|Golden Bulls share during unbeaten start|
|Balanced scoring key for JCSU basketball|
|Published Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:19 am|
Four has been a good number for Johnson C. Smith basketball.
That’s how many Golden Bulls are averaging double figures for JCSU, which opened 4-0 going into Wednesday’s game at Virginia Union. Four different players – LaMarquis Letchaw, Robert Williams, Antwan Wilkerson and Emilio Parks – have led the Golden Bulls in scoring in each game. Letchaw, a junior guard, leads the team at 14.8 points per outing, including a team-high 20 in a 78-73 victory against Lees-McRae on Nov. 16.
“He’s going to have to” be an offensive asset, Joyner said of the 6-foot Letchaw, a transfer who sat out last season. “Right now, he’s our best jump shooter on the team, our best possibility for a three-pointer, but he’s been off the court so long, he doesn’t play with a lot of understanding, so we’re trying to get him to settle down.”
Letchaw, who replaced all-America Trevin Parks at shooting guard, has shown a knack for getting to the basket. Although he’s shooting only 41.7 percent from the floor (15-of-36), he’s 22-of-27 from the free throw line and leads the Golden Bulls in assists with 18. Half of his 20 points against Lees-McCrae came on free throws, despite a 4-of-14 effort on field goal attempts.
“He did the same thing in Atlanta (in wins against Morehouse and Tuskegee),” Joyner said. “In the late stages of the ball game, he certainly got to the foul line. If he can play with that kind of understanding, I think he can be a factor for us in the second semester.”
JCSU is showing some balance and consistency early, especially on offense. Senior forwards Antwan Wilkerson and Emilio Parks are averaging 12.8 and 12.5 points per game, respectively while swingman Robert Williams averages 12 points an outing. Wilkerson is the top rebounder at 9.3 per game.
While the early results are positive, Joyner is already thinking ahead. In recent seasons, the Golden Bulls started strong only to fade in February before the postseason tournament.
“For us, it’s going to be a work in progress,” Joyner said. “I think we understand one of our problems the last two years or three years has been the latter part of the season going down the stretch. We were tired, we were not able to play the way we wanted to play by the time we got to the tournament. That’s something we talk about and try to figure out as we go along.”
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