Martin Hermannsson named to Iceland’s 12-man EuroBasket roster

Apparently for LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team, three is indeed the magic number in regards to international basketball.

On Wednesday, it was officially announced that LIU sophomore guard Martin Hermannsson, who has been spending this summer with the Icelandic senior national team, was named onto Iceland’s final twelve-man roster for next week’s 2015 FIBA European Championship aka EuroBasket which begins on Saturday, September 5 and continues through September 20th. The top two finalists automatically qualify for next summer Olympics basketball tournament in Brazil.

Hermannsson now becomes the third LIU player on the 2015-16 roster to participate in a FIBA tournament joining incoming freshman Julius van Sauers (played for Netherlands in 2015 FIBA U-19 European Championships) and junior Glenn Feidanga (currently playing for Central African Republic at the 2015 FIBA AfroBasket).

LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball twitter account (@LIUBasketball) commemorated the official news with a nice graphic.

Hermannsson has previous experience with the Icelandic national team as he played with them last summer in EuroBasket qualifications. He also has been on Iceland’s under-20 and under-18 teams in FIBA competitions.

Hermannsson, in his freshman season at LIU in 2014-15, started in all thirty games for the Blackbirds and finished second on the team in scoring (10.2 ppg) and assists (3.3 apg).

Iceland is playing in their first-ever FIBA EuroBasket after finishing second in their group during the final stage of qualifying last summer. Iceland will be the only one of the 24 teams who qualified for the 2015 EuroBasket to make their debut in the tournament.

Iceland is in group B of EuroBasket which will also include Turkey, Serbia, Italy, Germany, and likely group favorites Spain. Iceland will open up against Germany on September 5th. EuroBasket games can be seen online through livebasketball.tv with a paid subscription.

Congrats to Martin and we look forward to seeing him play for Iceland next week.

NEC First Look: LIU Brooklyn

This is the tenth and final installment of our NEC First Look series in which we take a early glance at all ten Northeast Conference men’s basketball teams for the 2015-16 college basketball season. Here are the other nine posts on CCSUBryantSt. Francis BrooklynSacred HeartSaint Francis U., Fairleigh DickinsonWagnerRobert Morris and Mount St. Mary’s.

Gone:

Gerrell Martin (G) – 11.2 ppg, 39.3% 3pt FG%, 82.7% FT%, All-NEC third team. 29 starts in 30 games played.
Landon Atterberry (F) – 7.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 16 starts in 27 games played.
Elvar Friðriksson (G) – 8.9 ppg, 3.8 apg, 36.2% FG%. Started all 30 games last season. Transferred to Barry (Division II)
Chris Carter (F) – 0.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg in 10 games played.
Jamil Hood Jr. (G) – 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg in 24 games played. Transferred to Dodge City CC (JUCO).
Jonathon Tshibuy (G/F) – Missed entire season with a knee injury in his only season at LIU. Transferred.

Additions:

Aakim Saintil (G) (Junior College Transfer)
Kwe Askew (F)
Julius van Sauers (F)
Raul Frias (G)
Ganlandou Cisse (F)
Mitchell McMullen (G) (walk-on)
Raiquan Clark (G) (walk-on)

Pluses:

LIU stayed relatively healthy last season when compared to the tough season health-wise they had the season before. Three players (all freshman) started all 30 games for LIU and seven players played in 29 of the 30 games. LIU has 60% of returning possession minutes back including two freshman starters. LIU doesn’t have a single senior on the roster this season so it can be said their window of opportunity to contend for an NEC championship once again begins in earnest this upcoming season.

One thing that improved last season was their overall defense which was one of the worst defenses in the nation the season prior. LIU actually led the NEC in defensively three-point field goal percentage allowed. Yet, there is still plenty of room for improvement on that end of the court.

LIU head coach Jack Perri with one of the youngest teams in the nation last season, gave his young guys the bulk of the playing time and that experience should helps translate into more cohesion amongst the returnees this season. Perri and his coaching staff also addressed the front court depth that was major issue two seasons ago and somewhat a problem early last season by adding three more forwards to go with emerging returnees Nura Zanna and Glenn Feidanga.

Minuses: 

One major question mark once again going into 2015-16 will be at the point guard position. LIU thought they had their point guard of the future in Elvar Friðriksson who started every game for LIU last season as a freshman but after the season he surprisedly decided to transfer to a Division II school and left Perri once again searching for another point guard. Friðriksson averaged nearly nine points and nearly four assists a game a year ago.

LIU loses their last player who was their final link to their NEC championship three-peat in Gerrell Martin. He led the Blackbirds in scoring with 11.2 ppg and shot over 39% from three last season. Also, Landon Atterberry is gone who started in 17 of 27 games last season and averaged 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds.

LIU will also need to do a better job at shooting the ball in general. LIU finished 330th in the nation on two-point field goals, making just 42.8% of those shots. Although they were 40th in the nation in tempo, they were just 305th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency. They will need to do a better job being more proficient on the offensive end.

Last season, LIU was just a .500 team (6-6) in games decided by five points or less. For such a young team last season, .500 actually isn’t terrible but if they are to take the next step up this upcoming season, they are going to have to be much better than .500 in close games.

