Edmond Memorial head coach Shane Cowherd was adamant that if he would have had unsigned senior guard Jake Royal available for the entirety of the 2019-2020 season, then his Bulldogs may have been considered the best team in the state.
Nevertheless, Royal returned in January after a dislocated knee injury that sidelined him throughout the first semester of games, helping the Bulldogs to an area championship title and a subsequent state tournament berth.
Memorial’s schedule in the second half of the year was tougher than that first semester, too.
“Jake played the majority of his games against our toughest competition while working back from a serious injury,” Cowherd said. “His stat lines could have been much higher if he had played the entire season.”
Despite that, Royal emerged from the injury setback to lead the roster in 3-point percentage. He’s clipped at 47.3% from behind the arc so far this year. The deadly 3-point shooting helped Memorial outscore opponents by 9.3 points per game when Royal was on the floor.
“Jake is a huge reason for our success,” Cowherd said. “If he had been healthy all year we may have been the top seed.”
To date in his senior season, which still awaits at least one more game and another hopeful two after that if the Bulldogs were to advance through the state quarterfinals, Royal is averaging 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Royal also averages just over a steal per game.