Back in 2015-16, the UMKC Kangaroos entered the season with heightened expectations around the program.
With the likes of LaVell Boyd, who was in his first year with the program after transferring to UMKC from South Suburban College, and Martez Harrison, who was the 2015 WAC Player of the Year, leading the way, the ‘Roos were a trendy pick to win the conference title.
In the end, it wasn’t in the cards.
UMKC finished the 2015-16 season with a record of 12-19 overall, and 4-10 in conference play. It wasn’t the way they had hoped the year would go, but they seem to have put it all behind them.
The Kangaroos have opened the 2016-17 season with a 6-3 record, and have put together two separate winning streaks of three games to date.
Senior guard LaVell Boyd has been a big reason for the early-season success for the team. Amidst the suspension to Harrison, Boyd has become the offensive leader for UMKC.
This past week, Boyd helped lead the ‘Roos to a 2-1 record, averaging over 20 points per game over that span.
Senior guard LaVell Boyd has been tabbed the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for November 28 – December 4, as selected by fans on Twitter!
After going 2-1 in the Bill Frack Challenge, hosted by the Bowling Green Falcons, the Kangaroos returned home to take down the Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils to end the previous week.
This past week, UMKC had two games on their home floor, and one away from home that kicked off a mini two-game road swing.
Up first was a date at home against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. Against their instate rivals, Boyd had himself a career night.
Boyd led the way for the ‘Roos, scoring a game-high 24 points and dishing out a career-best 7 assists in UMKC’s 86-75 victory over the Redhawks. He also made a career-best 12 free throws, and it was his fourth-straight game scoring 20+ points.
Two nights later, Boyd set a new career-high in assists against the South Dakota Coyotes.
While his scoring dipped slightly, Boyd recorded 19 points and 8 assists, topping his career high from the game prior. UMKC led big at halftime, and held on in the second half for the 84-82 victory.
To cap off the week, the Kangaroos went on the road to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in Brookings, SD.
UMKC came out of the gates on fire, but weren’t able to sustain the pace for the entire game. The Jackrabbits led by 1 at the half, and extended their lead in the second half, notching a 77-68 victory over the ‘Roos.
Boyd finished the game with 19 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. It wasn’t his best shooting game of the season, as he finished just 5-of-18 (27.8%) from the field. All five of his makes came from three point range, where he was 5-of-14.
For the week, Boyd averaged 20.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 2.3 steals per contest, while helping the Kangaroos push their record to 6-3 overall on the year.
Through the first nine games of the season, Boyd is averaging 19.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.0 steals per contest, while shooting 42.9% from the floor and 44.4% from three point range. His scoring has increased by 5,0 points from last season to now, and he has scored in double figures in eight of the Kangaroos’ nine games this year.
With the suspension to Harrison, the ‘Roos needed someone to step up and carry the load on offense, and Boyd has been that guy.
For his efforts over the past seven days, LaVell Boyd was tabbed the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for November 28 – December 4!
– T. Bennett
November 20 – 27, 2016: Egor Koulechov, Rice Owls
November 14 – 20, 2016: Josh Robinson, Austin Peay Governors
November 11 – 13, 2016: Alize Johnson, Missouri State Bears
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC