Photo by Gerald Castillo
Peacock spreads feathers with Texas State
Alex Peacock remembers his junior college days as the “worst, greatest experience.”
That’s the phrase he always uses to describe his time at Iowa Western Community College. It was a grind, he says, never quite sure where his next meal would come from.
“The cafeteria closes at 7 (p.m.), you get out of practice at 5 (p.m.). You’ve got to eat, get treatments, stuff like that, by 8 (p.m.) you’re starving,” Texas State’s senior forward said. “You’ve got to learn how to fend for yourself really. You’ve got to really be on your own. I was six hours from my mom, couldn’t just get up and go to my mom’s house.”
The Bloomington, Ill. native had to go the JUCO route after the Division I offers didn’t come in high school. He came off the bench his first season with the Reivers, where he only put up 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Peacock recorded stronger numbers during his sophomore campaign — 10.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Those stats helped him garner the Division I attention that eluded him two years before.
Introduced to basketball at an early age
Peacock may not remember it vividly but his father Turhan Peacock put a basketball in his hands at two years old.
Alex played multiple sports but basketball proved to be his game.
“My dad, he put the basketball in my hand and it’s just something I always took a liking to,” Alex Peacock said. “I always wanted to play with the basketball. I always had the basketball in my hand and things like that. I was an active kid. I dabbled in everything. I played football, basketball, it’s just that basketball is the one I took liking to the most.”
The 6-foot-7 forward had an outstanding senior season at Normal Community High School in Normal, Ill., where he tallied 19.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. Peacock received second team all-state honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.
After spending his next two seasons at Iowa Western, Peacock mulled over Division I offers from Coastal Carolina and Nebraska-Omaha, but Texas State felt like home.
“A very, high IQ Player”
Texas State head coach Danny Kaspar raves about Peacock’s basketball IQ. Kaspar calls him a valuable player for the Bobcats.
“He’s a very smart basketball player,” Kaspar said. “He’s had games where he’s eight, nine, 10 rebounds and he’s a captain. He’s a very valuable player for us, extremely valuable.”
Peacock, however, had to start off the bench when he first arrived in San Marcos. But he understands nothing is given, so he made sure to take a starting spot. “Nobody is going to give you anything, so you got to take it. I mean, that’s a mentality I take in everything,” he said.
Peacock finished his first season with the Bobcats with 27 starts. He ended the year averaging 7.1 points and five rebounds per game.
This season, he’s seen an improvement in his game. The stats show it too — 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Peacock says he tries to model his game off a mix of LeBron James and James Harden. Ultimately, he knows he’s not a high-volume shooter. He’d rather get his teammates involved and get his points as they come.
“I think the most shots I’ve taken this year is nine or something like that,” Peacock said. “I can get mine in three or four shots and help everybody else get going because I know if I get everybody else get going we’ll be good and I’ll be good.”
“He’s a character”
When Peacock isn’t on the court, he’s constantly on YouTube.
He calls it an addiction. But it’s where he developed an obscure love for yo-yoing in high school.
“I ran across a video of a dude yo-yoing and I was like, ‘I gotta learn how to do that,’” Peacock said. “And so, I had my girlfriend at the time, she bought me a professional yo-yo and then ever since then I’ve loved yo-yo. I actually yo-yoed (Monday) night.”
Now, Peacock spends his time on YouTube watching Fortnite videos. He admits he’s pretty good at the online video game, but he says his roommate and teammate, Tre Nottingham, is better than him.
Nottingham says things can be hectic as Peacock’s roommate. The senior guard calls his teammate a character.
“We have this little thing we do, our lingo, the whole team does it, I can’t really explain it,” Nottingham said. “We talk like older business people, like it’s a little thing we do on and off the court. Sometimes he’ll eat my food and lie about eating my food. I’m like, ‘Peacock, you’re the only one who lives with me. Who else is going to eat my food?’ But for the most part he’s a cool person. He’s a cool dude. He’s talented on and off the court. It’s real fun this year.”
“This year has been pretty good”
Although Peacock has only been with the team for two seasons, he’s a leader for a thriving Texas State squad that’s in first place in the Sun Belt.
Peacock says he’s seen the Bobcats become a tougher unit from his first season to now.
“Like, we always say, we built our chemistry and trust with each other in one year because last year we were very inexperienced and very kind of young,” he said. “Now, everybody has gotten that year and everything together, it makes it something special.”
Peacock believes guys look toward him for guidance because of his extensive basketball experience.
“It’s not just being here, I’ve been to a state championship in high school, being on good teams in junior college, and coming here, I have a lot of basketball experience, a lot of wisdom,” Peacock said. “Coach has always said, if you want to coach, that’s a lane that you can be in. Being able to tell guys where to go, guide some of the younger guys and even some of the older guys and tell them what to do in situations is one of my biggest jobs here.”
Peacock plans to pursue coaching when his basketball career comes to a close. But for now, he looks to continue his “pretty good year.”
“Besides, dealing with my ankle injury (against Arkansas) and stuff like that, this year has been pretty good,” he said. “We’re (17-3), I can’t complain much.”