Now that the 2012-13 season LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball is complete, time to naturally take a first glance at what to expect from the Blackbirds in 2013-14.
Let’s take a guess at what the LIU starting lineup will look like. At this moment, the only player we can set in stone that will be in the starting five come November is point guard Jason Brickman. If the NCAA grants Julian Boyd his sixth year of eligibility after tearing up his knee this past season, he will be the other lock in the LIU starting five for head coach Jack Perri. I also expect E.J. Reed to move into the starting lineup to take over Jamal Olasewere’s spot at the 4 position. Reed will have to work on getting himself stronger this summer so he can take the banging down low and on the boards.
The other two starting spots are a little more unsure. Right now, it looks like the 2 position will be going to Gerrell Martin who I think still needs to work on his ball handling over the summer especially if he going to be playing a lot more minutes next season. I have to think Troy Joseph has the inside track at the 3 position. I think with an expanded role next season, you going to really see how good Joseph will be. This season we all to got to see glimpses in his limited playing time off the bench. He is the player I see major potential in going into next season. He has shown he can shoot, rebound and play solid defense.
After the potential starting five, there is a big question mark in terms who will be in Perri’s second team off the bench? There won’t be much in terms of Division I experience coming off the bench next season. Only two returnees with experience are two guys who were at the end of the bench this season in sophomore Khalil Murphy and freshman D.J. Griggs.
Murphy could see a little more playing time next season if he dedicates himself to get into even better shape and continue working on his inside game, rebounding and his free throw shooting. Murphy shot 50% from inside the arc but was 0 for 9 from outside the arc. Griggs is penciled in to be the backup point guard again next season. I think if he works on his shooting and his handle over the summer, he could have a legit chance at getting plenty of playing time as not only a backup point but a player who can play at the combo guard spot like C.J. Garner played the last three years. Question will be is it possible for him to play a similar style to that of Garner’s? That might be difficult to replicate so I honestly don’t know. We shall see.
Then we have the newcomers. Incoming freshman Nura Zanna has the potential of having the biggest impact of all the newcomers. Look for Zanna to get plenty of minutes spelling both Julian Boyd and E.J. Reed. Zanna was just recently named Florida’s Boys Class 5A-4A-3A-2A Player of the Year. Zanna averaged 19 ppg and 10 rpg this season in getting his team to finish runner-up in the Class 3A State Championships this season.
Gilbert Parga, who had to sit out this past season after transferring from Iona last summer, will likely look to get minutes at either the 2 or 3 position off the bench. Parga was a 50% shooter his sophomore year at Citrus College in California and knocked down nearly 45% of his three point attempts. It will be interesting to see if his game carries over to the Division I level. I think he is going to be counted on to be a contributor off the bench.
Chris Carter, who signed on during the early signing period, will be competing with Khalil Murphy for playing time at 4 or 5 spot. Carter scored 11.2 ppg this season for Wake Tech Community College and made close to 50% of his field goals. He will occasionally shot a three and he was a 35% shooter from three in 28 attempts this season. My guess is that he will get his minutes spelling Reed off the bench at the 4 spot.
Kedar Edwards, who was ineligible to play his freshman year this season by the NCAA due to academics, has been working all year on his studies and is hoping to make the grades to become eligible to play next season. Jahmal Lane who verbally committed to LIU during the early signing period but has yet to sign a National Letter of Intent and can’t sign until the regular signing period begins in mid-April at the earliest.
At the moment, LIU has three open scholarship remaining for 2013-14. If Edwards can get himself academically eligible, one will likely go to him. The other is penciled for Lane. That leaves one scholarship to give and who will get it is anyone’s guess at this time. LIU has a few offers still out there to multiple recruits.
In terms of scheduling next season, the only games that are a certainty are LIU playing at Manhattan with St. Peter’s and Lamar playing at LIU in return games of the home and home series with these teams. Also, the NEC is moving ahead with their plan to play a 16-game unbalanced NEC schedule even though there will be ten teams in the NEC next season. That means LIU and every NEC school has to schedule two more non-conference games and will play two NEC teams just once during the season. I’ll be monitoring LIU Brooklyn scheduling as well as scheduling of the other NEC teams during the off-season.
(Editor’s Note: I would like to issue an apology to LIU’s Gilbert Parga for consistently misspelling his last name on the blog. I kept mixing up the first a and r of his last name. I was just recently made aware of my error and I have since corrected all the misspellings that had appeared on the blog and will have it spelled correctly going forward.)