Men's College Basketball

Hawks see determination, focus in Ladue's Boyd

Eureka vs. Ladue
St. Louis Ladue Horton Watkins point guard Jaylen Boyd, pictured above, looks to make an immediate impact with the Quincy University men’s basketball team next season. | Photo courtesy Paul Halfacre,
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 27, 2020 12:01 am Updated: May. 18, 2020 10:17 pm

QUINCY -- Jaylen Boyd is making the best of a tough situation.

With social distancing and shelter-in-house decrees overriding all else because of the coronavirus pandemic, the St. Louis Ladue Horton Watkins point guard is staying active as best he can around his home.

"I'm working with what I have," Boyd said. "I've been at home shooting around in the driveway, doing a couple of ball-handling drills. It's been rough."

Boyd, who has verbally committed to the Quincy University men's basketball program, even took to Twitter in hopes of finding somewhere else to play.

"If anyone knows someone that has access to a gym please let me know. I miss basketball," Boyd tweeted.

With so many opportunities ahead of him, he just wants to be prepared.

"It is a big struggle," Boyd said. "But we'll work through it."

That kind of determination, focus and effort is what the QU coaching staff saw in Boyd during the recruiting process.

A Class 4 all-state selection by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, Boyd is one of four high school seniors to have signed with or verbally committed to the Hawks. He joins Rock Island center Soloman Gustafson, Marshall County (Ky.) forward Tyler Stokes and Riverside-Brookfield swingman Paul Zilinskas in QU's Class of 2020.

Boyd led the Rams to a 19-9 record and Class 4 District 5 championship with a 58-50 victory over MICDS in which he had a game-high 17 points and seven assists. The 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game overall.

With the Hawks facing a lack of depth at point guard, Boyd will find himself in a situation where he can earn minutes immediately and position himself to run the team thereafter.

"I saw right away where they needed a point guard and I thought, ‘Maybe this would be a good spot,'" Boyd said.

"When I came on my second visit, I spent the night and got to know the players and coaches. They were real cool. I knew I could fit in real well."

His mentality fits, too.

"I'm a pass-first player," Boyd said. "I can score when the team needs a bucket, but mostly I like driving and looking for open players and letting the game come to me."

By doing that, he's received multiple postseason accolades, including the all-state honor.

It sets the stage for what he envisions being a fruitful college career.

"I really have to just focus on my body and get myself ready," Boyd said. "It's going to be a big transition from high school to college with a lot more size down there in the paint. So the big thing for be is getting my body right and my shot ready."