The 2013-14 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds’ MBB Schedule: NEC Team-by-Team Opponent Breakdown

January 9, 2014 – at St. Francis Brooklyn (Pope Physical Ed. Center – Brooklyn Heights, NY; 7pm)
February 16, 2014 – ST. FRANCIS BROOKLYN (Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY; 2pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 12-18 (8-10 NEC)/8th
’12-13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 204/220

Outlook: Two seasons ago, St. Francis Brooklyn finished the NEC with a 12-6 record and looked like a team on the rise in the NEC. But last season, they took a step back. They had to win their final game of the season just to get into the NEC tournament as an 8-seed. They return All-NEC second teamer junior forward Jalen Cannon (14.7 ppg/8.8 rpg) who will be among the candidates for NEC Player of the Year. Junior guard Ben Mockford also returns as the Terriers’ top three-point threat (39.8 3FG%). Junior guard Brent Jones will be the number one point guard all-season long this season.

January 11, 2014 – at Wagner (Spiro Sports Center – Staten Island, NY; 4pm )
January 30, 2014 – WAGNER (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 7pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 19-12 (12-6 NEC)/2nd
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 125/185

Outlook: Wagner transformed themselves mid-season last year as they went for a defensive, low-scoring team to high-octane, high-possessions offensive team. A lot of it had to do with the health of now-senior guard Latif Rivers who battled injuries and missed 11 games for the Seahawks. Then they were upset by LIU in the NEC semifinals at home to end their season. This season, they look like they may be the best team in the NEC. They have a ton of firepower offensively with Rivers and Valpo transfer Jay Harris launching shots. They also have the two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year in senior point guard Kenneth Ortiz back. Sophomore Dwaun Anderson looks to bounce back after a shaky freshman campaign.

January 16, 2014 – FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 7pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 7-24 (2-16 NEC)/12th (last)
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 297/339

Outlook:  At one point last season, FDU was actually 7-9 and 2-2 in the NEC before they went on to lose their last 15 games to end the season and it cost head coach Greg Vetrone his job. FDU went out and hired former UMass-Lowell head coach Greg Herenda. Herenda will have his hands full in his first season at the helm. The top four scorers from last season have all graduated leaving senior Mathias Seilund as the top returning scorer at 5.9 ppg. Senior point guard Sidney Sanders Jr. also returns, he led the Knights in assists (3.4 apg) last season.

January 18, 2014 – at Central Connecticut State (Detrick Gymnasium – New Britain, CT; TBA)
February 27, 2014 – Central Connecticut State (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 7pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 13-17 (9-9 NEC)/7th
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 194/261

Outlook: It was quite an offseason for CCSU’s All-NEC first teamer Kyle Vinales. He decided to transfer, picked Toledo as his new destination, then changed his mind and then decided to return to long-time head coach Howie Dickenman and CCSU for his junior year. Vinales (21.6 ppg last season) will likely be most people’s preseason favorite for NEC Player of the Year. He has a full green light to shoot and he isn’t afraid to launch shots from anywhere. Senior Matt Hunter (15.7 ppg) also returns and make for a dangerous 1-2 punch for CCSU. The Blue Devils will likely be this season’s popular sleeper pick in the NEC. They have a bunch of good players returning back which will allowed them to make a strong run to the top half of the NEC.

January 23, 2014 – at Bryant (Chace Athletic Center – Smithfield, RI; 7pm)
March 1, 2014 – BRYANT (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 2pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 19-12 (12-6 NEC)/4th
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 157/187

Outlook: Bryant had one of the best one-season turnaround of all-time last season going from 2 wins overall two seasons ago to 19 wins last season. After a strong start in the NEC, they faded a bit in the second half and lost to NEC tourney finalist Mount St. Mary’s in the first round. Gone is point guard Frankie Dobbs but NEC head coach of the year Tim O’Shea returns a lot of talent this season in senior Alex Francis (17.4 ppg/8.6 rpg) and junior guard Dyami Starks (17.7 ppg/45.0 FG%). If they can find a suitable replacement for Dobbs at the point guard spot, the Bulldogs will be back in the upper tier of the NEC once again this season.

