LIU's Boyd to miss rest of season with knee injury

LIU's Boyd to miss rest of season with knee injury

NEW YORK (AP) Julian Boyd's pain is helping him handle hearing bad news for a second time.

The reigning Northeast Conference player of the year found out over the weekend that a torn ACL in his right knee has ended his season eight games in.

It was after his freshman season at LIU Brooklyn that Boyd had gone through something like this before.

Before the 2009-10 season, Boyd, who had been selected NEC rookie of the year, was told he had a heart condition known as noncompaction cardiomyopathy - part of his heart was enlarged. There would be no activity of any kind for months. Finally he was cleared to resume playing basketball. He played like he did before the diagnosis. Many thought he played at a higher level and the Blackbirds won the conference tournament the last two years and the NCAA tournament berths that came with them.

Things were going well for Boyd in his senior season until a play near midcourt in the second half of a win at Rice last Wednesday.

Boyd went for a steal, got tangled up with some other players and his leg was bent the wrong way. Boyd knew he was hurt because of the pain. He was helped off the court. Nobody would know how bad it was until he underwent an MRI.

It was bad. The season was over for Boyd. This was different than the last time he heard words like that.

``This isn't the same even though I'm not playing again,'' the native of San Antonio said. ``This time it's something I can feel. I can feel the pain. Last time I felt fine, felt I could play and was told I couldn't. This time I know I can't play. There's the pain this time. I always want to be on the court but God has a plan and this is part of it.''

The 6-foot-7 forward is second on the team this season in scoring (18.5) and rebounding (6.1). He was one of four senior starters for the Blackbirds (5-4) who were looking at a run to a third straight NCAA tournament berth. It's been slowed now.

``I don't know who took the news harder, me, (forward) Jamal (Olasewere) or Julian,'' said guard Brandon Thompson, another LIU Brooklyn recruit from San Antonio. ``This morning was the worst. It was so easy to break down knowing Julian from back home. We knew we all had to step up to a higher rate without him.''

The first game without Boyd was a 75-48 victory over Manhattan on Sunday. Things were OK with Thompson leading the way with 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. The Blackbirds held the Jaspers to 30.2 percent shooting overall and outrebounded them 50-25.

Sitting at the end of the bench in a Brooklyn Nets sweat shirt, Boyd cheered for the Blackbirds and his hand was always the last to be tapped by every player who came out of the game.

``It's so hard when you want to get out there,'' he said. ``It was easier today because we played a great game. Close games and things like that are kind of hard when you think you can your help your team.''

The only time there was no visit to Boyd at the end of the bench was when he got up as a timeout was called and started limping toward the players coming off the court. He gave Thompson, who had just hit consecutive 3s to blow the game open, a high-five and a hug.

``I knew I had to step up with Julian out,'' Thompson said. ``We all will.''

There is a chance Boyd may be able to step up himself next season. The process to get Boyd a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA because of the season missed with the heart problem and now the season-ending knee injury has already been started by LIU Brooklyn.

``We will appeal for the sixth year for Julian,'' first-year LIU Brooklyn coach Jack Perri said. ``He fits the criteria because he played in less than 30 percent of our scheduled games this season and because he will miss the rest of the season without a doubt.''

Perri said the loss of a star player like Boyd won't be the same for the Blackbirds as other teams.

``Things are different for us because we didn't necessarily run everything through him,'' he said. ``We still have talented players. We still have three players I consider to have all-conference talent. So I'm not going to change things a ton.''

Boyd is upbeat, like he was three years ago when his season ended before it started.

``It hurt then that night and when I woke up the next day the pain had stopped and I was hoping to get good news. I didn't,'' Boyd said. ``Unfortunately, things happen. A lot of other players can do the same things I did for the team and that's why it's not going to be bad. It will all be OK when we deal with it.''

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Jerry Jeudy, Jeff Okudah highlight both sides of loaded passing game class

2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Jerry Jeudy, Jeff Okudah highlight both sides of loaded passing game class

The NFL season is still very young, but it has become very clear which teams will be drafting near the top of the order when the 2020 NFL Draft takes place on April 23 in Paradise, Nev.

