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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 21, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

How the addition of Alexander affects the Redskins' DB depth chart—Adonis Alexander was brought into the NFL about a week and a half ago and in five days he’ll be on the practice field in Richmond. How much will missing OTAs and minicamp hurt him in comparison to, say, his former Hokie teammate Greg Stroman? I think that the plan is for this to be a “redshirt” year for Alexander to learn. But that was supposed to be the plan for Josh Harvey-Clemons and Chase Roullier last year and both ended up playing key snaps. 

Can the Redskins defensive line live up to its potential? Many NFL fans don’t appreciate the value of having a good defensive line. Redskins fans are not in that group because they have seen what you get when you try to build a defensive line with over-the-hill veteran free agents, low draft picks, and undrafted players. Fans will value the talent, youth, and depth on the 2018 D-line.  

10 Questions in 10 days: LB depth chart—This is another area where the Redskins have not invested much in recent seasons. At least this year they stepped up and re-signed starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown. They are the present. Are Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons the future? 

The pass rush must continue to be a strength for the Redskins—With the picture at the cornerback position is somewhat murky right now, the pass rush will be critical, especially in the early going. The outside linebackers lost a key reserve, putting the burden on Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan to continue to get pressure on Ryan Anderson to take a leap forward in his second season. 

Tweet of the week

Well, this tweet did sort of stir things up as did some of the things that Cousins said in an article by Dan Pompei on the Bleacher Report. The thing about Twitter is that there is no room for nuance. I was labeled a Kirk “hater” by some. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. On multiple occasions, I urged the team to sign him long term and highlighted the positive aspects of his play. 

But this thing about not having a “platform” to lead always struck me as a cop-out. Cousins talked about it during some press conferences while he was here. The length of your contract should not prevent you from embracing a leadership role. You’re getting paid to lead, just do it. Few in leadership positions in business or in the military know where they will be a year from now. They embrace the role while they have it and Cousins should have done the same. 

The fact that I don’t like this one aspect of Cousins doesn’t mean that I don’t like him overall. He’s a good quarterback and I think he will have success with the Vikings. I think that the price got to be too much for the Redskins and the decision to move on to Alex Smith was sound or at least the best they could do after it became apparent that he was not going to sign here. But it’s not all one or the other. It is possible to see the positive and negative of Cousins. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler


Mike Sellers, whose seven receiving touchdowns in 2005 were the most by a Redskins running back since the merger, was born on this date in 1975.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 5
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 19
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 42

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 50 days. 

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond.