Gameday Opponent Breakdown – Game 12 – Lamar Cardinals

Opponent: Lamar Cardinals

Conference: Southland

Record: 1-10; Last game: Loss at vs UT-Pan American, 75-70

KenPom Rank/RPI: 318/301

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: Montagne Center, Beaumont, TX

TV/Web/Radio Coverage: Web: Cardinals On Demand (Pay Subscription)/Radio: KLVI 560 AM (Lamar)

History between teams: 1st ever meeting. In fact, it is Lamar’s first ever meeting against any current NEC team.

Game Notes:

LIU Brooklyn: http://www.liuathletics.com/documents/2012/12/27/LIU_vs_Lamar_Game_Notes.pdf?id=538
Lamar: http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/lama/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2012-13/release/release_20121227aaa.pdf

Who to watch for on Lamar:

#10 Rhon Mitchell – 6’5″ – F – Fr. – 11.3 ppg/4.9 rpg/45.1 FG%/66.7 FT% – Scored career-high 21 pts vs Louisana-Lafayette, scored 6 pts vs UT-Pan American in last game
#22 Donley Minor – 6’1″ – G – Sr. – 10.1 ppg/3.1 rpg/40.0 FG%/75.0 FT% – Scored career & season-high 22 pts vs IUPUI, scored 15 pts vs UT-Pan American in last game
#35 Stan Brown – 6’8″ – F – Sr. – 9.4 ppg/6.3 rpg/50.0 FG%/65.6 FT% – Scored a career & season-high 14 pts twice vs Alabama & Purdue, scored 11 pts vs UT-Pan American in last game 

Matchups to watch:

Lamar’s Rhon Mitchell vs LIU Brooklyn’s Jamal Olasewere. The two will likely see a lot of each other in this game as they likely be guarding one another. Freshman vs Senior. Youth vs Experience. Olasewere has a 45 lbs. weight advantage and a two inch height advantage.

Outlook:

This game marks as Lamar’s home opener. Yes, on December 29, Lamar will finally play their first game of the season at home. Lamar has been on the road for the first eleven games with little success as they have gone 1-10 so far this season, their only win coming against IUPUI.

Lamar, who made the NCAA tournament last season with a senior-heavy team, is struggling with a bunch of new faces. Their leading scorer is Rhon Mitchell who is a freshman. At 6’5″, 180 lbs., has been handling his own on the inside for this Lamar team. He has a respectable 46.1 FG% from inside the three-point line and grabs nearly 5 rebounds a game. He has scored in double-digits in 7 of Lamar’s 11 games including 19 vs Baylor. Their other double-digit scorer is Donley Minor. He plays the most minutes on the Lamar team with 31.3 mpg. He is also the team leader in assists at 2.9 apg as well as their best three-point shooter at 35.5%.

Overall, Lamar shoots a 43.1 effective field goal percentage, ranked 323rd in the nation. They score .799 points per possession which is ranked 337 in the nation and they give up 1.066 points per possession, ranked 302. They don’t have many good team stats on either side of the court  but one good stat they have is they tend not to foul a lot as they commit 15.6 fouls per game, 53rd-best in the nation. Lamar only scores 57.3 points per game in 71.7 possessions a game and they give up 76.8 points per game. Indicative of stats you would find in a 1-10 team.

LIU Brooklyn comes in losers of two straight games, both ugly losses in different ways. This is the Blackbirds’ last chance before NEC play next week to figure some things out. LIU is 1-2 since the loss of Julian Boyd for the season to his ACL injury. Jamal Olasewere has stepped up his game, in particularly in the last two games, averaging 23 ppg in 29.5 mpg. The problem has become when Olasewere is not on the floor, the offense disappears. The starting backcourt of Jason Brickman, C.J. Garner and Brandon Thompson need to start to get it going and give Olasewere a hand in the offense. Brickman especially has been shut out in two of the last three games, more due to him not taking enough shots more than defenses shutting him down. Garner is 11 for 28 since Boyd went down, averaging 9.6 ppg. Thompson needs to rebound from the 0 for 4, 2 points performance he had vs Seton Hall.

Also, LIU’s bench has been struggling of late. They haven’t had a bench player shoot 50% or score double-digits since Booker Hucks’ 12 points, 4 for 6 performace vs Manhattan. The bench will need to start playing better starting with this game, since two of them will be starters for the next two games with the suspensions of Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner as well as reserve Troy Joseph coming up. The likely candidates are Gerrell Martin for Garner and E.J. Reed. or Booker Hucks for Olasewere. These guys need to have a good game vs Lamar before going into the next couple of games where a lot of pressure is going to be put on them to play at a very high level in order for LIU to have a chance to win. LIU will need to put the bad taste of the last two games behind them and try and end the non-conference season with a win that would put them back at .500 (6-6) which would equal the non-conference record they had last season.

Ken Pomeroy’s Game Projection:

Ken Pomeroy on his website has LIU Brooklyn beating Lamar by a projected score of 82-74 with a 74% probability of a LIU Brooklyn win.

Up Next:

The Blackbirds begin 2012-13 NEC conference season with a road game at Sacred Heart on Thursday, January 3. Tip is scheduled for 7pm.

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