The good news is, after a few close games (including a squeaker against lowly Hofstra), the Long Island Blackbirds notched their second consecutive blowout victory tonight. They followed up a 97-70 domination of Rice with a 75-48 crushing over local rival Manhattan (playing their fifth game without stud swingman George Beamon).
As great as that is for the Birds, they learned that the injury that guard Julian Boyd suffered in the win over Rice turns out to be a torn ACL that will end his season. Boyd should be able to earn a medical hardship waiver as he will finish the season just under the 30 percent of games played he would have to clear in order to meet the threshold, but what about this season?
Ben will take a closer look at things later, but for now keep an eye on fellow senior Brandon Thompson. So far this season Thompson was averaging 25 minutes per game, but rarely saw more than a half-dozen shots per game and had averaged that many points per game prior to the matchup with Hofstra (in large part due to a wretched 29 percent effort from the field and from 3-point range).
Starting with that close call against the Pride, Thompson is averaging 17 ppg in the last three, including 23 tonight against the Jaspers. I'm not sure he can match the 11-for-17 he has shot from behind the arc the last two nights, but if he can avoid the "miss almost everything he takes" approach that was plaguing him until recently, it can go a long way to replacing the 18 points and 6 rebounds per game that LIU was getting from Boyd. We'll find out Friday night against St. Peter's.