Potential Starting 5:

Aakim Saintil (G) – Averaged 12.1 points and 5.3 assists last season in JUCO in starting 29 of 30 games for Williston State. Shot 48% from field and 39.2% from three last season. Averaged 6.3 points and 1.8 assists in 31 games in his freshman season at South Alabama.

Martin Hermansson (G) – Started all 30 games last season as a freshman. Finished second on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg) and assists (3.3 apg) and hit 86.4% of his free throws. Member of Iceland senior national team this summer.

Trevin Woods (G) – Came off the bench to play in 29 games last season. Averaged 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds. Shot 32.8% from three. Played about 15 minutes per game.

Jerome Frink (F) – Sat out last season after transferring in from Florida International. Averaged 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in his two seasons at FIU. 46.2% career FG shooter. Started 56 games in 63 appearances at FIU including all 31 games as a sophomore.

Nura Zanna (F) – Also started all 30 games as redshirt freshman last season. Finished fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) and led LIU in rebounding (6.3 rpg). Shot 47.4% as a freshman.

Early Outlook:

LIU Brooklyn could be a team back on the rise after missing on the NEC tournament two seasons and earning an eight-seed last season. The Blackbirds used last season as a rebuild and plenty of ups and downs amongst their young unit. Now with most of their players having at least a year of experience under their belts, LIU could be ready to make a move this season if everything clicks right and they can remain healthy throughout the season.

LIU also added five new scholarship players to the roster this season and with a team with no seniors on it, LIU will once again be relatively young again. Yet, they will be a more experienced team as a whole then they were last season when they had just one player with more than one season in the LIU program. This season, they will have four. Also, with a couple of starting positions available, competition in the preseason should be at a high.

Several LIU players are primed to have themselves possible breakout seasons and they include sophomores Trevin and Trevon Woods as well as junior Joel Hernandez. Three LIU guys that will likely garner a lot of the early attention will be sophomores Martin Hermannsson and Nura Zanna and redshirt junior Jerome Frink who many feel could be among the most impactful transfers in the NEC in 2015-16.

If Perri can get this Blackbirds team back to running more and putting points on the board at rate fans had grown accustomed to seeing while continuing the improvement they made last season on the defensive end, LIU could be very much be a sleeper team in the NEC this upcoming season.

The Blackbirds have yet to officially release their schedule but we do know that LIU will take on Loyola (MD) on the road (Nov. 16) followed by a home game versus Maine (Nov. 19). LIU will also face Fordham at Rose Hill Gym (Date TBA) and Florida International (Date TBA) on the road. LIU also host Incarnated Word (Dec. 21). LIU will also host the annual Battle of Brooklyn against St. Francis Brooklyn (Jan. 23).

Glenn Feidanga selected to play for Central African Republic in 2015 FIBA Afrobasket

#23 junior forward Glenn Feidanga is selected to Central African Republic 12-man final roster for the 2015 FIBA African Championships which begins this week. (Photo: Bob Dea/BHJ)

On Sunday, we got word that Jamal Olasewere was heading to the 2015 FIBA African Championships in Tunisia as part of the Nigerian senior national team. On Monday, it was announced that junior forward Glenn Feidanga has been selected onto the final roster for the Central African Republic who are also competing at the 2015 FIBA Afrobasket which starts on Wednesday.

Feidanga played in seventeen games last season after missing the first nine games due to an ankle injury. He went on to average 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 40% from the field. In 46 career games in his first two seasons at LIU Brooklyn, Feidanga is averaging 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 42.3% from the floor. [Read more…]

Jamal Olasewere selected to play for Nigeria in 2015 FIBA Afrobasket

LIU alum Jamal Olasewere has been selected to play for Nigeria in the upcoming 2015 FIBA African Championships. (Photo Credit: fiba.com)

It was only matter of time before it was officially announced but on Sunday we finally got the official word.

LIU Brooklyn’s all-time leading scorer Jamal Olasewere has once again been selected to play for the Nigerian senior national team which will compete in the 2015 FIBA African Championships (aka Afrobasket) in Tunisia which begins this Wednesday, August 19th and continues through August 30th. The winner of this tournament automatically qualifies for 2016 Summer Olympics basketball tournament in Brazil.

Olasewere will play in his second tournament for Nigeria. He played for Nigeria in the 2013 FIBA Afrobasket in which Nigeria finished seventh and failed to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championships. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn News and Notes

With the arrival of the dog days of summer and basketball activity picking up as we begin counting down the days towards the 2015-16 college basketball season, what better time to get caught up on some of LIU Brooklyn basketball happenings by bringing you all the first edition of the LIU Brooklyn News and Notes of the new season. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn adds another walk-on in Raiquan Clark

Raiquan Clark (#23) dunking in a game for Trinity-Pawling last season, will be joining LIU Brooklyn next season as a walk-on. (Photo: http://www.trinitypawling.org)

Blackbirds Hoops Journal has learned that LIU Brooklyn has added a second walk-on player to the men’s basketball team for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

6’4″ guard Raiquan Clark out of Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, NY where he prepped last season, will be joining the Blackbirds as a walk-on next season. [Read more…]

New LIU Brooklyn court update

About a month ago, I told you about the Steinberg Wellness Center getting a bit of a makeover for the new season with a new court floor.

Well, I figure I’ll update you on the progress courtesy of the folks inside both the men’s and women’s basketball programs who have using social media to keep us all aware of the progress. [Read more…]