If you are a fan of the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, there are many things to look forward to this upcoming season. Obviously, there is that little thing called a “four-peat” but also there are opportunities for two LIU players to put their stamp on several school and conference records. There is also a slight possibility of even one major NCAA record for one of these fine players.
Obviously, the two players that I’m speaking of are the two seniors on this LIU men’s basketball roster going into the 2013-14 college basketball season, point guard Jason Brickman and forward Julian Boyd. Both are two of the three remaining returnees who have won NEC championship rings the past three seasons (Troy Joseph is the third). Not only are these guys set out to end their careers going four for four, they can also do it while breaking several records along the way.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what extraordinary accomplishments each player can achieve come next March as their great college careers comes to a close after the end of this upcoming season.
Let’s start with LIU’s point guard Jason Brickman. Brickman has had a great first three seasons at LIU Brooklyn. Not only is he the only NEC player ever to win three conference championships in his first three seasons*, he has come in and taken down several assists records along the way. In his first 101 career games, he already owns a long list of LIU/NEC/NCAA assist records. He holds the following assists record (LIU-LIU record, NEC-NEC record, NCAA-NCAA record):
- Career Assists: 719 (LIU)
- Assists in a season: 290 (LIU & NEC)
- Highest one-season assists per game average: 8.5 (LIU)
- Single-season assists for a freshman: 180 (NEC)
- Single-season assists for a sophomore: 249 (NEC)
- Single-season assists for a junior: 290 (NEC)
- Most assists in an NEC tournament game: 12 (vs Sacred Heart 3/1/12) (NEC)
- First player ever to lead the NEC in assists three year in a row
- If career ended today, would own record for career assist per game: 7.1 (LIU)
- Lowest assist-to-turnover ratio by a freshman: 2.81 (NCAA)
Other great Brickman stats:
- Has handed 10 or more assists in a game 22 times in his career.
- 10 career double-doubles (points/assists). Five in each of the last two seasons.
- Career-high 16 assists in a game vs Quinnipiac on 2/18/12 was one assist short of tying Antawn Dobie’s LIU record 17 assists for assists in a game.
It goes without saying that Brickman has already made an indelible mark in his college hoops career. So what does Brickman have left to accomplish in his senior year? Well lucky for us, plenty.
This upcoming season he will be attempting to make a play for some lofty NEC records and quite possibly reach the annals of the NCAA record book. Brickman is currently second all-time in assists in the NEC with his 719 career assists. He is 86 assists shy of breaking a 25-year old NEC career assist record (804 assists) currently held by Drafton Davis who played for Marist when they were a member of the NEC. If you go by some of his career assist numbers, that would mean he could possible break the record sometime in between LIU’s tenth and twelfth game which would be towards the latter end of LIU’s non-conference schedule. After he reaches this NEC record, the final conference record he can get is one for most assist by a senior to go with his freshman, sophomore and junior year records. The NEC senior-year assist record is 260 currently held by Andre Van Drost of Wagner who did this back in 1987.
Once Brickman reaches these lofty goals, he can set his sights at a mark few have seen. He can become just the fourth player in NCAA men’s basketball history to reach 1000 career assists. He would need to 281 assists to reach the magical 1000. It won’t be easy. He will likely need another deep run by LIU in the NEC tournament to get there if he averages around the same number of assists he did last season. In fact, LIU might likely need to get to the NEC championship game for it to happen.
If by some reason he absolutely tears it up assist-wise and gets to 1000 with a few games to spear, he could have a chance to break Duke’s Bobby Hurley all-time career assists record of 1076. He would need to have 358 assists or 11.9 assist per game in a 30-game regular season (10.5 ast/gm if plays into the NEC Championship game and at least one postseason game). Realistically, this is probably be too far-fetched for him to reach. The magic 1000 mark may just have to due which would be incredible in itself. But imagine if an LIU Brooklyn Blackbird broke an all-time Duke Blue Devil NCAA record. Oh man, I would personally LOVE to see it happen!
Now we move from one record book destroyer in the assist department to someone who has the chance to do the same amount of damage to the LIU and NEC record book in the scoring and rebounding departments in sixth-year senior Julian Boyd.
Boyd is already a 2011-12 NEC Player of the Year and was 2012-13 preseason NEC Player of the Year in many people’s minds before his unfortunate ACL injury derailed his season in December after only eight games played. He will be back this November and he has an opportunity to become a record holder in several scoring and rebounding categories.
Boyd currently has 1467 career points and 843 career rebounds in 104 career games. If Boyd can return to the level of play he had pre-ACL injury, which is a definite “if” considering he is coming back from a major knee injury, let’s take a look at what is at his grasp.
First off, let’s focus on the scoring records. Boyd needs 133 points this season to reach 1600 points. You may wonder why I would focus on 1600 points. Well, if Boyd gets to 1600 points and collects 1000 rebounds, he would be the first NEC player ever to reach those plateau in respective categories. Just 33 points would make him the second ever NEC player to have 1500 points and 1000 rebounds along with Quinnipiac’s Justin Rutty.
The record though people will be focused on is his pursuit of Jamal Olasewere’s new LIU all-time scoring record which is at 1871 points. Boyd would need 405 points to overtake his former teammate. He passed that scoring total in both of last two full seasons (430 in 10-11, 573 in 11-12). Another Olasewere record that Boyd can snatch away is the LIU all-time games played record. Olasewere’s new record currently stands at 130. Boyd just need to play in 27 games this season to own this record as well. If he scores 533 points this season, he becomes just the fifth player in NEC history to reach 2000 career points.
Now let’s look at the rebounding records that within his reach. Boyd needs 157 rebounds to hit the magical 1000 rebounds mark, becoming the second Blackbird ever to reach that plateau. He then needs another 14 rebounds to become LIU’s all-time leading rebounder which is currently held by Carey Scurry and his 1013 career rebounds. He would then need just another 19 rebounds to become the NEC all-time leading rebounder and break Quinnipiac’s Justin Rutty two-year old career rebounding mark of 1032. Considering in his last two full seasons, he recorded 295 and 308 rebounds respectively, getting these records should be a lock IF he stays healthy AND can be the Julian Boyd we are all accustomed to.
If he comes all the way back health-wise like LIU fans are hoping for, then he has an opportunity to become just the third LIU player to win two NEC Player of the Year awards (Carey Scurry & Charles Jones). If this were to happen, it would be the first time ever that one school would have three straight NEC Player of the Year award winners.
Obviously, the main goal for this year’s squad will be to continue their current NEC record and win their fourth consecutive NEC tournament title but these two extraordinary LIU players can rewrite the various record books in the process. It only makes for more things to watch out for come this November.
* Note: Technically, Troy Joseph also won three championship rings in his first three years with the LIU program but he obviously only got the opportunity to participate this past season after getting a redshirt his first season and not playing due to injury in his second season. Brickman is a true 3 for 3, playing in all three seasons.