With the additions of Jamil Hood Jr. during the regular signing period and then the reports of Hofstra’s Jordan Allen transferring to LIU Brooklyn, the Blackbirds had a surplus of players on their roster and just not enough scholarships to accommodate them all. Well, it looks like the transfer news that Blackbirds fans have been waiting to hear about has finally come to pass as reports and tweets have come out over the last 24 hours.
Brad Keith of the Stephenville Empire-Tribune first reported on Friday that junior forward E.J. Reed will be transferring from the LIU Brooklyn program and will be heading to Tarleton State University, a Division II school in Stephenville, Texas.
The news comes as somewhat of a surprise since Reed was LIU’s leading scorer this past season at 12.3 ppg and started in all 29 games for the Blackbirds. In his freshman season, he was widely considered as the runner-up for NEC Rookie of the Year award which went to Mount St. Mary’s Shivaughn Wiggins who ironically also ended up transferring after the season.
Reed played in 63 games for LIU Brooklyn and started in 31 games for Jack Perri. His scoring numbers improved this past season as he went from scoring 7.7 ppg his freshman season to 12.3 ppg last season. His shooting numbers though decreased last season from 50.6% from the field his freshman year to 44% last season. His three-point shooting also went down from 38.9% two years ago to 24.1% last season.
After his rather surprising freshman season, expectations had risen for Reed and it was the hope of many that he would be the next big star forward at LIU Brooklyn following the graduation of Jamal Olasewere and playing along side Julian Boyd in the front court. After Boyd went down once again last summer, more of the focus was put on Reed to be more of a scorer and leader on this transitioning LIU Brooklyn team.
Although Reed scoring numbers was respectable, he was constantly in foul trouble, seemingly all season long. He fouled out of eight games this past season and finished with 101 fouls which led LIU Brooklyn and was fourth in the NEC. He also had the knack of committing the bad foul at bad times in games. It just didn’t seem like he made the sort of improvement a lot of people were hoping he would make.
Reed had no shortage of athletisicm and talent during his two seasons at LIU. He put some great highlight dunks and plays in his two seasons in Downtown Brooklyn. The best for me was this one this past season against Indiana at Assembly Hall in LIU’s near upset of the Hoosiers back in November. (Highlight is from 2:06 to 2:11)
Also, the second player leaving LIU Brooklyn is backup junior point guard D.J. Griggs. Verbal Commits on Twitter tweeted the following on Saturday afternoon:
Former LIU-Brooklyn G D.J. Griggs is transferring to Pace (DII). verbalcommits.com/players/d-j-gr…—
Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) June 07, 2014
He was the third point guard on the depth chart in his freshman season behind Jason Brickman and C.J. Garner. He played in only 21 games with one start while scoring 1.2 ppg in 7.5 mpg. Griggs got his only start his freshman year while Garner was out serving a two-game NEC suspension in January of 2013.
Last season, Griggs played in 23 games, all coming off the bench. He showed flashes of good play during parts of this past season. Three times he scored over 10 ppg with his best game as a Blackbird coming in a loss at Wagner where he scored 12 points in 24 minutes.
Griggs towards the end of the season had lost his spot to freshman guard Iverson Fleming who was getting the playing time at the backup point guard position and guard Joel Hernandez was getting more playing time as well. Griggs didn’t play in the team’s final six games of the season. The writing was pretty much on the wall for Griggs.
Too many times Griggs would try to go up against the big boys inside and would consistently get blocked or create a turnover. He also would force too many bad shots from deep, not in the flow of the offense. He had more turnovers (20) than assists (19) in his two seasons at LIU.
With the departure of Reed and Griggs, there are no remaining members of the 2012 freshman class. The third member, Taurean Prince, never played a game at LIU and transferred to Baylor prior to the 2012-13 season after former LIU head coach Jim Ferry left to take the head coaching job at Duquesne.
These moves now leaves LIU with 14 players: Guards – Gerrell Martin (Sr.), Gilbert Parga (R-Sr.), Troy Joseph (R-Sr.), Iverson Fleming (So.), Joel Hernandez (So.), Elvar Fridriksson (Fr.), Trevin Woods (Fr.), Trevon Woods (Fr.), Jamil Hood Jr. (Fr.); Forwards – Landon Atterberry (Sr.), Chris Carter (Sr.), Jordan Allen (R-Jr.), Glenn Feidanga (So.), Nura Zanna (R-Fr.).
The Jordan Allen transfer has yet to be made official so, for now, LIU officially has 13 players on the roster for next season although word on if Troy Joseph will be medically cleared to play his senior season is still unknown. So the moves are not over yet for the Blackbirds but now there is more clarity to next season’s LIU Brooklyn roster.