LIU Brooklyn closes out 2013 with a win at Texas State

Landon Atterberry continues his stellar play with a career-high 22 points against Texas State (Photo: Bod Dea)

Landon Atterberry continues his stellar play with a career-high 22 points against Texas State (Photo: Bod Dea)

It has been a rocky non-conference season for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in 2013. It had many more downs than ups but things might finally be looking up for Jack Perri’s squad as they close out non-conference play and 2013 portion of their schedule with just their second road win of the season with a 73-64 win at Texas State to finish off 2013 at 5-9.

To the delight of LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri, he got two more bodies back from LIU sweatsuits and into LIU uniforms, both of them a bit of a surprise. One is freshman Joel Hernandez who briefly made his LIU Brooklyn debut in the first half playing in just one minute after missing the first 13 games with a hip injury. The other and more importantly, the return of Gilbert Parga, who was thought to not return until NEC play on January 9th with a strained achilles, was back in the LIU lineup against Texas State and he was surely missed.

Gilbert Parga returned back to the LIU lineup to score 13 points. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Gilbert Parga returned back to the LIU lineup to score 13 points. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Parga showed no ill-effects of his injury as he drove through the lane numerous times in this game and got banged around, drawing fouls and also drained a couple of long deep threes. He was a perfect 2-2 from deep and was 4 of 5 from the field and finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes in his first game back. It was definitely a welcome sight to see Parga back in the lineup.

The true star of this game for LIU was junior Landon Atterberry. He completed a stellar non-conference season with a new career high 22 points. He had 17 of those points at the half but he played well at both ends of the court. He hit threes, he hit long two-point jumpers, he hit from in close, he did it all. He had 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a block plus he had a couple of pass deflections and was a disruption on the defensive end, getting his arms up and making some Texas State guys miss from close. At this moment, Atterberry had to be in consideration for an All-NEC selection with his consistent and impressive play through the first two months of the season.

E.J. Reed once again got hit with the foul bug as he drew two quick fouls in the first 94 seconds of the game and had to sit out the rest of the first half. He came out of the second half on fire, getting six quick points on a pair of three-point plays. He attacked the basket and was able to get the whistle to go in his favor part of the time as he was able to get to the free throw line 9 times and was perfect from the line. He did foul out with 5:33 remaining and LIU up just one at the time. He played just ten minutes but ended up with 15 points, all in the second half.

E.J. Reed pleaded with first half foul woes, finishes with 15 points. (Photo: Bob Dea)

E.J. Reed pleaded with first half foul woes, finishes with 15 points. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Reed has now fouled out of back-to-back games and has also fouled out of five games this season already. Reed still has to learn how to play under control and not keep drawing cheap early fouls which takes him out of games for stretches at a time. If he doesn’t get his fouling under control, he could end up losing his starting spot and be forced to come off the bench when Julian Boyd returns and is fit enough to start once again. The move would be as protection from himself and for Perri to get the most out of his minutes on the court if he is just going to continue playing the way he has and getting himself into foul trouble.

Jason Brickman had an off-shooting night after his career-high 26 points against Sam Houston State on Saturday. Brickman was 1 of 6 from the field and finished with just 6 points. He did match his season average with 10 assists and had just one turnover after 9 turnovers against Sam Houston State. He also matched a season-high four steals.

The Blackbirds protected the ball much better against Texas State with just 11 turnovers after coming off their season-worst 28 turnovers against Sam Houston State. They were a still a -11 in rebounding margin. LIU did have 7 steals.

Texas State were led by Brooklyn’s own Joel Wright in his return from a two-game team suspension with 18 points. A pair of freshman had impressive games for the Bobcats. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury finished with 12 points and had a pair of thunderous dunks. Emani Gant finished with 11 and had a couple of nice finishes of his own.

Jason Brickman meets his season average with 10 assists vs Texas State. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Jason Brickman meets his season average with 10 assists vs Texas State. (Photo: Bob Dea)

LIU held Texas State to 38% shooting for the game and 4 of 14 from three. The Blackbirds was finally able to hold an opponent to under 1.0 ppp as Texas State had just 0.947 ppp (68 possessions). LIU scored 1.06 ppp (69 possessions) on 45% shooting.

