Former School: UTEP
New School: Xavier
Years Remaining: One
Recruiting Ranking: 433rd
2021-22 Stats: 19.8 ppg/4.5 rpg/2.9 apg/36.7 mpg; 40.9%/36.8%/84.7%
Souley Boum (pronounced SUE-LAY BOOM) started his college career at San Francisco for the Dons, playing across the bay from where he grew up. After one season there, he left to play for UTEP at The Don. Now, for his final season, he’ll don the navy and silver under Sean Miller at Xavier.
Boum was one of the top scorers in Conference USA last season, scoring nearly 20 points a night. He finished top-five in the conference for scoring in each of the last two years. Dating back to his days at San Francisco, Boum has never averaged less than 10 points per game.
The Oakland-native has only one year of eligibility remaining. Boum has played four seasons and sat out in 2018-19 after transferring to UTEP. This upcoming year will be his sixth in college as he takes advantage of his COVID year.
What’s His Game?
Souley Boum is a high-volume scorer. In three of his four seasons, Boum has been used on more than 25 percent of his team’s possessions. He averaged more than 14 field goal attempts per game in his last two seasons.
Boum is at his most efficient as a scorer from the outside, where he shot the ball better than 37 percent the past two years. He’s been at his best from the perimeter off the catch-and-shoot.
Boum is excellent as a catch-and-shooter. He was able to find space against the eventual national champions to hit this shot. Boum consistently drew defenders because of his range and helped the spacing of the offense. pic.twitter.com/jLhPyFRyrJ— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) May 31, 2022
Boum is incredibly difficult to defend off the ball. He knows how to find open space and time his cuts with his teammates to create space, and he can take advantage of any space to hit shots.
Not only is Boum a great shooter off the catch-and-shoot, but he is also fantastic at moving off the ball to create shots. He rarely stops moving on offense which puts stress on the defense. pic.twitter.com/cXcaWrj1IL— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) May 31, 2022
Boum is adept at navigating double-teams as a ballhandler, and he is excellent in the pick-and-roll. He’s quick enough to split double-teams or get around them and to the rim. Boum only hit 43.5 percent of his 2s and finished less than 50 percent of the time around the rim, so that area will be something to note as he makes the leap to the Big East. It is a much more physical conference than C-USA, and Boum has a slight figure. His quickness should help, but he needs to improve his finishing next year.
At 6-3 and 160 lbs, Boum has a slight figure for a combo guard. It allows him to play quickly and get around defenders like he does here.— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) May 31, 2022
Boum has showed flashes of being a crafty finisher around the rim. pic.twitter.com/cXVlq02LQr
When he does attack downhill, he’s good at getting himself to the free throw line. Boum finished eighth in the NCAA in free throws made last year. He hits more than 84 percent of his free throws and got to the line nearly seven times a game the last two seasons.
On the defensive end, Boum is an asset. He ranked in the 87th percentile in overall defense according to Synergy last year and averaged 1.8 steals per game. Against Middle Tennessee in the C-USA Tournament, Boum was a menace on defense, recording 7 steals.
His awareness is top tier at the other end of the floor too. Boum was 4th in C-USA in steals last year with 55 on the season. He excels as an on-ball defender. pic.twitter.com/rYw8k3gK01— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) May 31, 2022
What’s His Role?
Souley Boum is a 3-and-D combo guard who can score at a high level. With the departures of Paul Scruggs and Dwon Odom, Boum will likely be the starting point guard this season. That thrusts him into a new role.
He has the skillset to play point guard, and he spent more than 40 percent of his time there last year according to KenPom.com. Boum has played primarily off the ball his whole career, though, so this will be a new challenge. He’s been a clean player playing the 2 position, averaging less than 2 turnovers per game for his career.
Boum should also help replace the shooting touch of Nate Johnson. While he doesn’t quite have the precision of the former-Musketeer, Boum does provide a strong presence from the outside. In an offense with more threats than the one at UTEP, Boum should also get more space. Will he be able to knock down the shots?
The addition of Boum gives Xavier a proven scorer in the back court and an asset on the defensive end. It also raises questions about who will handle the ball and whether his small frame can hold up in the Big East. Boum should be a 3-and-D role player at worst, although there’s a world where his shooting and defense disappear against tougher competition. The Musketeers do have two four-star freshman guards joining the team as well who will be fighting for playing time should Boum get overwhelmed.
If all goes well, the UTEP product should handle the change to point guard while becoming more efficient thanks to the talent around him. His quickness and defense will be assets on a team with a loaded front court. That’s what Sean Miller had in mind when Boum committed to Xavier.