By Pat Gainor, Staff Writer
We’re only three games in, and everyone can already hear the resounding “BOUM!” call from the student section as newest transfer Souley Boum knocks down a tough jumper shot.
And it’s not just for a bit. The senior guard who transferred from the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) this past offseason has already made a splash in offensive firepower, coupling the Nunge-Freemantle paint attack with a deadly long range threat. Even though it’s been just a week, Boum has filled the shoes of Scruggs and Odom beautifully thus far.
The Oakland, CA native put together an illustrious resume throughout his high school career, and it was good enough to get an offer from the University of San Francisco. With the Dons, he averaged 10.9 points per game and was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman team. The following year, he transferred to the University of Texas-El Paso and quickly blossomed into one of the cornerstones for the team.
With the Miners, Boum averaged 16.9 points per game and shot almost 85% from the free throw line. But after failing to make the NCAA tournament for three straight years, Boum announced that he was entering the transfer portal. And there was one specific person who seemed most alluring to follow.
“Sean Miller, I played against him,” said Boum in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, “He coached against me, he scouted me, he saw me up close and personal. I felt like I was needed here.”
Leading up to the season, Souley Boum said that Xavier fans can expect “somebody who’s gonna play hard on both sides. Somebody that’s gonna be a good teammate. Somebody that’s gonna be a leader, a good person on and off the court.”
And so far, that’s what we’ve got. In the opener against Morgan State, Boum led the team with 23 points, shooting 4/6 from three and 7/8 from the free throw line en route to a 96-73 rout. The next game, he collected five assists and combined with KyKy Tandy for 21 points, both combining for an excellent 5/6 from beyond the arc. With both Boum and Tandy’s high-caliber production and Kunkel slowly re-entering the lineup from injury, the Musketeers are poised to have a dangerous three-headed three-pointer monster to couple with the signature paint attack they’ve held for years.
“My teammates and my coaches, they just believed in me,” Boum said in a post-game interview following the victory against Morgan State. “My coach was telling me to go out there and play my game, do what I do. I don’t have to second-guess myself.”
With the offense starting white hot out of the gate after two games, all eyes are on being able to limit turnovers and keep the foot on the gas. And with Boum, Tandy and Kunkel flashing just how impactful to the game flow they can be, this offense can definitely be something to marvel at this upcoming year.