Jean Yves Toupane plus freshmen Marc Fabricius and Adam Holm-Weber. I'd heard from more than one source that Gannon was going to land a player from Sweden and a 6-foot-7 freshman from the D.C. area, and because I couldn't find information on them, I was just waiting for the official release from the school. While trying to find the names of those last two players, I Googled "gannon basketball signing" and was surprised by the third result on the first page.
It said "Boykins Signs With NCAA Division II Gannon University." When you follow that link, you learn that on April 30 Tony Boykins, a guard from Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Oh., signed to play for the Knights next season. Why haven't I heard this rumor yet? Was he not accepted to the school? Was there a change of heart? Or are Gannon fans (and me) asleep at the switch of the rumor train for nearly 4 months?
Let's assume this was a wake-up call and that Boykins will be a future Golden Knight. Here's some background on the 6-foot-2 guard:
* Played his first two years of college ball at Owens, an NJCAA Division II squad.
* This link will connect you to an interview with Boykins and OCC coach Keith Raine discussing the Gannon signing. Raine says, "He exemplifies everything that we try to preach. He got it done in the classroom -- he'll have over a 3.3 GPA when he graduates."
* As a sophomore team captain, averaged 8.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 1 apg while starting all 31 games.
* Shot 47% from the field including 26.4% on threes (19-for-72) while playing 25 minutes a game.
* Connected on just 54.5% of his free throws (42-for-77).
* Scored a season-high 20 points in a 117-109 loss vs. Kalamazoo Valley CC. Made 7-of-14 field goals and all 5 of his free throw attempts.
* Exploded for 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting during an 84-76 win at Columbus State CC.
* He only scored 8 points during a Jan. 10 victory vs. the University of Akron Club team, but you've got to check out the box score from this 104-36 whipping. The score at halftime was 56-13, and Akron shot 5.3% from behind the arc.
* Was held to single digits for scoring in 19 games.
* His team finished 25-6 overall and tied for the OCCAC (Ohio Community College Athletic Conference) championship with an 11-1 record.
* Five players from Owens' team last year have signed to play at four-year colleges including Bikramjit Gill at Division I Ball State.
* Prior to his sophomore season, he was selected to play in the Mullens Junior College Showcase in St. Louis.
* As a freshman, averaged 9.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.1 apg and was named honorable mention All-OCCAC.
* The Express posted a 26-10 mark, advancing to the NJCAA Final Four.
* This workout tape of Boykins I found on YouTube offers interesting stats: a 6-foot-7 wingspan and a 36-inch vertical jump.
* Starred at Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, Mich.
* Was a first team all-Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference guard as a senior.
* This link says he scored 357 points as a high school senior, but it doesn't say over how many games. If we assume 25, that's about a 14 ppg average.
* This web page from MaxPreps says Boykins averaged 15.4 ppg and 8.1 rpg over 23 games as a senior.
* This article about Loy Norrix's division-clinching victory shows Boykins has passion for the game. It also features this paragraph: "The Blue Devils buried 8 of 14 shots in the third quarter to wipe out
a 30-28 halftime deficit and take a 49-41 lead into the final frame. But Boykins & Co. weren't done yet. The 6-2 Boykins outscored Gull Lake by himself, 8-7, in the fourth."
* And you know John Reilly will adore this quote from that same article: "Boykins said that the Knights' ability to get stops reversed their fortunes. 'Defense, (taking) charges and discipline,' he said."
* This video from that same game shows Boykins scoring the game's final point before the crowd storms the floor.