BLACKBIRDS SOAR

The Northeast Champions 2012 LIU Blacksbirds.
Photo by Lem Peterkin

Honors, including some major ones, have been piling up for Long Island University’s center-forward Julian Boyd during his three year varsity career. With one more year left to go in his four year career, Boyd could be headed in the right direction on the next level.

Boyd began his college basketball days as a freshman when he was named Northeast College Conference Rookie-of-the-Year for 2008-2009. After sitting out the following year with heart problems, he came back all recovered for his sophomore season and saw no affects as he started all 33 games, scored and rebounded very well.

Last November he was named Pre-season Player of the year in the circuit by the member coaches and committee. He lived up to his expectations by being named Most Valuable Player of the regular season in the league as a junior and in addition he was a member of the all-league team. He paced the Blackbirds of downtown Brooklyn to the regular season championship and a top seeded position in the league’s post season tournament. With three victories in the playoff tourney, including a 90-73 victory over Robert Morris, at the Wellness Center, the Blackbirds won the whole thing and received an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. A capacity crowd of about 17,000 spectators turned out for the three games.

Coach Jim Ferry went with practically same starters all during the campaign and had a three guard offense of sophomore Jason Brickman, and junior C.J. Garner and senior Michael Culpo , Jamal Olasewere at forward and 6-7 Boyd at either forward or center.

All five players were on the same page throughout the season and started almost every game. There are only two seniors on the roster. This means that almost every player returns in tact for 2012-2013 season.

“We had the same line-up in every game,” said Boyd, who has a tremendous inside-outside game which has been working well all season long.

Brickman is a fantastic point guard, one of the best around. Olasewere is a very physical front court player who looked exceptional at times. The duo plus Boyd has a three deal of potential for the future.

Every body is high on Brickman.

“Having a point guard like Jason is amazing,” said Jamal. “He makes the team go. He knows how to push the ball ‘out.’”

“We are lucky to have a point guard like him leading us,” Ferry added.

They got the home court advantage for all three tournament games because of the final standings which gave them an advantage in the playoffs.

These players gave the team the needed confidence throughout the season that was truly needed especially over the last eight weeks. The team members made some tough plays during their wins and victory streak. They played very well.

Using the same line-up for every game certainly paid off in the long run., as they captured 10 of their last 11 encounters starting February 2 games going into the championship game of the Northeast Conference tournament playoff contest that gave the winning the team a spot in the prestigious tourney, a dream that any team wants to achieve.

“It was always good to win; nobody wants to lose,” said Boyd, after the game that put them into the prestigious tourney.. “Coach Ferry doesn’t call the plays all the time. He knows what we could do. He lets us do it.”

Overall, the Blackbirds turn in a tremendous year.

“After we started out 0-3, people thought that we were done,” Ferry went on. “We knew that we weren’t and found our weaknesses early (in the season). We got better from that point.”

The players all agreed that Ferry has been a terrific coach as the Blackbirds turned in one of their best teams record wise in many years. Some of the starters are capable of going to the next level.

LIU 42 Julian Boyd who scored two of his game-high 21 points, 10 rebounds, was named MVP.
Photo by Lem Peterkin

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