Barclays Center Classic - Morehead State v LIU Brooklyn

LIU Brooklyn loses reigning NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd due to torn ACL

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The 2012-13 season was expected to be a special one for LIU Brooklyn as the Blackbirds welcomed back many of the players who played a role in the program winning consecutive NEC titles.

Even with Jim Ferry moving on to take over at Duquesne, the presences of players such as forwards Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere and guards Jason Brickman and C.J. Garner was seen as enough to make sure LIU remained in its perch atop the NEC.

However those hopes have taken a significant hit, as it was reported by Nelson Castillo of Blackbirds Hoops Journal that Boyd would miss the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. Boyd suffered the injury diving for a loose ball in LIU’s 97-70 win at Rice on Wednesday night.

This is the latest turn in a college career that began with Boyd earning NEC Rookie of the Year honors following the 2008-09 season, only to see his entire 2009-10 season end before it began due to a heart ailment. Boyd would bounce back to earn First Team All-NEC honors in the next two years, winning NEC Player of the Year last season.

2012-13 didn’t get off to the best start as Boyd was one of four players suspended for the Blackbirds’ first two conference games due to their involvement in an on-campus brawl, and LIU dropped their first four games before beginning their current four-game win streak.

In eight games Boyd averaged 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and the hope is that he will be eligible to receive a medical hardship waiver. Per NCAA rules you cannot play in more than 30% of your team’s games in order to be eligible for a waiver, and with 30 games (not counting the NEC tournament or postseason play) on the Blackbirds’ schedule Boyd falls below that threshold.

With Boyd out of the lineup head coach Jack Perri will rely even more on Jamal Olasewere (19.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg), who tallied 26 points and eight rebounds in the win at Rice. With Boyd done for the year and Kenny Onyechi just returning from a broken foot that sidelined him for the first six games, players such as E.J. Reed and Booker Hucks will be asked to do more as well.

Does Boyd’s injury rule out a third straight title for LIU? No, but it certainly makes the road to that crown much tougher to navigate.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.