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Top 25 MAC Basketball Players: #21 Jeremie Tyler (G - Ball State)

Jeremie Tyler comes in at #21 on our Top 25 countdown

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It's entirely possible that Ball State Cardinals guard Jeremie Tyler will be near the top of this list by season's end. It's also entirely possible that if you're not a Ball State fan, you're not familiar with him.

There have been peaks and valleys for head coach James Whitford's bunch as he navigates a young team through the worst stretch of basketball in school history. Whitford enters his third campaign after back to back seasons of two wins in MAC play and an overall cringe-worthy record of 12-48. If he's able to keep Tyler on the court for the whole season though, change is coming in Muncie.

The Tech High School graduate out of Indianapolis played all of nine games last season. Bookended by contests against ranked teams, Tyler started 2014 with a 12 point 4 assist effort at then #25 Utah. His last game of the season, December 19th at San Diego State, was arguably his best. Tyler poured in 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting and ripped down 5 boards against the 19th ranked Aztecs. Then his season was over.

January 2nd Tyler was ruled academically ineligible and his season came to an end. From there Ball State struggled with depth and stability at the guard position. The presence of the 6-2, 160 pound shooting guard was sorely missed. Last season Whitford issued a statement regarding Tyler's season being cut short.

"This is a tough lesson for Jeremie to learn during his freshman year, but I am confident he will rebound from it. Jeremie can still have a really bright future at Ball State. While we are disappointed we will have to play without him this semester, we expect him to grow from this setback."

Make no mistake about it, Ball State's success this season largely rests on the contributions of Tyler. The team's leading scorer at the time his season came to a close, Tyler is able to put the ball in the hoop in a variety of ways. The scoring ability of Tyler and sophomore Sean Sellers should create difficult matchups for opposing MAC defenses.

Ball State's season tips off when the Cardinals travel to Bradley on November 13th.