January 25, 2014 – MOUNT ST. MARY’S (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 4:30pm)
February 1, 2014 – at Mount St. Mary’s (Knott Arena – Emmitsburg, MD; 2:30pm )

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 18-14 (11-7 NEC)/5th
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 118/205

Outlook: The Mount came all so close to winning their first NEC championship since 2008 but were halted by three-peat champs LIU in the NEC final. The Mount though return plenty of firepower for what is expected to be another run at the NEC title. Head coach Jamion Christian return a lot of his keys guys in seniors Rashad Whack (13.8ppg/3.7 rpg), Sam Prescott (11.1ppg/4.2rpg), and Julian Norfleet (10.8ppg/3.2apg). The Mount suffered a blow losing NEC Rookie of the Year Shivaughn Wiggins who decided to transfer. Even without Wiggins, expectations will be high at the Mount. Mount Mayhem took over the NEC in the latter half of the season at one point going 11-1 down the stretch. Scary thing with the Mount is there is room for improvement and with a year of this system already under their belt, the Mount could be racking up plenty of wins this season.

February 6, 2014 – ROBERT MORRIS (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 7pm)
February 20, 2014 – at Robert Morris (Sewall Center – Moon Township, PA; 7pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 24-11 (14-4 NEC)/1st
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 123/136

Outlook: For the first time since 2009, Robert Morris will take to the court without their floor general and leader Velton Jones who graduated this past May. Although Jones may be gone, there is still plenty of returning talent for head coach Andy Toole to work with. Starting with senior guard Karvel Anderson (12.5ppg/43.9 3PT%) and junior forward Lucky Jones (11.6 ppg/5.9 rpg). Experienced senior guard Anthony Myers-Pate now takes over the role of starting point guard. Also the additions of a coiuple of nice recruits will once again keep the Colonials in contention for another run at the NEC championship.

February 8, 2014 – SAINT FRANCIS UNIVERSITY (PA) (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY; 4:30pm)
February 22, 2014  – at Saint Francis University (PA) (DeGol Arena – Loretto, PA; TBA)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 5-24 (5-13 NEC)/11th
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 317/327

Outlook: The Red Flash actually showed some flashes toward the end of the season after a brutal start to their season. They started 1-19 before finishing 4-5 their last 9 games. Head coach Rob Krimmel looks to build on the end of year momentum and he has some pieces coming back this season. Although the Red Flash did lose leading scorer Umar Shannon who transferred to Quinnipiac, they have some young talent to build around. Starting with junior forward Earl Brown (10.1ppg/8.1 rpg) who is a rising start in the NEC. They also have All-NEC rookie team performer Ben Millaud-Meunier (9.3ppg/47.6 3PT%) back along with Ollie Jackson, Stephon Mosley and Dominique Major. It is not out of the question that the Flash could sneak into the NEC playoffs as an 7 or 8 seed this season.

February 13, 2014 – at Sacred Heart – Pitt Center – (Fairfield, CT; 7pm)

’12-’13 Record/Finish: 9-20 (7-11 NEC)/9th
’12-’13 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 242/271

Outlook: Sacred Heart has a new coach in former SHU head coach Dave Bike’s assistant coach Anthony Latina who takes over the program. Early indications out of Fairfield is that the Pioneers want to run. Latina has a point guard who can find open guys down court in junior Phil Gaetano (4.8ppg/7.9apg-2nd in NCAA). The Pioneers also have an guy who isn’t afraid to get inside and do the dirty work in senior Louis Montes (14.4ppg/6.2 rpg) and their have a guy who knock down open threes in Steve Glowiak (10.4ppg/37.4 3PT%). The Pioneers also get back junior guards Evan Kelley and Chris Evans back from a year of injuries. The Pioneers now begin the post-Shane Gibson era so it will be interesting to see who gets the end of game shots and how this new offensive philosophy will go in year one of the Latina era.

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