineup three games ago and responded with 13 points against Central Arkansas and 19 at Oklahoma State. At Oklahoma State, he made 5 of 8 three-pointers and also handed out four assists.

“He’s a scorer,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “When we recruited him, he was one of the purest shooters I’d seen. He continually put it in the bottom of the net.”

His performance at Oklahoma State is a testament to his shooting, his video study and his practice habits. He saw how moving to open spaces to give passers good angles is helpful.

“The defense, when I drove, he was able to read the defense and get to an open spot and knock down a shot confidently,” point guard Jamarius Burton said.

Etienne’s off-ball movement in the win over Oklahoma State reminded Marshall of watching former Shockers Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker work together.


“Basketball is about angles,” Marshall said. “No one understood that better than those two. That’s how we can help the assist totals because it helps the passer locate you. What used to be open in high school isn’t anymore because of the athletes they’re playing against now. These guys are now listening and getting better.”

Etienne’s success starts with his devotion to routine.

He is usually the first Shocker in the gym, often putting in more than an hour of shooting and ball-handling work with managers before practice starts. When he’s not on the court, he is often watching video. He watched former Shockers such as Baker and Landry Shamet to pick up offensive tips. He critiques his performances with assistant coaches to learn and improve.

“I break down my film every day,” he said. “Offensively, for me, is just playing. I’m really focused on the defensive side. I want to be a two-way player.”

WSU guard Tyson Etienne, Photo Courtesy: Wichita State University

His serious approach to keeping his body healthy is also advanced. The foam rollers and massage gun helps loosen up his hamstrings, quads and other areas, both as a preventative measure and as a way to get his body ready for that day’s game or practice.

“Pre-game routine is to get my body activated, get my muscles activated,” he said. “You don’t want to walk on the court stiff, especially coming out against high-level teams. I do it to get my blood flowing and get in a groove.”

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Routines provide focus.

“It gives me some comfort and I know that it’s helping,” he said. “You don’t want to go into a game doing something different every game. You want to find your sweet spot, mentally, that helps you get into a flow.”

In addition to working with Wichita State’s coaches and athletic trainers, he leans on habits developed from his personal trainers and past coaches.

“I want to play a lot of years in this game, so I’m trying to take of my body as much as possible, however I have to do that,” he said. “I’m always asking questions. I’ve met good people along my journey. I put together a routine from that. It’s nothing elaborate, just what I need at this point.”

Teammates notice who puts in extra work. Burton did those things as a freshman and he sees similar traits in Etienne.

“He’s a hard worker,” Burton said. “He stays in the gym and he brings maximum effort each and every day.

The Wichita State Shockers take on the VCU Rams at home this Saturday, 12/21 at noon CT.

Upcoming YurView Event:

Abilene Christian vs. Wichita State men’s basketball – Sunday, December 29th at 2:00 pm CT – YurView KS (Cox Ch. 2022) and streaming at yurview.com.