HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Boban Jacdonmi scored 30 points during the 2018-19 season.
He finished with 29 in Tuesday night’s 90-71 season-opening win over Delta State.
The Englishman dominated from the opening tipoff, knocking down 12 of his 16 shots to go along with ten rebounds.
“Ever since I picked up a basketball, being around the rim has pretty much been my bread and butter,” Jacdonmi said. “Hooks around the rim, scoring low-post, deep touches and stuff. In the offseason I really did put a lot of work in, getting my touches right.”
“Lightly used player, hasn’t experienced a lot of personal success but he works his tail off every single day,” said Jay Ladner, who made his USM head coaching debut on Tuesday. “I am so glad to see him have such a good night. I thought he just made a great move to start the game and came off his left side and made a nice little left-handed jump hook. That kind of got him going and hopefully that will be a confidence builder for him.”
The Golden Eagles owned the advantage inside, outscoring the Statesmen 58-18 in the painted area. Sophomore forward Tyler Stevenson notched a career-high 18 points and the freshman from Estonia Artur Konontsuk added 13 points.
Senior Leonard Harper-Baker was one rebound shy of his fifth double-double, collecting 13 points, nine boards and a career-high six assists. USM dished out 27 assists as a team led by Southwest Mississippi transfer Jay Malone’s ten dimes.
Ladner knows how early it is in his tenure and the 2019-20 season. The 1988 graduate of Southern Miss saw positives and negatives from his team’s performance on Tuesday.
The youthful Eagles will need to grow up quickly as they begin a three-game road trip at South Alabama on Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by trips to North Florida and Iowa State.
“We don’t want to get too high after winning a game, too low after losing one,” Ladner said. “We want to take a methodical approach, be constructively critical, come out here tomorrow and let’s start correcting things. There was improvement. I don’t want to sound like I’m being negative in any way, I just know that we have a long way to go and we have a really young team. They get very comfortable very quickly and we lose that intensity level.”