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Kane injury may benefit Boykins

MU basketball
Dec. 10, 2012 @ 11:47 PM

HUNTINGTON -- DeVince Boykins hardly played at all for the Marshall University men's basketball team before last weekend.

Now, he might be playing a lot more.

Dre Kane walked into practice Monday with a cast on his right hand and will be out of action indefinitely because of an unspecified injury. Kane, a 6-foot-4 junior, is Marshall's leading scorer (15.0 per game), is ranked third in the nation in assists (8.5) and plays more minutes (38.2 a game) than anyone in Conference USA.

No timetable for the all-conference guard's return was given.

Boykins, a 6-4 redshirt freshman, gained some valuable experience last weekend, playing for 11 important minutes when Marshall (6-4) defeated Coppin State (1-8), 69-63, in Cam Henderson Center.

His minutes could increase Saturday when Marshall plays No. 11 Cincinnati (9-0) at 2 p.m. in the Charleston Civic Center.

Marshall redshirted Boykins in 2011-12 and he missed the first seven games of this season recovering from a right knee injury. After months of rehabilitation, he joined the team for practice Nov. 14. Seven games later he was on the court for two minutes against UNC Wilmington, then played for one minute against West Virginia.

Then came last weekend when Boykins and true freshman guard Tamron Manning played for 11 and 12 minutes, respectively.

"It was rough being hurt and knowing I was eligible to play this year," Boykins said. "The biggest thing was making sure I was in game shape."

Boykins had three points, three rebounds, one assist, one assist and one turnover in the longest stint of his career.

His contributions were most noticeable when Marshall went with some trapping, full-court pressure defense that derailed Coppin State's upset bid.

Marshall assistant coach Mark Cline recruited Boykins out of East Rutherford High School in North Carolina as an all-around performer who averaged 17 points, 13 rebounds and four assists as a senior for the 2011 Class 2A state champions.

His approach hasn't changed.

"I'm looking to score when I go in, but I'm mostly looking to do whatever needed to win," Boykins said.

Marshall fall semester classes end Tuesday, Wednesday is a study day and final exams are Thursday through Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Boykins has four finals to take in addition to practices and a game. Most of his studying gets done during evening sessions with tutors, he said.

"Other than that, it's pretty much all basketball," he said.

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