Russel J. Tyler
Russel J. Tyler
Hometown: Thompsonville, CT
Team: Basketball

Russell J. Tyler '71
Hometown: Thompsonville, CT
Sport: Basketball
Year Inducted: 1979

Russell J. Tyler '71 will always be remembered for providing some of the most exciting moments in Brown basketball history in his swan song at Marvel Gym against URI in March of 1971. The large crowd came to see whether or not Tyler (who needed 20 points) or Arnie Berman '72 (who needed 13) could break Joe Tebo's single-season scoring mark of 522 points. With the fans shouting "shoot" every time he touched the ball, the 6-3 Tyler went on a scoring spree, sinking six of his first seven shots. By half-time he had 24 points, breaking Tebo's record and setting him up for a chance at the most prestigious of all records - the 48 points in one game scored by Harry Platt '40 in 1938. As his team rolled on toward a 95-78 victory over the Rams, the Thompsonville, Conn. native, stayed hot, moving closer and closer to Platt's record. He lost one basket when a foul was called on a teammate just before Rusty shot. The loss of this bucket turned out to be costly because Tyler, who threw in a bomb just at the buzzer, eventually had to settle for 46 points. Shooting entirely from the outside, without benefit of any lay-ups, Rusty Tyler had made 18 of 30 attempts for 60 percent and had connected on 10 of 11 free throws. As both the Brown and the URI fans in the packed house stood applauding at the final whistle, Tyler's teammates picked up the Bruin captain and carried him off the court. But Russ Tyler was anything but a one-game performer. In addition to setting the single-season records for scoring with 548 points, Tyler owned the Brown records for season assists, career assists, consecutive free throws, free throw percentage, and most field goals in a season. And as a senior, Tyler was second in the nation in free-throw percentage. He ended his career fourth on the all-time Brown scoring list with 1,133 points and was named to the ECAC All-East first team. "Tyler gave Brown something it seldom had, a big, strong guard with outside shooting range," says Stan Ward, the man who recruited Tyler. "He wasn't a penetrator, but he had a superb jump shot and unusual range." Russ Tyler is now a partner of the Enfield, Conn., law firm of Tyler and Tyler.