LIU was able to score 23 points off the bench mostly in part from Parga and Troy Joseph’s 5 points. LIU did give up 18 second chance points while only having 7 of their own.

The Blackbirds can now use this win as a stepping stone into the NEC season as they take the next ten days off to rest and prepare for what will likely be another wild year in the NEC. Also, there is could be a possibility that LIU Brooklyn could have 2012 NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd back in their lineup for the NEC opener at St. Francis Brooklyn on January 9th. Boyd as we all know by now is attempting to return to the court after two ACL surgeries in under a year. It would be almost a medical miracle if we get to see Boyd back in the next few weeks.

LIU could be getting healthy at the right time and they are going to need all the healthy bodies they can get as they will start the NEC season in tough fashion with a pair of tough road games against a upcoming and right now, the best team in the NEC with 10 wins heading into conference play, St. Francis Brooklyn and the team that was the preseason pick to win the NEC, in Wagner. It would be great to see LIU in near full strength as they enter the conference season. This game was a nice step in that direction and it can hopefully springboard the Blackbirds to a much-needed fast start to this newly reduced 16-game NEC season.

Blackbird Gameday Report – Game 13 – Texas State Bobcats

liutxstOpponent (Conference Affiliation): Texas State Bobcats (Sun Belt)

Record: 4-8; 0-2 at home; Last game: Win vs Texas-Tyler, 73-54

Current KenPom Ranking: 264 out of 351 (LIU Brooklyn: 282 – up from 286 before previous game)

Time: 8:00 PM

Location: Johnson Coliseum, San Marcos, TX

TV/Web/Radio Coverage: Web: Bobcats All-Access ($)

Meeting History: 3rd all-time meeting. LIU Brooklyn leads series 2-0. Last meeting: @ LIU Brooklyn, 100-84, W (2011-12)

Game Notes Links: LIU Brooklyn – Texas State

Texas State Players to Watch:

1. Joel Wright #25 – 6’7″ Forward – Sr. – 14.8 ppg/6.3 rpg/42.9% FG/50.0 3FG%/27.4 mpg
2. Emani Gant #21 – 6’8″ Forward – Fr. – 10.4 ppg/5.7 rpg/61.5 FG%/25.6 mpg
3. Wesley Davis #10 – 6’3″ Guard – Jr. – 9.4 ppg/2.8 rpg/45.2 FG%/33.3 3FG%/29.4 mpg

Matchup to Watch: LIU’s Landon Atterberry vs Texas State’s Joel Wright

Game Report:

It is a battle of two 4-8 teams as the Blackbirds takes on the Bobcats of Texas State. This is the third meeting in the last four years that these two schools have faced one another. They did not play each other last season.

Texas State started off this season 0-5 before going 4-3 in their last seven games. Texas State has not had a winning season since 2002-03 when they went 17-12. Last season, they finished 12-22 overall. They are playing in their third different conference in three years as they have gone from playing in the Southland Conference when LIU last played them two seasons ago to going to the Western Athletic Conference last season to moving to the Sun Belt Conference this season. They are also playing under a new head coach this season in Danny Kaspar who takes over for Doug Davalos who coached Texas State the previous seven seasons.

Currently, Texas State is last in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring at 63.8 ppg. The Bobcats shoot 44% from the field and 37.3% from three. Their offensive efficiency is at 0.93 points per possessions, 7th-best in the Sun Belt. They are also the ninth slowest paced team in the Sun Belt with 66 possessions per 40 minutes. On defense, Texas State allows 67.5 ppg and give up 1.07 ppp while allowing teams to shoot 48.6% from the field and 42.1% from three. Teams have scored above 80 or more points on Texas State three times this season.

The Bobcats have just two players scoring above 10 ppg. Senior Joel Wright, who is from Brooklyn, leads them in scoring with 14.8 ppg. Wright has missed Texas State’s last two games as he has been out serving a two-game suspension he received due to a practice issue. He’ll probably be back for this game. Wright has scored 18 or more points four times this season including 19 points in his last game versus Texas. He also has had two double-doubles this season. The other double-digit scorer for Texas State is freshman forward Emani Gant. Gant is scoring 10.4 ppg and is coming off back-to-back 16-point performances against Utah and Texas-Tyler. He also had a career-high 19 points in his first collegiate game against Houston.

