LIU Brooklyn’s quest for a fourth consecutive Northeast Conference title may be over before it even begins as forward Julian Boyd re-tore his surgically repaired ACL this summer, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
He initially injured his knee last December in a game against Rice when he dove for a loose ball. The injury required surgery, which he had in January, and he was expected to play a major role on the team after he successfully lobbied for a sixth year of eligibility. He suffered the setback in July this summer. Typical rehab time is roughly six months for this kind of injury so he could be back by January if things go right. Considering this is his second major knee injury that might be optimistic though.
Boyd was the NEC Player of the Year during his junior year when he averaged 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 55.7 percent from the floor and 42 percent from behind the arc. Without him it seems unlikely that the Blackbirds will four-peat this season. Many said the same thing during the first knee injury last year, but the difference is that last year’s NEC Player of the Year Jamal Olasewere graduated along with C.J. Garner. Kenny Onyechi, Brandon Thompson, and Booker Hucks have also graduated so this is a much younger and more inexperienced team than the one that overcame such adversity last year.
It’s too early to tell who will take Boyd’s place on the roster, but it is likely to come down to two players, freshman Nura Zanna or transfer student Chris Carter.
The 6-foot-7 Zanna is big enough to work well down low. He averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds per game as a high school senior last year with Coral Springs Christian school in Florida. At 6-foot-6 Carter, who transferred from Wake Tech Community College, is slightly more of a perimeter player as he shot nearly 50 percent from the floor last season.
E.J. Reed, who averaged 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 50.6 percent last season, is also likely to get more minutes as a result. The 6-foot-8 freshman Glenn Feidanga could also come into play at some point during the season, but the other guys will likely get more minutes first before the Blackbirds give him more of a shot.