The Dolphins, Bengals, Giants, Jets, and Redskins should all be preparing to have a top 10 draft pick come the 2020 NFL Draft, and with the way the early 2019 NFL regular season is playing out, these teams will need a lot of help. 

That's why the Dolphins have decided to punt on the 2019 season focus on the NFL Draft, trading away a litany of their top players to acquire 2020 draft picks, and lots of them.


The Dolphins will get three first-round draft picks in 2020 thanks to trades with the Texans and Steelers.  Miami will want to invest in a franchise quarterback, but in the modern NFL, you need targets for that franchise QB and you need stars to stop the other team's targets.

While the Dolphins, Bengals, Giants, Jets, and Redskins won't all draft wide receivers or defensive backs, the early NFL season has made it obvious that these teams desperately need help in the pass game, and defending the pass.

Who are the top WR prospects and DB prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft? Glad you asked.


Top WR Prospects in 2020 NFL Draft:

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama. Simply put, one of the most talented, explosive WR prospects of the last decade.

2. Tee Higgins, Clemson. Elite ball-catcher with 6-4 frame, but still needs to add muscle and explosiveness.

3. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma.  Great route-runner and gifted competitor. One of the most fun WRs to watch play every Saturday.

4. Laviska Shenault, Colorado. An exceptional athlete who always makes big plays. Needs work on technical route-running.

5. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama. The fastest WR in the class is a deep threat every time he lines up.


Top CB prospects in 2020 NFL Draft:

1. Jeffery Okudah, Ohio State. Understands leverage and uses his size to his advantage to be a complete all-around corner.

2. Trevon Diggs, Alabama. Great ability in man coverage and shows great ball skills, as evident in his Week 1 INT VS Duke.

3. Kristian Fulton, LSU. Big physical, explosive CB who is next among great LSU DBs.

4. Bryce Hall, Virginia. Hall is always around the ball evident in his nation-leading 22 pass breakups in 2018.

5. C.J. Henderson, Florida. 6-1 instinctual CB with fluid hips that can turn and run with anyone.



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Fantasy Football 2019: Previewing Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes in Week 3

Fantasy Football 2019: Previewing Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes in Week 3

Lamar Jackson faces his first real challenge of the season on Sunday when the Ravens travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs and their star signal-caller, Patrick Mahomes.

Both teams have been very similar through the first two weeks of the season. The Ravens and the Chiefs are the only two teams in the NFL that currently feature a top-five fantasy quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end (BAL: Jackson QB1, Brown WR4, Mark Andrews TE1) (KC: Mahomes QB3, Watkins WR1, Travis Kelce TE3).

While most pegged Mahomes as the de-facto option at quarterback ahead of the season, very few saw the start that Jackson has served up.

Jackson has entered MVP-consideration several months removed from being pegged as an afterthought. After the Heisman Trophy winner took the helm of the offense midway through last season, the NFL questioned his arm strength, his accuracy, and whether he could be the key to leading the Ravens back to the Super Bowl. A disappointing playoff appearance brought along more doubters, but John Harbaugh knew he had something special in Jackson.

The Ravens selected Marquise "Hollywood" Brown in the first round of April's draft and signed veteran running back Mark Ingram to add to Jackson's arsenal. Both moves have been instrumental through the first two weeks of the season. Brown is currently WR4 (12 Receptions, 233 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD,) heading into Week 3, and Ingram is flourishing as RB12 (154 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2 Receptions, 30 Receiving YDS).

The Chiefs dominance throughout the first two weeks of the season hasn't got as much acclaim. Mahomes and Co. dusted the Jaguars in the season opener and unfortunately lost star receiver Tyreek Hill for a few weeks with a shoulder injury. Sammy Watkins then took advantage of the increased workload and put in the best performance of his career (198 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD). In Week two against the Raiders, Mahomes shredded the Raiders for four touchdowns. 

When these two teams matched up in 2018, Mahomes threw for 377 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, while Jackson threw for 147 yards, two touchdowns, and rushed for 67 yards.

I expect a similar outing for the Mahomes in Week 3, and presume Jackson's rushing total will be significantly less than in their last clash. Both quarterbacks will finish this week in the top-five of fantasy scoring, and we will witness the best game thus far of 2019.

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3