When Seattle University men’s basketball guard Cameron Tyson received the ball behind the three-point line with the outcome at stake, Utah Valley coach Mark Madsen shouted, “Shooter, shooter.”

The defense immediately reacted, but it was too late. Tyson quickly rose and fired. Madsen and the Utah Valley players could only watch as Tyson’s shot went through the net — his fifth three-pointer of the night.

That basket might have been the biggest of the night for Seattle U on Wednesday as it gave the Redhawks a 65-61 lead with 37 seconds left, and soon after, they were celebrating a 71-65 victory that pushed their record to 11-4 and 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Tyson, the former Bothell High School star who transferred from Houston, has been a huge part of the success this season for Seattle U, which looks to stay perfect in the WAC when it hosts Dixie State (8-9, 1-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Redhawk Center.

Tyson made a great first impression, hitting the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in the season opener to defeat Alcorn State. The 6-foot-2 guard continued his success, and is second on the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game, first in rebounding at 6 per game and first in three-pointers with 53, more than double the next highest player.

That Tyson is such a great long-range shooter should not be a surprise as that skill runs in the family. D’Marques Tyson, Cameron’s older brother and a new assistant coach, is No. 2 in career in three-pointers at the University of Portland, making 255 (2014-18).


But which Tyson, who were both taught to play by their father, is the better shooter?

“It’s me,” Cameron quickly said.

“I can’t give it to him quite yet,” said D’Marques, who scored 1,016 points at Portland.

What is not up for debate, is that Cameron Tyson, who was inspired by his brother while growing up, is making a big impact with the Redhawks.

Seattle U recruited Tyson while he was breaking Bothell’s all-time scoring record (passing NBA star Zach LaVine), but he chose to sign with Idaho, the first school to offer him a scholarship.

“They stayed loyal to me, and I felt like it was only right to be loyal back,” Cam Tyson said.

Tyson had a good season individually, averaging 13.5 points per game and setting Idaho’s freshman scoring record with 432 points, but the Vandals finished with a 5-27 record.


After being used to playing on winning teams at Bothell, the losing took its toll on Tyson.

“I always pictured myself as a winner, and it was hard for me to lose (27) basketball games,” he said. “Nowhere in my career had we ever won just five games. I was not used to losing.”

Tyson wanted to play for a winner and signed to play with Houston. After sitting out a season because of transfer rules, he helped the Cougars reach the Final Four.

Tyson played sparingly, averaging 6.2 points, but he did have a couple of huge games.

When leading scorer Quintin Grimes was forced to miss a game with an injury against Tulane, Tyson had 31 points and nine three-pointers, tying the team record while leading the Cougars to a win.

The next two games, he played a total of 10 minutes, then scored 32 points and had a record 10 three-pointers against Our Lady of the Lake. Despite that, Tyson never played more than 13 minutes in a game again, but did play in two NCAA tournament games.


“It was hard (not playing a lot), but it was a blessing at the same time because I was put in an environment where there were so many good players,” said Tyson, who made the American Athletic Conference academic honor roll last year. “So many people there wanted the same thing so you were forced to compete every day. That’s what I got out of it. As long as we were winning, that was all that mattered.

“But at the same time, it’s not fun sitting on the bench.”

Tyson entered the transfer portal. Seattle U tried again to get Tyson, and this time they were successful.

“I wanted to come home,” said Tyson, who has two more years of eligibility. “The coaching staff wanted me, and it was hard to say no.”

Said Seattle U interim coach Chris Victor, “We always thought he was a great player and, being a Seattle guy who wanted to come home, I thought it would be a perfect fit.”

Soon after, D’Marques joined the Redhawks. He played professionally in Portugal after finishing at Portland, but COVID ended that. He was delivering groceries and coaching AAU ball while still hoping to get another chance to play professionally.


But with COVID not slowing down, he said that became less realistic and, because he had always planned to coach when he was done playing, he jumped at the opportunity to join Seattle U.

“That was always my goal to get into coaching because I love the game so much,” said D’Marques, whose duties include individual workouts, recruiting and film work.

So far so good at Seattle for both Tysons.

Cameron knows what a good team looks like, and he likes what he sees with his new team.

“We have a really high ceiling,” he said.

A lot of that is because Tyson decided to return home. He helps the Redhawks with his shooting, but also with his toughness, exemplified by leading the team in rebounding despite being one of the shortest guys on the court.

“He’s obviously a great scorer and great shooter — things people can see — but his intangibles are probably the most valuable thing he brings to the squad,” Victor said. “His competitiveness, his toughness, his work ethic. He was part of that Houston team, and he learned what it takes. Having that influence from a guy like him is great for our team.”