first_img Published on December 22, 2018 at 10:52 am Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder Growing up, Ty Cockfield wasn’t always under the same roof, moving from home to home with his mother and two siblings. They’d sometimes have to live with his grandmother. As a self-proclaimed “momma’s boy,” he said he wanted to go through those struggles with his mom. He needed an outlet.“Seeing that basketball could change her world, not just my life, and give her a better view of life and taking her places she’s never been before,” Cockfield said, “that’s why I do what I do, honestly.”Now, the 6-foot guard is the leading scorer (21.3 points per game) for Arkansas State (5-6) as they prepare to go to the Carrier Dome Saturday for a showdown with Syracuse (7-4). In his time with the Red Wolves, his motivation has been reflected in his work ethic. His grandmother, who he called his “personal guru,” instilled in him the mantra: “You got to work for it.”Since Cockfield moved to Arkansas State, Arkansas State head coach Mike Balado said there’s hardly a day that goes by that the guard isn’t in the gym. Balado said Cockfield needed to shoot better when he transferred. So Cockfield practiced 3s every day. After a while, Balado had to kick him out of the gym. Cockfield needed rest to prevent tearing up his body. A year later, Cockfield is shooting nearly the same percentage from the field, but his 3-point percentage has gone up by 7.7 percent to 43.9 percent. Cockfield’s scoring and 3-point shooting will be essential for the Red Wolves to break down the Orange’s 2-3 zone, but when Cockfield arrived at Jonesboro his junior year, he was already a proven scorer. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHis senior year of high school, he led the state of Georgia with 28 points per game, and at Georgia Highlands College, he averaged 16 points a game as a sophomore. Last year at Arkansas State, Balado said Cockfield deferred at times to his teammates, but he still averaged 14.9 points per game, second-most on the team.Courtesy of Arkansas State AthleticsAs an eighth grader, he played with the high school JV team. The pace was much faster than if he had played with middle schoolers, and while that prepared him for a strong freshman year on varsity, the fast pace also stuck.But Balado has taught him that playing fast isn’t always the best way to play. Cockfield’s learned to switch up his pace and go from fast to slow and then back to fast again to better control the offense and keep the defense unsteady. “Not even a Lamborghini can go fifth gear in traffic,” Balado said he told Cockfield. Always looked at as a scorer, Cockfield’s leared to better control the pace of the game and his own speed. Against Missouri State on Dec. 18, Cockfield got into foul trouble, and the Bears defense keyed in on him, holding him to eight points. But Cockfield found other ways to contribute, earning five assists and three steals, and Balado said Cockfield played great defense before he fouled out late in the game. Scoring isn’t the only facet of the game he contributes to when he’s out on the floor anymore. To pull off the upset against Syracuse on Saturday, Cockfield will need to show his patience and control on offense and elevate his teammates. Balado said the key for Arkansas State will be to not rush shots and take high-percentage looks, whenever that is in the shot clock. “Just keeping my same game plan and just staying in rhythm,” Cockfield said on what he needs to do against SU. “I just have to continue to do what I do as a player.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more