SBL: Cockburn’s Jalen Billups strives for perfection on the court

Cockburn Cougars import Jalen Billups. Picture: Matt Jelonek
Cockburn Cougars import Jalen Billups. Picture: Matt Jelonek

IT is unlikely anyone would begrudge Jalen Billups for giving himself a pat on the back.

From the outside, the Cockburn Cougars import has made a smooth transition to life at “the Den”.

Averaging 26 points per game and 10 rebounds, Billups has already secured two SBL ‘player of the week’ accolades within the opening eight rounds.

But resting on his previous performances, which includes nine games where he has drained 20 points or more, is not the 24-year-old’s style.

“I’m never really satisfied with how I play, even if I do get these ‘player of the weeks’,” he said.

“There’s something I always see I haven’t done in the game.

“If you also want to look at stats I’m not really averaging the most assists and my free-throw percentage is horrible right now; it’s hideous.”

“Three points and jump-shots, I’m not shooting the best.

“I just have to continue to ride the wave and these things will get better.

“I know I’m fine. I just need to be patient at this point.”

The Cincinnati native, who stands at 198cms and weighs in at 110kgs, arrived at Wally Hagan Stadium at an interesting time.

The Cougars were coming off a championship in 2016, but entered the new campaign without two-time coach of the year Matt Parsons, as well as all-star Marcus Goode and defensive five shooting guard Najee Lane.

The Cougars’ are down on their 2016 run, but remain in the mix.

Sitting at 5-6, Billups said the Cougars remain in the hunt.

“I definitely think we can (challenge for the play-offs),” he said.

“The personnel, we enjoy everybody’s company and that’s the most important thing so when it comes down to it we’re ready to go to war with each other.

“We have to work on a few things. We’re still building chemistry but I have no doubt in my mind we can compete with anybody on this level.

“There hasn’t been anybody I’ve seen we can’t compete with. We just have to put a complete game together.”

The Cougars travel to the Eaton Recreation Centre to tackle the South West Slammers on Saturday.

Billups visits local schools during the week to promote the game and the Aussie Hoops basketball program.

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