Kevin Stallings and staff will be hosting a number of graduate transfer players over the weekend. One of those players will be Lafayette College shooting guard Monty Boykins (6-foot-5 inches, 200 pounds). Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with him about his upcoming visit.
Tell Panther fans about the circumstances behind you leaving Lafayette for your final year of eligibility.
I’m transferring out of there as a graduate transfer this year. My senior year was cut short at the first game against Villanova I was injured, sprained my SC joint (sternoclavicular joint) in my shoulder. After that I’ve just been recovering and my season ended towards the end of the season when my coach and I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make it back to full health by the end of the season. So here I am at the end of the season looking to graduate Lafayette College, since we don’t have a graduate program, and look to play my fifth year somewhere else.
Is your shoulder back to 100%
It’s 100% now. I got a PRP (platelet rich plasma injection) which is a plasma replacement shot in January. Once complete I had a two week recovery period. Ever since then I’ve been good. It feeling really good right now.
Does Pitt project you as a shooting guard in their system?
Yes but I could play the three as well. Any guard position really.
Tell fans about your junior year. You’re considered an excellent shooter. How many points did you average?
My junior year I started pretty much every game and I was, I think by the end of the season, I averaged 11 points per game. There was a point where that average was closer to 14 but you know how seasons go and ups and downs of the season. Average by the end of the season around 11 a game.
I’ll just say, going into the senior year, we had a couple scrimmages before and I was expecting to have a big year senior year at Lafayette. We have scrimmages against Rider and Delaware and I scored over 30 points in both of those. So, I was looking to really increase, maybe double, my scoring average my senior year.
What are your strengths on the basketball court?
My main strength is the three point shot. On the move, off the dribble, coming off screens, spotting up, that’s really where I excel. My three point shot also opens up my ability to get to the mid-range, pull-ups. That’s probably where I shoot the highest percentage is the pull-up area and the mid-range and also being able to get to the basket and score since I’m 6-foot-5 inches tall, over smaller defenders. I can challenge bigs as well.
What has the Pitt coaching staff told you? How do you fit into their system?
I talked to Coach Stallings recently and he said there’s an obvious need for someone who can score the ball and also shoot the ball the way that I can. He’s really excited also about my three point shot and pretty much being able to make shots from anywhere on the court, especially in transition. Pulling up from a three, running full speed, is something that I guess is pretty big in the ACC, especially when it comes to opening up the court for other people to get to the basket as well.
What are your thoughts on the opportunity at Pitt?
I think it’s a great opportunity. You know, my whole family pretty much has lived in Pittsburgh or is from Pittsburgh. My grandma still lives there. I love the city of Pittsburgh. I’m a huge Steelers fan.
I actually visited Pittsburgh in high school under the old coaching staff. Unfortunately, coming out of high school I tore my ACL and was not able to receive that opportunity but it was a school that I was really interested coming out of high school and I’m really interested in right now.
If you commit to Pitt, you’ll instantly become an upperclassmen. The Panthers will have a very young roster. Are you ready to assume the mantle of leadership?
Absolutely. You know being one of the, a graduate transfer also comes with your responsibility of being a leader on the court. A veteran in a sense of knowing how to get wind and how to play as a team in order to accomplish the ultimate goal, and that’ to win as many games as possible. And that’s something through my career at Lafayette, I’ve learned how to win, I’ve learned what it takes to win, and also we’ve had seasons where I’ve seen what kind of team and atmosphere is a losing team. I feel like bringing in that knowledge to Pitt, I would definitely be able to do that as a leadership stand point.
The ACC is the premiere basketball conference in the nation. What would you say to the person stating that Lafayette to the ACC is a major jump in competition?
My thoughts on that basically is, coming out of high school, I was pretty heavily recruited from Big 10 schools, Big East schools, ACC schools, and I feel like because of my injury a lot of those opportunities were taken away from me. The talent for that level is definitely there. I’ve also have four years to work on my body, gain weight. And I’m 6’5 so I feel like from a big time ACC guard stand point, I fit the mold, especially with my shooting ability and being a veteran out there and being smart on the court with my high basketball IQ.