Queens College is recognized in the NCAA as a Division II school in the East Coast Conference (ECC). Last season, the men’s basketball team finished the season with a 5-11 conference record and a 8-20 overall record. Although the Knights narrowly missed the playoffs last year, one player stood out from the rest of the team. Center Tyler Carey had an impressive season and was recognized with several awards, most notably the ECC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Carey was an absolute powerhouse in the paint. Tyler Carey was a 6 ‘5” center who ended his collegiate career averaging 9.9 points per game, with 496 total points, 7.6 rebounds a contest, with 380 total rebounds, 128 total blocks, 66 total assists, and 34 total steals.
With these impressive statistics, Carey earned the ECC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Throughout his senior season, he tallied three ECC Defensive Player of the Week honors, and two weekly mentions from prestigious Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association. He also earned an All-Met Second Team selection at the end of the season, a All-Conference Second Team nod, and Most Valuable Player award internally.
During his time he set multiple new records, including becoming the program’s all-time leader in career blocks, and now looks to continue to set new records in Portugal. The former Knight recently signed a professional contract to play overseas in Portugal with the club Academica Coimbra.
The Knight News recently spoke to Carey as he prepares for his season in Portugal. Carey spoke about how he enjoyed playing for the Knights and how his new environment gave him a newfound passion for the sport.
“It’s just all basketball. There isn’t any extras. I don’t have to study, no more homework, exams, just basketball. At QC, I’d have to sneak in shifts here and there, or even DoorDash just to be financially comfortable,” Carey said. “Now I get paid to play and that allows me to dedicate every moment of my day to the game; whether I’m watching film, stretching, lifting, or putting up shots.”
Carey has had to adjust to playing professional basketball in Portugal and even playing a different position. With the Knights, he was an absolute powerhouse in the paint, however with his new team he is tasked with playing the role of a power forward.
“Instead of blocking as many shots as I did last year, now I’m tasked with shutting down perimeter players while also being a playmaker offensively and stretching the floor with my three ball,” Carey said. “It’s been fun. I love it. I don’t try to be someone I’m not, I just let my advantages be my advantages.”
One quote that he thinks about often is a movie quote from “Watchmen” that Knights Head Coach Coach Matthew Collier used, “I’m not stuck in here with you, you’re stuck in here with me now.” He uses this quote to help with dealing with matchups.
“Now that Tyler has exhausted his eligibility I don’t mind sharing that he is one of my favorite players that I have ever coached. First and foremost, as a person he has a huge heart, a fighting spirit, and a great sense of humor which I will miss being around everyday,” Coach Collier said of Carey back in May. “I was honored to coach Tyler and witness his growth, development, and the work he put in to become a standout player as he set goals of earning Defensive Player of the Year as well as All-ECC honors and he achieved both as a senior.”
Tyler’s goal for the season in Portugal is to win. He believes that he will play his best to produce as many wins as possible. His individual goal outside of winning basketball games is to average a double double statline like he nearly did his senior year at Queens.
Tyler reflected on his time at QC and said that it prepared him tremendously. He stated, “Even though we had our share of losses, our practices were always competitive and even hostile at times.”
That competitiveness is now part of me and I bring it everywhere. I thank Malik the most for that.” He also said that current Knights center Malik Bentinck challenged him at practice everyday forcing him to bring his best game.
“That competitiveness is now apart of me and I bring it everywhere. I thank Malik the most for that. I couldn’t go through the motions in practice,” Carey said. “If you did that against Malik, he’d 100% make you look bad; he’s going at you. I had to bring it every single day. Which is why I know for a fact he’s going to have a great year this year.”