CANMORE, Alta. — Coming into the 2017-18 season, it was common knowledge that the Eastern Kentucky Colonels had one of the more underrated tandems in the nation.
Junior forward Nick Mayo and sophomore guard Asante Gist were expected to lead the Colonels on their quest for an Ohio Valley Conference title this season. However, Gist has only played one game this season, a three-point performance in the season opener against the Rice Owls.
With Gist out of the lineup, the Colonels needed someone to step up and compliment Mayo on both ends of the floor. Enter freshman combo guard Dedric Boyd, who has been a big factor in all three games so far this season for the Colonels.
After clinching the win for the Colonels over the Owls with timely free throws, Boyd picked up where he left off over the past seven days. Eastern Kentucky earned a split over their two games this past week, and Boyd was at the forefront on both nights.
For his efforts over the past week, helping Eastern Kentucky notch a win in their home opener and for pushing a team from the SEC to the brink on the road, Colonels’ guard Dedric Boyd has been selected as the College Court Report Freshman of the Week for the week of November 13 – 19, 2017!
After posting 20 points and six rebounds in his collegiate debut against Rice, Boyd was looking to put together a pair of solid performances over the week and help Eastern Kentucky build off their season-opening win.
Up first, the Colonels were on the road in Oxford, Mississippi for a contest against the Ole Miss Rebels on Monday night. Like the Colonels, the Rebels were coming off a season-opening win, and were looking to make it two straight to open up 2017-18.
Ole Miss would never trail on the night, but the Colonels kept things close throughout the contest. Eastern Kentucky was down just six at the break, and the Rebels held down home court with a 10-point when all was said and done, 85-75.
In 23 minutes of action, Boyd recorded 19 points and three rebounds in the loss. He was 6-for-17 (35.3%) from the floor, and 2-for-4 (50%) from three point range. Boyd was also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. In limited minutes, he was impressive yet again on the road.
His 19 points tied Mayo for the game-high.
Three nights later, on Thursday night, the Colonels were on their home floor for the first time in 2017-18, as they welcomed the Kentucky State Thorobreds to town. Boyd came off the bench against the Thorobreds, and while he played less than 30 minutes on the night, he was a prominent factor for the Colonels.
Eastern Kentucky found themselves behind early in the first half, and they trailed by one at the half. The Colonels erupted for 62 points in the second half alone, and pulled away for the 97-66 victory.
Boyd flirted with his first-career double-double, recording 18 points and eight rebounds in the win, while also dishing out five assists. He shot 54.5% (6-of-11) from the field, and 66.7% (2-of-3) from three point range in the win.
Over the two games, Boyd averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting a combined 12-for-28 (42.9%) from the floor and 4-for-7 (57.1%) from three point range. He did all of this while playing an average of 25 minutes per night.
Boyd is now averaging 19.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on the year, while shooting 45.2% from the field and 46.7% from three point range. He’s also shooting an impressive 92.3% from the free throw line.
His ability to impact the game in different areas while playing under 30 minutes per night is what ultimately swayed us in the direction of Boyd as the Freshman of the Week. He has shown that he can hit from distance with high consistency, and the 6’4” guard can battle in the paint for rebounds. His size and abilities allow for versatility in the lineup, and look for head coach Dan McHale to utilize that as the season progresses.
When Gist makes his return to the lineup, the Colonels have a three-headed monster in the making with Gist, Boyd, and Mayo.
After helping the Colonels earn a win in their home opener on Thursday and improving their record to 2-1, Eastern Kentucky guard Dedric Boyd is the College Court Report Freshman of the Week for November 13 – 19, 2017!
Catch Boyd and the rest of the Colonels this week in Las Vegas, as they take part in the MGM Resorts Main Event. They take on the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Monday afternoon in the Middleweight Bracket.
– T. Bennett
Nov. 10 – 12, 2017: Justin Turner, Bowling Green Falcons
**College Court Report Freshman 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