MBB Practice Report: Oct. 11

Oct. 11, 2017

RUSTON – College basketball jerseys don’t have a ‘C’ patch on them to represent a team captain.

If they did, Jacobi Boykins would certainly have one on his No. 0 uniform.

The 6-foot-6-inch, 175-pound sharpshooter who has never seen a three-pointer he didn’t like, returns as the lone senior for the 2017-18 Louisiana Tech Dunkin’ Dogs.

Boykins was originally part of a star-studded, five-person signing class in November of 2013. Three of them eventually transferred and the fourth is fellow teammate Joniah White who is a redshirt junior.

So here we are. Boykins said the approach to the season is the same just like the previous three. He is excited and can’t wait to start hoopin’ against someone other than his own squad. But, he also admitted that the approach is a little different too this time around.

“The team is so young, there is more teaching going on,” Boykins said. “With me being an upperclassman, I’ve got to help the young guys out with plays and positions.”

His ascending development is easy to see in his stats.

His first year as a freshman, he averaged four points off the bench. More importantly, he was a sponge soaking up as much basketball knowledge from Michael White, Speedy Smith, Raheem Appleby and Michale Kyser.

Sophomore year, he was thrust into the starting line-up for new head coach Eric Konkol. He tallied nine points per game, playing co-Robin with Erik McCree to Batman who was Alex Hamilton.

 

 

Fast forward another year. Boykins turned it up another notch, averaging 15 points per game in route to being selected third team All-Conference USA and a member of the five-person C-USA All-Defensive Team.

He was Robin all by himself and this time it was McCree who was Batman. Now it is Boykins who is the caped crusader.

“You can’t do it by yourself,” Boykins said about what he learned from his predecessors. “You need your teammates. You need to encourage your teammates.”

“With Jacobi, there are certain things you can always count on,” Konkol said. “You can count on great competitiveness, a great spirit, great defense and a guy that can really shoot the basketball. He is thrust into a totally different role this year being our only senior. His mission is to lead by example with his effort and to be an elder statesman in our program in doing things how we want them to be done.”

Everyone is expecting big things from Boykins this year.

He is on the verge of a couple of milestones – needs 92 points to reach 1,000 for his career and needs 54 more triples to set he career program record.

Fans can still expect to see his bread and butter which are draining the catch-and-shoot three-pointer and throwing down a fast-break slam dunk (sometimes with a 360 thrown in).

This offseason and these team practices have been about adding new dimensions to his game though.

“I’m trying to get better at reading coverages, finding gaps to pass the ball, improving my assist/turnover ratio, doing more off-the-dribble shooting and more catch-and-shoot.”

Asked what else the fans can expect to see from him for the upcoming season … Boykins grinned and said, “I don’t like to talk about it. I just like to show it.”

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