Freshman guard Tyler Brelsford left the men’s basketball team, entered the transfer portal and committed to Bryant, he confirmed in an interview Friday.
The 6-foot-4-inch guard was in his first season with the Colonials (5-12, 3-5 A-10) and averaged 4.4 points a game. He is the eighth player to leave the program and the fifth to transfer since the 2020-21 season concluded in a second round Atlantic 10 tournament loss to George Mason last month.
“I was looking for a better opportunity to play my natural position at the point guard spot,” Brelsford said. “I just figured at GW, I don’t think I was going to be able to get that opportunity to play my natural position and to maximize at my natural position.”
Sophomore guard James Bishop served as the team’s primary point guard this season, logging 36.3 minutes a game and starting in all 17 games.
Brelsford said he spoke with head coach Jamion Christian and a few of his assistant coaches about his intention to transfer, and he ultimately decided transferring would provide him with a better opportunity to handle the ball.
“I just figured it wouldn’t be fair to me to try to keep forcing to want to stay or fair to the team to be out there and I’m one foot in, one foot out,” he said. “So I was like ‘This is the best decision for me, and not only me, but my family and also my future and career.’”
Brelsford played in 14 games during his first collegiate season, making one start and averaging 19.4 minutes a game. He fired at a .385 clip from the field and nailed 35.5 percent from long distance. He ranked second on the team with 16 assists and recorded five steals.
He said he will be suiting up for Bryant next season. He added that the Bulldogs’ program was the “closest thing to being perfect” for him in terms of athletics and academics.
“They know that I’m a point guard, and that’s what they want me to play for them,” he said. “So once they did that, I’m like, ‘All right, they’re going to give me an opportunity to play the position that I want to play, and that’s the reason why I’m leaving GW.’ And then the academics are good. They have one of the best business programs, which my major’s in. It just checked all the boxes.”
Despite turning the page after one year at GW, Brelsford said he “wouldn’t change” the time he spent with the Colonials.
“I don’t regret anything,” he said. “I love the coaches. They brought me in with open arms. Everybody on the team was helpful. I definitely had a good time.”
Brelsford’s time with GW was shortened after GW went on two COVID-19-related pauses and canceled a game when Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a District-wide curfew after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The first COVID-19 pause lasted two days while the second break carried on for 35 days.
Of the team’s 18 scheduled conference games, 10 were ultimately canceled amid the pauses. Brelsford said the pandemic did not impact his decision to transfer.
He joins seven other players who left the team this season. Senior guard Maceo Jack, senior forward Ace Stallings and sophomore guard Jameer Nelson Jr. left the team in December after the squad finished nonconference play. Once the season ended, sophomore forwards Jamison Battle and Chase Paar, junior forward Sloan Seymour and freshman guard Lincoln Ball entered the transfer portal.
Brelsford said the coaching staff was not the source of the movement and added that players wanted another opportunity and to get a “new look” just like he did.
“I think it’s probably the same reason for me,” he said. “It’s all about opportunity. Basketball is all about opportunity because if you’re not in the right opportunity to showcase your talents or what you can do, then it’s pointless. It’s all about just getting the best opportunity for yourself to maximize your potential.”
The Colonials have added five new additions to the roster in the offseason. Two commits – guard Brayon Freeman and forward Daniel Nixon – will join the squad next season for their first collegiate campaign. Three transfers – junior guard Brendan Adams, freshman guard Joe Bamisile and senior forward Ira Lee – will compete in a buff and blue uniform for the first time next season.