Cooperstown native Tyler Bertram is settling into a role with Binghamton University’s men’s basketball team.
After seeing his playing time and production dwindle, the sophomore Bertram has turned a corner for the Bearcats despite the team’s struggles.
“I wasn’t performing to the way I was supposed to, so it was tough. I just tried to stay the course,” Bertram said. “I still go in every day before practice, get in extra work and kind of do the things to stay sharp and work on my game.”
In his first five games for the Bearcats, Bertram averaged 16.4 minutes per game and shot 38% from 3-point range, averaging 5.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.
“I talked to my dad and we kind of both talked about things that I need to improve on,” he said, “and it was mostly about being aggressive and playing like myself.”
“In the first three or four games, I just felt like I wasn’t very comfortable and I wasn’t who I am,” he continued.
Since playing a personal low seven minutes and scoring zero points on 0-2 shooting against Stony Brook, Bertram has earned a spot in the starting lineup in both Saturday and Sunday’s games, after losing that role earlier in the season.
“I kind of just told myself, ‘I need to go out there and play confident, and try to do my thing,” Bertram said.
Over the last four games, which consisted of back-to-back weekend doubleheaders on the road at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and then Hartford, Bertram has shot 45% (13 of 29) from 3-point range.
Over that stretch, Bertram has averaged 15.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Even with Bertram’s play, Binghamton has struggled, with its only victory coming against UMBC on Dec. 28.
Despite their 1-8 record, the Bearcats have been competitive, losing four games by two possessions or fewer, including overtime losses to Marist and Stony Brook.
“It’s been the theme of the year it seems so far,” Bertram said.
The Bearcats will host the University of Vermont on Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Binghamton Events Center in Binghamton.
Max Lang, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-441-7209.