LIU Brooklyn is coming off a close loss to Sam Houston State on Saturday evening. The Blackbirds led most of the way before giving up the lead and losing by 4 to the Bearkats. The Blackbirds play their final non-conference game of the season as well as final game of 2013.

LIU, with the loss at Sam Houston State, exceeded the number of non-conference losses they had last season. This is the worst non-conference season for LIU since 2009-10 when they went 2-9. LIU has given up at least 72 points to every opponent they’ve play this season. They have given up four 90+ point games to their opponents this season. That happened only three times in non-conference play last season.

LIU point guard Jason Brickman is coming off his career-high scoring game where he puts in 26 points and also dished out 13 assists versus Sam Houston State. It was Brickman’s seventh double-double of the season already. Last season, he had 11 double-doubles. He has now become the team leader in scoring with 12.7 ppg to go along with nation-leading assist average of 10.0 apg.

Landon Atterberry continue to open some eyes this season with his consistent level of play. He finished with 17 points vs Sam Houston State and has scored 17 points in two of his last three games. He has failed to score in double-digits in just three games this season. He leads the team in field goal shooting at 57.8%.

LIU is likely playing their final game with their current eight-man rotation. Gilbert Parga is expected to miss his fourth straight game with a strained achilles.

The Blackbirds are coming off their worst turnover game of the season with 28 turnovers to Sam Houston State. LIU had average just under 12 turnovers per game going into that game so chalk that last game as one really bad game of ball protection and likely won’t be matched again this season.

It would be great for LIU to win this final non-conference and head into NEC play with a bit of confidence. LIU starts off NEC play with two tough road games, at St. Francis Brooklyn and at Wagner. A win in this game would do wonders.

LIU got a great shooting game vs Sam Houston State and they will need to repeat that again against Texas State. If LIU cuts the turnovers in half and get back on the glass and stay out of foul trouble which they did for the most part until the very end against SHSU, they should come out of it with the win. The defense as usual will be the main key. If they can keep Texas State to 1.0 ppp, at the current Texas State pace of 66 possession, if they keep them to under 70, LIU should be in good shape to pull this one out in a game they are not favored to win.

KenPom Score Projection: 76-70 Sam Houston State (LIU Win Probability: 28%)

Next up for the Blackbirds:

LIU Brooklyn is off for the next ten days and will return back on to the court to start Northeast Conference play as they start the conference season at St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday, January 9th at 7pm.

LIU Brooklyn shows fight but falls at Sam Houston State

Jason Brickman scores a career-high 26 points to pass 1000 points in his LIU Brooklyn career. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Jason Brickman scores a career-high 26 points to pass 1000 points in his LIU Brooklyn career. (Photo: Bob Dea)

The holidays obviously did some good for the psyche of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. After losing by 36 points last Saturday to Temple, the Christmas break could not have come at a better time for the Blackbirds. They got away from hoops for a few days, they spent time with their families and got to eat a nice home cooked meal. They return back to the court this afternoon with renewed energy and fight and for 35 minutes of this game, they looked they were going to come out of this game at Sam Houston State with a surprising road win considering how undermanned this team currently is at the present time.

As much fight as the LIU had, it still wasn’t enough as LIU Brooklyn in a valiant effort, loses down in Texas to Sam Houston State, 82-78 to fall to a record of 4-8 this non-conference season.

The Blackbirds started off the game red hot, going on a 15-5 run to begin things. But a good Sam Houston State team (8-4) would compose themselves and get back into it before long.

Landon Atterberry rebounded with a strong 17-point outing against Sam Houston State. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Landon Atterberry rebounded with a strong 17-point outing against Sam Houston State. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Landon Atterberry, who was coming off his worst game of the season versus Temple, came out of the gate strong with a perfect first half of shooting. He hit all five of his shots in the first half and led LIU at the break with 12 points. He only had one first half foul contrary to the five fouls he picks up in seven minutes against Temple.

LIU head coach Jack Perri decided to play mostly 2-3 zone in the first half to help protect his thin front court and it did help some as the only front court players to get two fouls in the first half was E.J. Reed.

