Monday, July 28, 2008

Confident Boynton Putting on Summer Show

Big-time scorers need confidence. They need confidence to be able to go against the best defenders and still be able to get points. They need confidence to make difficult shots over multiple defenders. And most importantly, they need confidence to be able to take – and make – shots in the closing seconds of games.

Luckily for Kenny Boynton and his teammates, he has plenty of confidence – and the talent to back it up.

“I think I’m the number one player in the country,” Boynton said. “Whenever I go up against someone, I do really well.”

At the Reebok U All-American Camp in Philadelphia, Boynton was arguably the best player the entire week. He was named to the All-Star Game and consistently showed the coaches and scouts in attendance why he might be the best pure scorer and shooter in his class. Going against the best perimeter defender in the country in Avery Bradley, Boynton was still able to get to the basket at will and get his shot off from deep. Furthermore, he was not afraid to take big shots, putting up potential game-winners in back-to-back games; he missed the first, but knocked down the second.

He has kept up his impressive summer, scoring 37 points on Tuesday against Bradley and the Northwest Panthers at the Reebok Summer Championships in Las Vegas.

“[My biggest strengths are] definitely be scoring ability and my ability to shoot,” said Boynton, who is a member of Team Breakdown, along with 2010 star Brandon Knight.

The 6-3, 187-lb. shooting guard from American Heritage School (Fla.) has unbelievable shooting range. At the camp, he continuously pulled up from anywhere and knocked down shots. Boynton has the utmost confidence in his shot and demonstrated that on a regular basis. As we mentioned above, he loved to have the ball in his hands when the clock was winding down. He has an awkward shooting motion, but he hit shots with defenders in his face; his unblockable step-back jumper was outstanding. He utilizes a lot of pump fakes and body fakes to get defenders off-balance. Boynton can also blow past defenders and explode at the rim. He gets great lift on his jumper and is very athletic. He can handle the ball and run the break, and is also a solid passer.

On the other hand, though, Boynton seemed out-of-control at times and forced shots when there were better options available. Despite his outstanding overall camp, he did force things on occasion.

“I need to work on my shot selection,” said Boynton, who is ranked as the No. 8 player in the Class of 2009 by both and “I just have to be smart, improve my basketball IQ.” He also mentioned defense as an area that he needs to work on before the school season starts.

Part of the reason Boynton may be thriving even more than usual this summer is the fact that he really enjoys playing AAU ball as opposed to high school.

“I love it,” he said. “The competition is so much better out here compared to playing in high school. You’re getting all the top players.”

As for his future, many recruiting experts think that Boynton will end up at Duke – if he ends up leaving his home state. Boynton mentioned the Blue Devils on his list, as well as Florida, Texas, Memphis and Georgia Tech. In a recent story by Jeff Goodman of, Kansas State and USC were added to the list while the Yellow Jackets were no longer an option.

“The most important thing is the coach,” Boynton said when asked what he is looking for in a school. “I want to play as a freshman, too.”

With the confidence and scoring ability he has demonstrated this summer, though, playing time will certainly not be a problem for him – no matter where he ends up.

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