University of Arizona guard Kylan Boswell is extremely unique.
Not only was he the youngest player in college basketball last season at just 17 years old, but he plays with a calmness and maturity in his game that you don’t normally see from young guards.
As a freshman, Boswell averaged 4.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in just 15.2 minutes per game, shooting an impressive 45.0 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from beyond the arc.
I had the opportunity to interview Boswell about his freshman season, his upcoming camping with the Wildcats, his partnership with Rockin’ Protein, Caleb Love, Tommy Lloyd and much more.
As a freshman, Boswell wasn't asked to play a major role for the Wildcats, but he was an essential part of the team’s rotation as it earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
He shared the biggest things he learned during his freshman season as he prepares for the start of his sophomore campaign.
“The flow of college basketball, it's a lot more physical than high school, a lot more mental focus, a lot more attention to details,” Boswell said. You have scout, you don't have a lot of room for error, for mistakes. So now getting my mistakes out the way kind of understanding how it works now, coming to my sophomore [season] and more confident within myself. I can trust the system.”
Boswell is expected by many to make a major leap this season. College basketball insider Jon Rothstein listed Boswell amongst his “breakout players” for the 2023-24 season. Boswell was also named to the preseason All-Pac 12 Second Team.
Those are big expectations, but for a player who came in an contributed at a young age last season, it’s nothing Boswell can’t handle.
“I just can put the work in,” Boswell said. “I feel like I'm prepared for these moments that are coming into my life. I know for a fact, me and my dad, me and my trainers, all the coaching staff, they trust me and I trust myself. There's not really much fear if you could get prepared for moments.”
Earlier this offseason, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo projected Boswell to be a lottery pick in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft. While the Arizona guard isn’t looking ahead past this season, he knows what that could mean for his future.
“I take care of business this year – if I decide to go put my name in the draft and whoever takes me, I'll be grateful,” Boswell said. “But you know, that's the goal – to be in those top 14 names that get selected, but just gotta put the work in and get there first.”
The first step to getting there is improving on last season’s finish.
The Wildcats were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by the No. 15-seed Princeton Tigers. Boswell scored five points in 13 minutes in that game.
He and his teammates are focused on making sure they don’t come up short like that again in the 2023-24 season.
“Really just, revenge for last year,” Boswell said of the team’s goals this season. “Our last year's last game, that's not the best way to go out in the season as the No. 2 seed [against a No. 15]. That's been our main focus too is having a culture change.”
Boswell spoke about some of Arizona’s additions, guard Caleb Love, forward Keshad Johnson, as reasons why the team can improve. He said they’ve made an “impact since day one.”
Boswell raves about Arizona’s addition of Caleb Love
Love brings a new dynamic to the Arizona roster – and he’s immediately become close with Boswell.
“I've said this before,” Boswell said. “I mean, it's so crazy how social media can portray somebody and you can have an opinion about someone and you have no idea who they are. You have no idea what they do on a day-to-day basis. It's just kind of insane like how the media is making Caleb seem like a ball hog and all this actually, like size stuff and all that.
“That's just, that's not at all who Caleb Love is as a person. He's very funny, great personality, a great teammate. He's a great role model for me too. We work out every day pretty much now together. I’m excited just to play with him. I've said too, I just don't think people understand, or be ready for what me and him can do in the backcourt for sure throughout the season.”
Love was an elite scorer during his time at the University of North Carolina, and Boswell can really shoot the rock himself – nearly shooting 40 percent from 3-point range last season.
Boswell compared himself and Love to the Golden State Warriors guard duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry – in fact – was a player that Boswell emulated as he was growing up.
“I feel like it's kind of like a ‘Splash Brothers’ situation,” Boswell said. “You can't guard both of us – like one of us is gonna either get hot in a game or one of us will make sure the other one is, can get ready for the next moment.
“We can spread the court to like a degree where Caleb Love’s in one wing on the other and either you're gonna come guard him, and I'm gonna get a shot or you're gonna come guard me and he can get a shot. I mean, just get spread out for us on the offensive end for sure.”
Boswell is in the perfect fit with Arizona and Tommy Lloyd
A big reason that Boswell believes the team will be so successful is Tommy Lloyd’s system, one that has let the young guard thrive.
“It's a system that thrives off of movement, passing, scoring,” Boswell said. “I don't know, like this offense, it's kind of hard to struggle in, if you just play the right way. The bigs get their shots, the guards get their shots.
“He lets us guards have a lot of freedom, and we can make our own decisions, be creative on the court. But that's also because of the work he knows we put in the trust that we have in practice. So, it's just kind of a big trusting offense and it's very creative and free flowing.
“So, it's kind of hard for me to struggle in it because it's just so much opportunity for me to get something done for myself or for my teammates.”
What Boswell learned from his March Madness experience
Arizona was upset in the first round in March Madness, something that Boswell doesn’t want to have happen again.
He shared the biggest takeaway he had from last season’s experience, and how he wants it to change this season.
“Biggest takeaway for me I think is to put all distractions probably to the side 1000 percent,” Boswell said. “I was like on Twitter or Instagram like this kind of getting big-headed about the situation like, ‘Oh my gosh, for March Madness. I'm 17, I'm out here.’
“[Next time around I’m just going to turn my] phone off during that time, just don't even worry about nothing except just one game and moving on and advancing.
“The biggest change would be to be in Phoenix by that time for the 2024 you know, Final Four. That's my goal for us as a team.”
Partnership with Rockin’ Protein
One of Boswell’s NIL deals this season is with Rockin’ Protein, a brand he’s excited to represent.
“I'm proud to be [partnering with] an official protein beverage, Shamrock Farms is always in McKale. I've been seeing it around McKale all the time. I'm always drinking Rockin’ Protein.”
Boswell joins Mark Andrews (Baltimore Ravens tight end) and Naomi Girma (US Women’s National Soccer Team and San Diego Wave defender) as athletes that are partnered with Rockin’ Protein.
Kylan Boswell’s all-time Arizona starting five
I had to ask Boswell who his all-time starting five is at the University of Arizona, and he nearly left Gilbert Arenas off the list for Steve Kerr. But, he switched it up for this five:
- Mike Bibby
- Gilbert Arenas
- Richard Jefferson
- Channing Frye
- Deandre Ayton
You can watch the video to see the all-time starting five that Boswell would like to play alongside as well!
Boswell also shared why he believes Arizona can win the title this season and prove that it will bounce back better than ever after last season’s unfortunate finish.
You can watch the whole interview with Kylan Boswell in the Youtube link above!