Feb. 20, 2004
With two rebounds and four steals in the game and all 19 points in the second half, Brody Boyd had a bit of a senior epiphany when Ohio State visited Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 24.
“Definitely,” says Boyd, recognizing the importance of the victory. “I’ve matured to where if I miss my first two or three shots, I can go down and screen and cut and get fouled and get my confidence back up.”
In high school, Boyd rarely missed a shot, especially from the perimeter.
Boyd scored 2,632 career points for a 26.3 per game average, numbers which put him third in career scoring, in his native Indiana, and the all-time leader in 3-point field goals with 383. He even led the Hoosier state in scoring his junior and senior seasons.
But while he racked up career statistics in Indiana, Boyd developed a habit that took three years at Iowa and work with Indiana-native Steve Alford to break: his game was built on the first shots he took in any matchup, and if he missed, the rest of his game would suffer.
Boyd admits that he didn’t know all the moves in the book before coming to Iowa.
“Coming in my freshman year, I had no idea,” he said. “I didn’t know how to screen, how to cut, play defense or get a steal.
“I’ve learned a lot from Coach Alford.”
Alford challenged Boyd at the start of his senior year to improve his game, as it was likely teams would start to catch on to his strong 3-point shooting. Last year he shot 178 three-pointers. That ranks fifth on Iowa’s all-time list. This season, he passed Dean Oliver for third place in career 3-pointers. He now only trails Kent McCausland and Chris Kingsbury.
“Coach told me at the beginning of year that other teams would be keying on my shot. He wanted to see if I could develop something more.”
Iowa senior Brody Boyd
“Coach told me at the beginning of year that other teams would be keying on my shot,” Boyd said. “He wanted to see if I could develop something more.”
This season, Boyd is the third-leading scorer on the team with a 10.8 per game average, hitting 67-of-159 from the field or 42.4 percent. Boyd also has the smallest number of turnovers of any starter this year.
With a strong 19-point showing against Ohio State, Boyd proved that he can move beyond the make-or-break first shot. But he is still cognizant of his tendencies.
According to Boyd, he lapsed into the old mentality at Michigan State on Feb. 4. And his stats reflected it. Boyd scored only nine points in 35 minutes, including one 3-pointer.
“I missed my shot at Michigan State, and I kind of went back to that,” said Boyd. “I looked at coach and he said, ‘Well, do something else.’ So, I got fouled and that’s when I started cutting and screening and that’s when I got to the foul line and built some confidence.
“That’s what you have to do.”
There was, however, still the matter of “something else” missing in Boyd’s game.
That void has been filled by 44 steals this season – four more than his first two years at Iowa combined.
Boyd leads the Hawkeyes in steals and set a Gazette Hawkeye Challenge single-game record with seven in Iowa’s championship victory over Northern Illinois last December. Boyd’s seven steals were the most for an Iowa player since Luke Recker had five thefts off of Wisconsin in the 2002 Big Ten Tournament.
Boyd has 119 career steals. He ranks first in the Big Ten for all games and second in Big Ten games this season.
Indeed, steals seem to be the one defensive statistic where Boyd, with a generously measured 5-foot-11 frame, can really shine.
“Sometimes you can use that advantage,” Boyd says of his height, “but there are more disadvantages than advantages. This year, it’s helped me. Not a lot of people take me down to the post, not a lot of people post me up, and I’ve been getting a lot of steals by using my quickness against the big guys.
“That’s what I’ve done lately, and it’s been a plus for us.”
Boyd says his eyes “just light up” when he sees a taller forward or center start dribbling at the post in pre-game film.
“That’s just when I have to use my small build to where it can be an advantage for me and my team.”