Towson's Boyd could be out for year

November 27, 1991|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Evening Sun Staff Don Markus of The Baltimore Sun's sports staff also contributed to this article.

Devin Boyd, one of the most honored players in Towson State basketball history, might have to wait until 1993 to become the Tigers' all-time leading scorer.

A senior guard out of Walbrook High who was the East Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1990-91, Boyd suffered a fracture in his right elbow in the Tigers' season-opener at Colorado Monday. Dr. Ken Gertsen, the Towson State team physician, was to perform surgery on Boyd today at St. Joseph's Hospital, and he is expected to miss from six to eight weeks.

With a normal recovery and no conditioning, the earliest Boyd could return would be a Jan. 8 game at George Mason. Boyd, who guided Towson State to two straight ECC titles and berths in the NCAA tournament, said he isn't sure if he'll return to play this season, or sit out the rest of the year, apply for a medical hardship and come back for the 1992-93 season.

"I really want to play this season," Boyd said last night. "It's fun playing with these guys, and I know we have a team that can do a lot. But I have to be realistic about my situation. If it takes a half-season, or three-quarters, for me to get back in playing shape, then we've got to consider other options.

"I'm going to sit back and rest for a few days. Next week I'll sit down and talk to Coach [Terry] Truax, Coach [Jim] Meil and Coach [Mike] Hunt, and see what's best for my career. I'm not sure what I'm going to do."

The injury occurred with 11:41 remaining in a 93-83 season-opening loss in Boulder. The Tigers were down by four points when Boyd and Colorado's Billy Law were fighting for a loose ball. Another Buffalo player, Donny Boyce, came over to help out Law and fell on Boyd's elbow.

"I knew it was broken as soon as it happened," Boyd said. "I'm in a lot of pain. This is definitely not the way to start a season."

Despite missing the final 11 minutes, Boyd finished with a game-high 29 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field. That raised his career scoring total to 1,378 points, and he would have to average 15.7 points over another 29 games to surpass Pat McKinley as the Tigers' all-time scorer. McKinley scored 1,832 points from 1973-77.

Boyd was already closing in on Towson State's career assist record. The two he had at Colorado gave him 358 as a Tiger, and the school record is 366, set by Bill Leonard, in 1983-87.

An All-Metro choice at Walbrook High, Boyd was more of a traditional point guard in his first two seasons with the Tigers, when their big gun was shooting guard Kurk Lee. Boyd was the ECC Rookie of the Year in 1988-89, and as a sophomore he was the only non-senior starter on a team that nearly upset Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament.

Last season, Boyd took on a bigger scoring load, averaging an ECC-leading 20.7 points while making a solid 44.5 percent of his shots. Besides being named ECC Player of the Year, he received honorable mention All-America honors from several publications.

A hard-nosed player whose forte is taking the ball to the basket, Boyd already has the Tigers' record for free throws attempted in a season and a career.

A mass communications major, Boyd said last week that he would need nine credits after the spring semester to get his undergraduate degree. If professional basketball opportunities don't arise next summer, he plans to be back at Towson State next fall.

Another reason Boyd might decide to sit out this season is Towson State's conference situation. The ECC champion does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament this year. And next season, Towson State hopes to be in another conference -- possibly the Northeast or Big South -- which has an automatic bid.

With Boyd sidelined, freshman Terrance Alexander took up the slack at Colorado. The Evening Sun Player of the Year for Dunbar last season, Alexander scored 14 of his 15 points in the last 10 minutes, tying the game at 61 with 8:56 to play. Alexander's first collegiate start could come Saturday at North Carolina.

"I thought our team did a very good job of regrouping after Devin went out," Truax said. "We've been fortunate with injuries the last three years, but this came at an unfortunate time. If anyone can come back and play this year, it's Devin."

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