The break turned out to be a good one.
As a result, Devin Boyd has returned for his "second" senior season and will co-captain Towson State's foray into Big South Conference basketball.
"Maybe it's better for me that I did break my elbow, both athletically and academically," Boyd said yesterday at the Tigers' media day. "I've only got one class after this semester to graduate in May, and more basketball to play."
Boyd was injured with 11:41 remaining in the season opener at Colorado after scoring 29 points in 25 minutes. He was the reigning East Coast Conference Player of the Year and he and then-freshman Terrance Alexander in the backcourt made Towson a threat to repeat.
The Tigers won their third straight title in the lame-duck league anyway, and Boyd now has a new chance to return to the NCAA tournament, with the Big South champion automatically qualifying.
The lack of such a bid in the ECC influenced Boyd's decision to redshirt for the 1991-92 season.
"Last year's team didn't have the alternative for an NCAA bid," said Towson coach Terry Truax. "If we had been in position to get one, Devin could have returned in mid- or late February. We were looking at at least six weeks in a cast and no bid. It was a good decision."
While watching from the bench, Boyd said he "picked up little things you don't see when you're playing, especially how to avoid turnovers in big games." He said he hopes to apply that knowledge to the Big South. "We can sneak up on that league," he said. "I'm glad we didn't play many teams from that conference."
Boyd's return also means Alexander can shift to his natural position, shooting guard, after being forced to play the point much of 1991-92.
"I learned you have a lot more responsibility at the point," said Alexander, a Dunbar alum. "I'll be back to where I've played all my life. That's OK with me."
Meanwhile, Boyd, from Walbrook High, will become the school's all-time assists leader -- he needs only 10 -- and will take a shot at the Towson all-time scoring record held by Pat McKinley. Boyd is 455 points behind and, barring another injury, should be challenging the record just about tournament time.
Boyd, 6 feet 2, always has carried his weight for the Tigers. But at the moment, Truax is not happy with the weight he is carrying.
"The year off helped Devin with his shooting and the use of his left hand, but he is heavier than I'd like him to be," said Truax. "He was over 200 and I'd like him to be lighter. But I think that will take care of itself."
"Yeah, I picked up a couple extra pounds during the summer," said Boyd. "But that didn't mess up my game. I can still run up and down the court."
The extra poundage will probably go quickly. Getting back in the groove is sure to follow.
"It was tough for me mentally not playing," he said. "I've never sat out a basketball season and I'm used to being in public with the spotlight on. I'm ready for that again."
But this time, no break.