With San Jose State’s 2016 class at capacity, the Spartans managed to find another player to complement next year’s team. College of Southern Idaho guard E.J. Boyce accepted a spot on the team and is expected to be on scholarship starting the 2017-18 season.
“Wojcik said the piece they are missing is a shooter,” Boyce said. “So he wants me to come in and provide the team with that skillset and that could really bring everything together and complete the team.”
Boyce will be the first Division I basketball player out of Rocky Mountain High School in Boise, Idaho. Out of high school, he held preferred walk-on offers to Utah, Utah State, Boise State and Nevada, but wanted the opportunity to earn a full scholarship. He spent the last two years at College of Southern Idaho, known for sending basketball players to the next level.
“My recruitment was a little tough,” Boyce explained. “I redshirted here at CSI last year and then coming off the redshirt year where I didn’t play any games, I came back and the second day of school I realized I had a stress fracture in my femur.”
Boyce missed a total of 13 weeks due to the injury.
“I missed all the open gyms and things where we had coaches watching so I missed out on exposure,” Boyce said. “I came back, probably a little earlier than I was supposed to, and it took me a while to get used to gameplay again. I hadn’t played a real game in over a year. I had to get used to that and get the feel back. Toward the last 10-15 games I started hitting a stride, got my confidence back and was shooting the ball really well. I got into the starting lineup and played 30-35 minutes per game.”
With a short sample size, Boyce did attract interest from NAIA schools, but then a familiar face from San Jose State reached out to him.
“I know Coach Wojcik pretty well,” Boyce said. “He knows my mom and dad pretty well from when he was coaching at Boise State. My dad (was an assistant coach) at Boise State before him. They had a good relationship and I know he’s a great guy and a great coach. I already had a ton of respect for him, which played a big part.
“It felt like it was something I couldn’t pass up on,” Boyce said of SJSU. “It’s been a long journey to reach the Division I dream and I finally had the opportunity in front of me.”
San Jose State has already signed players to fill its three scholarship openings this offseason so Boyce has agreed to walk-on this upcoming season with the expectation of a scholarship afterword.
“Wojcik has been really good about believing in me,” Boyce said. “He said if I could make it work and handle it my first year, then he’d put me on scholarship for my second and third year and if anyone transfers or goes home and the scholarship becomes available, he’d be more than happy to give it to me.”
Boyce has not visited San Jose State himself, but has heard about it from his parents who spent a few days in San Jose. The trip was taken when his father, Ed Boyce, was in talks with Wojcik about a potential assistant coaching job years ago.
On the court Boyce is being brought in as a three-point shooting option to space the floor for the Spartans in 2016-17. Last season, San Jose State did not have any guards make more than 20 3-pointers on the season, while the team’s top three perimeter shooters were all forwards ranging from 37 to 52 3-pointers for the year.
“When I was in middle school and high school, I was extremely small, the only way I could survive was with shooting,” Boyce said. “That’s the one part of my game that’s always translated to the next level. That’s what I do and I feel I can really help a team stretch the defense, spread the floor and knock down some shots.”
Boyce now stands at 6-foot-2 and 180 lbs and will have three years to play three for the Spartans.
He is currently undecided on his major.
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