Through the course of this season, Jada Boyd continues to gain respect from opposing teams. Her ACC Player of the week honor has helped her gain momentum and continues to play at a high level. As North Carolina State goes through this season, Boyd has been an excellent sixth woman off the bench, being one of the biggest factors in her team’s success.
Boyd in her sophomore season
Boyd is a skilled, athletic machine at the power forward position. She is excellent at working around the mid-range area and can put the ball on the floor to attack. Boyd’s strength and versatility allow her to absorb contact at the basket and finish with a high-quality shot. Whether a defender plays her uptight or gives her breathing room, it is a difficult task to contain Boyd when he is in attack mode.
The NC State women’s team has been under the radar this season. The team got off to a fantastic start and have kept the momentum rolling through each game. The two key victories during this season are against South Carolina and Louisville, two top-notch programs with expectations to win the NCAA Tournament. With the position that the team is right now, the goal is to continue to push forward heading into the postseason tournament. Putting themselves in a comfortable position is key, considering their postseason results in the past two tournaments.
Boyd has taken a big leap in scoring. She is averaging 11.2 points per game and is shooting the ball exceptionally well at 51%. Although Boyd has had her opportunity to start in three games, coach Moore seems competent with keeping her role as the sixth woman. The way Boyd energizes the floor when she checks in the game is remarkable. She does her job correctly as she uses her length and agility on both sides of the floor.
Let’s look into a few of Boyd’s games through the course of the season. The first stellar game that stood out was her 26 point night against Georgia Tech. NC State as a team obliterated Georgia Tech’s zone defense with their attacking and spacing on the floor. Boyd was apart of the act as she absorbed contact to continue to get free throw opportunities. The Yellow Jacket defense was poor the entire night. Boyd was able to create her shot all game with nothing holding her back. Boyd finished the game shooting 9-12 from the floor along with 10 rebounds on the night.
Let’s also look into her matchup against the ACC rival Louisville, where she also attacked the paint with her scoring and rebounding. Boyd made her presence known with her size and strength. She made sure to be one step ahead of the defense by getting to her spots on offense. Defensively, she did a phenomenal job at controlling the paint and crashing the class. Boyd and NC State would finish the Cardinals. She contributed 16 points and nine rebounds on the night.
How can she improve?
Boyd shows so much versatility as a hybrid power forward. She still has a lot of room to grow as she evolves into star potential. Two areas where Boyd can continue to become greater at is three-point shooting and playmaking. When Boyd shoots the ball, she displays a perfect release on her shot as it shows to be nearly automatic. Imagine how lethal she would be if she stretched the floor a bit farther? Boyd has shown to make three-point shots but doesn’t take many of them through the season. Stretching her game out beyond the arc could make her a more dangerous offensive weapon.
Boyd’s passing ability is another underrated part of her game as well. Her ability to read her teammates on the block is exceptional. Boyd can either hand off a drop pass to a teammate at the rim or find an open teammate on the perimeter. In the next two years, Boyd will certainly be faced with more double teams as her role with the team grows. Trusting her teammates is an area that Boyd shows to never be shy about.
Coach Wes Moore continues to put his trust into Jada Boyd game after game. He understands her value to the team, which is why she is on the floor in key stretches of the game. As the NCAA Tournament rolls around, it will be a perfect opportunity for Boyd to display her true competitiveness in a more competitive atmosphere.