9 Players, 9 Days: Melvin Goins

NOTE: The fifth in a nine-part series on each of the Ball State men's basketball players, exclusively on ballstatesports.com through Nov. 9.

MUNCIE, Ind. -- An all-purpose point guard who can score, pass and drive the lane.

One of the most powerful point guards in the league, allowing him to grab and secure rebounds, and then advance up the court.

He has physical strength, scoring ability and playmaking skills.

Although that description was written about NBA All-Star and current Golden State Warriors guard Baron Davis, it could transparently describe Ball State freshman Melvin Goins.

"I like Baron's style of play," Goins said about his favorite NBA player. "The type of player he is and what he brings to his team. I watch him play a lot and pay attention to the decisions he makes. A lot of people get on him because he's a scoring point guard, but that's how I've been all my life. He does what his team needs him to do and plays with so much heart. Hopefully, they‘ll say that about me too."

While his freshman career officially starts Friday night against Butler, the 5-foot-9 newcomer has many around the program already excited about his potential and adding to the long list of prominent guards to wear the BSU uniform.

Likewise, the McDonald's All-America nominee expects only the best from himself and his teammates.

"I like to work hard," Goins said. "I consider myself a leader and you can't lead by not working hard. I love the game of basketball and I want to learn as much as possible to get better everyday."

Getting better every day is something Goins has done since he started playing basketball at a young age in California.

Originally from San Diego, Goins and his family moved to Texas while in middle school.

Now a resident of Dallas, Goins averaged 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals per game to lead his high school team to a 42-8 mark as a senior.

"My teammates here have made the transition very easy, " Goins said about coming to Ball State. "The guys on the team are like family now. So far, I see that we are really close and we have lot of passion.

"I feel that if we all come out and play with passion and heart every time we step on the floor, Coach Taylor will take care of the rest. We have a good chance of winning with that combination."

The passion to which Goins refers to was easily witnessed after Sunday's exhibition win over Anderson.

Even though he played 26 minutes with seven points, four assists and three steals, Goins was back on the floor at Worthen Arena immediately after the game to get more shooting in, upset with his 3-for-16 shooting performance.

It's that dedication which led his high school coach, Carlos Wilson to describe Goins as "the hardest worker I have ever coached."

The 2007-08 season tips Friday against Butler in Worthen Arena and Goins is excited for the challenge.

"It's a big motivation for us, to know that we were picked last and a lot of people are doubting us this year," Goins said. " I know it motivates me. We all want to play harder and prove everyone wrong. I‘ve been waiting a long time to be able to play Division I basketball. I am hungry for the season to get started.

"I am also real excited to see The Nest," Goins said. "I've heard a lot about it and I can't wait to see it in person. The support we get from the fans and the students, it will just give us confidence. They are the sixth man and we are going to play hard for them, especially since everyone else is doubting us."

Leave little doubt, Melvin Goins is ready.

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