Covering LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds Basketball and Northeast Conference Hoops

Gameday Opponent Breakdown – Game 9 – Manhattan Jaspers

Opponent: Manhattan Jaspers

Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Record: 3-5; Last game: W vs Siena, 75-55

KenPom Rank/RPI: 187/268

Time: 4:00 PM

Location: Wellness Center (WRAC), Brooklyn, NY

TV/Web/Radio Coverage: NEC Front Row/Red Zone Media (LIU)

History between teams: 20th meeting. Teams last meet two seasons ago. LIU Brooklyn defeated Manhattan 91-80 at Manhattan. Manhattan leads the series 12-7.

Game Notes:

Manhattan: http://www.gojaspers.com/fls/12500/pdf/ManhattanMBBGameNotes-LongIsland121612Final.pdf?SPSID=52459&SPID=5439&DB_OEM_ID=12500
LIU Brooklyn: http://www.liuathletics.com/documents/2012/12/14/MBB_Game_Notes_-_Manhattan.pdf?id=531

Who to watch for on Manhattan:

#31 Michael Alvarado - 6’2″ – G – Jr. – 11.4 ppg/2.6 rpg/40.0 FG%/83.7 FT% – Scored season-high 19 pts vs Marist, scored  10 pts vs Siena in last game
#5 Rhamel Brown - 6’7″ – F – Jr. – 10.3 ppg/6.1 rpg/59.0 FG%/35.7 FT% – Scored career-high 21 pts vs Siena in last game
#24 George Beamon – 6’4″ – G – Sr. – 13.4 ppg/5.0 rpg/45.8 FG%/76.9 FT% – Scored a season-high 29 pts vs Hofstra, Has missed team’s last two games due to injury – status questionable for game vs LIU Brooklyn

Matchups to watch:

Rhamel Brown vs Jamal Olasewere – This could be THE best matchup to watch if these two forwards end up guarding one another. Both can score. Both can rebound. Both can also get themselves into foul trouble. Both guys are sort of Jekyll and Hydes so you may never know what you will get out of each from game to game. The one who comes out with a better game should see their team win.

Outlook:

Going into this game, the question is will each team have their go-to player out on the floor? Will George Beamon for Manhattan and Julian Boyd for LIU Brooklyn be able to go for their team in this afternoon’s tilt? Beamon for the Jaspers’ has missed the last two games due to injury. He has missed three of team’s first eight games. Even with that, Beamon is still the Jaspers’ leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. In his absence, Rhamel Brown and Michael Alvarado has taken up some of the scoring slack. Brown scored 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting in Manhattan’s win over Siena while Alvarado had 19 points in their loss to Marist. If Beamon can’t go, look for these two guys to get a lot of looks at the basket.

Julian Boyd’s status for this game is up in the air after he sustained a knee injury in LIU Brooklyn’s last game versus Rice on Saturday. Boyd suffered the injury with about nine minutes to play in the game as he was wrestling with a Rice player chasing down a loose ball that was heading into the Rice backcourt at around mid-court. Boyd appeared to go down hard and immediately grabbed for his knee and was down for quite awhile while the trainer attended to him. He later appeared on the bench with a bag of ice over his right knee. Boyd tweeted he was going to get a MRI on the knee on Friday to find out the extent of the injury to the knee. LIU Brooklyn has yet to provide an official update Boyd’s status.

If Boyd is unable to go and I don’t expect him to play in this game, LIU will lean more on Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner to carry the Blackbirds’ offense. Olasewere can’t afford to get himself into early foul trouble or losing his cool at any point. LIU will need to play as many minutes as possible. Same goes for C.J. Garner. Both players will need to play with poise and discipline in the absence of Boyd in the lineup. LIU will also need more scoring punch from Jason Brickman who is capable when he sets his mind to scoring as well as dishing the ball.

Manhattan is coming in with a conference win over Siena last weekend. The question for the Jaspers is, will senior guard and team’s leading scorer George Beamon play? He has missed the last two games for the Jaspers due to injury. He has missed three of team’s first eight games. Even with that, Beamon is still the Jaspers’ leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. In his absence, Rhamel Brown and Michael Alvarado has taken up some of the scoring slack. Brown scored 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting in Manhattan’s win over Siena while Alvarado had 19 points in their loss to Marist. If Beamon can’t go, look for these two guys to get a lot of looks at the basket.

Manhattan overall is shooting just over 40% as a team with an effective field goal percentage of just 46%. The Jaspers’ are scoring 0.862 points per possession while giving up 0.957 points per possession. The Jaspers’ are averaging 59.2 points per game which puts them 8th amongst MAAC teams. They do force teams to turn the ball over. They are forcing teams to 16.2 turnovers per game.

LIU Brooklyn has reverted back to giving up points on defense. In the last two games, they are allowing teams to score 1.070 points per possession and have allowed teams to shot 53.5% from the field.  They will need to get back to having much better defensive approach against Manhattan who is a team who is having their issues offensively. LIU will need to find out how they are going to play with Boyd in the lineup. LIU can’t afford to fall behind big in this one if they don’t have Julian Boyd around to bail them out from a deep hole on the offensive end. They are going to need to play smart on both ends of the floor.

Ken Pomeroy’s Game Projection:

Ken Pomeroy on his website has LIU beating Manhattan by a projected score of 81-75 with a 70% probability for an LIU Brooklyn win.

Up Next:

The Blackbirds return back on the road as they head to Jersey City, NJ to take on their 2nd straight MAAC opponent in the St. Peter’s Peacocks on Wednesday, December 19. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7pm.

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