Travis Ford continued his pursuit of building a promising Billikens squad, through local talent, with the addition of Javonte Perkins, just after Thanksgiving. Ford’s fourth commit for the 2019-20 class maintains the theme of local area talent with a focus on offense. The junior college level standout has been a force on the offensive end for the Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm at the NJCAA level.
Perkins has shot the lights out, converting 60.5 percent, cashing in 20 points per game, while maintaining a strong 42.6 from deep last season. He also gives the Billikens much needed free throw shooting as he converted 81.4 percent from the line. His production has continued to rise as he has averaged 26.7 points through the first three games this season.
Although it may seem like an odd move for Ford to turn to the junior college ranks, Perkins fits into SLU’s plans very well as he will enter his junior season providing the Billikens will an added veteran presence that fills the glaring holes on the offensive end.
Despite the 5-1 record, Ford has been displeased after every contest, especially on the offensive side of the ball, and rightfully so. The Billikens have shot a weak .441 from the field as a team and have only converted .311 from the three-point line.
Perkins most likely won’t star for Saint Louis, but he will play an important role as a player to pair alongside fellow sharpshooter Gibson Jimerson, along with the rest of the high energy stars. such as Goodwin and Gordon. His athleticism provides SLU with options to move him around as he has learned to play several positions in his junior college career. His shooting ability will pick up the shooting slack the Billikens currently deal with, and his 6’7” size provides SLU with more options than just having a spot up shooter.
A true dark horse, Perkins was only seriously considered by Louisiana-Monroe before choosing to join the Billikens. Of course, the transition will most likely be the toughest part for him, but if Ford uses him correctly, Perkins will provide SLU with a true steal for the 2019-20 class, who can also add some veteran leadership to a younger Billikens squad.
While Billikens fans have had to deal with a rather disappointing showing so far this season on the offensive end, it is reassuring that Travis Ford is on the case and help is on the way. The offense should continue to improve as the current roster continues to mesh together, but it is reassuring to see SLU make the right moves and continue to provide sparks to the promising roster with exciting local talent.