Luis Jacobo spends every day in foreign territory, but on Monday evening, he looked as comfortable as could be running up and down the basketball court at Memorial Coliseum.
The Sanford, Fla., resident is spending his first season at IPFW, where he's meeting new people, attending a new school, dealing with cold weather and trying to please a coaching staff that he's never played for.
But at his core, he can hoop wherever he resides, and he did so Monday as he helped the Mastodons to an easy 71-43 exhibition win over NCAA Division III Alma College at the coliseum.
“Luis is the epitome of what we are trying to get out of our guys,” Mastodon coach Tony Jasick said. “He's continued to plug away and get better and get more comfortable.”
The 6-foot-5 forward looked plenty comfortable at both ends of the floor against the Scots. He totaled nine points, pulled down four rebounds and dished out a pair of assists, while displaying athleticism, skill and, most importantly, versatility.
“For us, he could play the 2, 3, or 4 (spots),” Jasick said. “Having a guy with Luis' size and athleticism helps us at the defensive end. He's a perimeter guy on offense, but he has some strength and size where he can rebound for us (defensively).”
Jacobo spent a year at Stetson University, where he was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team, before transferring to College of Central Florida a year ago. He is one of six Florida residents on the IPFW roster, and though he's far from home, he is adamant that he made the right selection to finish his career.
“I love it,” Jacobo said of his new school. “I love it. I love it. The people here are nice. I love the fact that this city and state is a great basketball state. In Florida, football is first. Basketball is a really big thing here and I love that.”
Jasick wasn't ready to proclaim Jacobo's Mastodon debut a perfect game, not by a long shot. However, he was encouraging about the importance that his new player will have in getting this program back to where it was two years ago (18 victories).
“I think Luis has an extremely high ceiling,” Jasick said. “He can shoot it. He can put it on the floor. He's got to continue to be a better defender. I'm glad Luis is with us, I can promise you that.”
Frank Gaines led IPFW with 12 points. Mario Hines (eight points, 11 rebounds), Kevin Harden (eight points, five rebounds), Pierre Bland (six points, four assists) and Steve Forbes (nine points, six rebounds) also contributed.
The Mastodons will travel to Auburn t 8 p.m. Friday .