Hump day is usually a crappy day in general but for Blackbird Nation, this couldn’t have been worse news to receive at the end of the work day. Sixth-year senior forward Julian Boyd who was recovering from an ACL tear he suffered back in December, has re-tore his ACL and at best-case scenario, will be back on the court for LIU in January for NEC conference play. At worse-case scenario, his stellar LIU Brooklyn career may be over.
CBS Sports Network college basketball insider Jon Rothstein was the first to break the horrible news on Twitter.
Boyd originally tore his ACL in his knee back in December while he dove after a loose-ball near mid-court in a game at Rice. He played in only 8 games last season and averaged 18.5 ppg and 6.1 rpg before his injury. He had yet played in 30% of LIU’s games which gave him a good chance of him receiving a sixth-year of eligibility which he got back in April.
The year before Boyd was the NEC Player of the Year after putting up incredible numbers, averaging 17.4 ppg and 9.3 rpg which led the NEC. He did that two years after sitting out his sophomore year with a heart ailment known as noncompaction cardiomyopathy which nearly ended his career then. The year before sitting out he was named the NEC Rookie of the Year back in 2008-09 after averaging 10.5 ppg and 6.4 rpg off the bench that season.
ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman also tweeted this as the Boyd news was breaking:
This would mean he suffered two tears in a span of about seven months. I’m no doctor so I had to do some research and according to WebMD.com, they said this regarding ACL injuries:
“Physical rehabilitation after ACL surgery may take several months to a year. The length of time until you can return to normal activities or sports is different for every person. It may range from 4 to 6 months.”
Now Boyd has suffered two such injuries in a span of seven months. We obviously don’t know to what degree the second tear was, if it was a full tear or a slight tear. We also don’t know how he suffered the second tear. All we know is that he has been rehabbing since his surgery in January.
The Boyd news is obviously devastating to LIU Brooklyn’s chances at winning an unprecedented fourth-straight NEC championship. Last season, as we know, LIU had a veteran team with great seniors on it like reigning NEC Player of the Year Jamal Olasewere and All-NEC third team performer C.J, Garner. Those guys are now gone as is Kenny Onyechi, Brandon Thompson and Booker Hucks. With Olasewere and Garner stepping up, LIU had enough to withstand Boyd’s injury and win a third-straight NEC title. This season, LIU head coach Jack Perri has to turn to a relatively young and mostly inexperience roster.
Now, if Boyd is gone just until January, who is likely to start in his place? Right now, with three weeks until practice begins, you have to think 6’7″ 215 lbs. freshman forward Nura Zanna has a bit of the inside track. He has a good upside and had the stats in high school to back it up with 19 ppg and 10 rpg as he was named Florida’s Class 5A-4A-3A-2A Player of the Year. The other possibility is junior college transfer Chris Carter out of Wake Tech Community College. He is around 6’7″/6’8″ with good handle for a big man and has nice passing ability. He shot nearly 50% from the field last season at Wake Tech and will shot the three on occasion although his game is mainly inside. 6’8″ freshman Glenn Feidanga from Florida could get a look but will likely be used off the bench as his game is likely not ready for the role.
As not just an LIU blogger but also as a fan, I hope we get to see Boyd back on the court this season. I personally would hate to see a great player like Julian Boyd has been to LIU over these past few years to end his college career like this. The guy was told his career was possibly over as a sophomore and he came back and dominated. A lot of people will think his college career if not his basketball career is now over with this latest setback. For his sake, I hope he can prove everyone wrong. If he doesn’t play another second for LIU, I would be fine with that. He has already giving us more than anything we could have hoped for in a player. He showed heart (literally), courage, determination and strength. I know he is going to try like hell to get back on the court sometime this season.
I just want him to find good health so he can have a nice and long pro career after this upcoming season and have a chance to fulfill his dream. He has given us three championships. There is not much more that Blackbird fans can ask for from any player. The book of Julian Boyd at LIU Brooklyn may be complete, or it may have one last good chapter left. At this point, I would consider it a victory if we get to see him on the Wellness Center court one more time but if it doesn’t happen, we’ve already won anyway. We got to see one of the best player in NEC history wear an LIU jersey for four seasons and he help put up three more years on the NEC championship and NCAA tournament men’s basketball banners hanging high inside the Wellness Center. Either way, it has been an awesome ride. I wish Boyd well in his recovery.