Jason Brickman who only needed eight assists in this game to move up to 22nd on the NCAA career all-time assist list with 834, got nine assists in the first half alone. He also scored nine points in the first half but committed un-Brickman like five first half turnovers.

LIU Brooklyn after an awful shooting game against Temple, shot an incredible 72.2% from the field in the first half and hit five of their six three-point attempts. Even with the hot shooting, they were up just one at the half due to 15 first half turnovers and giving up six offensive rebounds on the glass.

In the second half, Jason Brickman went from passer to scorer as he went off for 17 second half points on his way to a new career-high 26 points on just nine shots. Brickman was a perfect 11 for 11 from the charity stripe. In this game, he surpassed 1,000 career points becoming the 33rd LIU Brooklyn player to do so.

But unfortunately for LIU, Brickman also committed a season-high nine turnovers. In fact, LIU Brooklyn as a team committed a season-high 28 turnovers and those turnovers led to 23 Sam Houston State points.

While LIU Brooklyn was only out-rebounded by three to Sam Houston State (25-22), they were a -7 on the offensive glass and gave Sam Houston State a +9 points advantage in second-chance points.

For Sam Houston State, they were led by Kaheem Ransom who busted out of a scoring slump to score 20 for the Bearkats. Jabari Peters and Nathaniel Mason both finished with 16 points each. The Bearkats score 1.088 points per possession (75 possessions) while LIU scored 1.015 ppp (77 possessions).

Gerrell Martin scored 17 points in the loss to Sam Houston State. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Gerrell Martin scored 17 points in the loss to Sam Houston State. (Photo: Bob Dea)

LIU rebounded from their poor shooting game against Temple by shooting 63.2% from the field and going 9 for 14 from three and also 21 of 27 from the free throw line. They allowed Sam Houston State to shoot 48.1% from the floor including 12 of 25 shots from three.

Turnovers was the culprit in this loss on Saturday. LIU did a poor job protecting the basketball and uncharacteristically their floor general was the main culprit tonight. But Brickman along with Atterberry, Reed and Gerrell Martin was pretty much most of the offense in the pivotal second half. The rest of the team had nine points total in this one.

Atterberry finished with 17 points on 7 of 8 shooting before fouling out for the second straight game. Martin also had 17 points including 4 of 5 from three. Reed scored nine points on a perfect 4 of 4 shooting but he had six turnovers. Troy Joseph off the bench scored six. Iverson Fleming got his first start for the Blackbirds and finished with two points in 26 minutes with five assists.

Perri played all eight scholarship players he had available. Junior Gilbert Parga missed his third straight game due to a strained achilles to his foot.

LIU will have a short turnaround before their next game as LIU will face Texas State on Monday to finish off the 2013 and non-conference portion of their schedule before entering into a another long break before the start of NEC play on January 9th against St. Francis Brooklyn.

Blackbird Gameday Report – Game 12 – Sam Houston State Bearkats

LIUSHSUOpponent (Conference Affiliation): Sam Houston State (Southland)

Record: 7-4; 2-0 at home; Last game: Loss at Toledo, 77-61

Current KenPom Ranking: 205 out of 351 (LIU Brooklyn: 286 – down from 277 before previous game)

Time: 5:00 PM

Location: Johnson Coliseum, Huntsville, TX

TV/Web/Radio Coverage: Web: Bearkat Sports Network ($)

Meeting History: First all-time meeting.

Game Notes Links: LIU Brooklyn 

Sam Houston State Players to Watch:

1. Jabari Peters #1 – 6’4″ Guard – Jr. – 12.7 ppg/5.0 rpg/3.5 apg/35.4 FG%/38.7 3FG%/30.6 mpg
2. Kaheem Ransom #15 – 6’1″ Guard – Jr. – 11.3 ppg/4.9 rpg/3.4 apg/35.6 FG%/31.7% 3FG%/30.3 mpg
3. Paul Baxter #21 – 6’1″ Guard – So. – 9.2 ppg/1.5 rpg/2.6 apg/54.4 FG%/53.3 3FG%/26.8 mpg

Matchup to Watch: SHSU’s Jabari Peters vs LIU’s E.J. Reed

Game Report: 

LIU Brooklyn returns to the court after a week off for the Christmas break as they take on the Sam Houston State Bearkats for their first ever meeting.

Sam Houston State plays in the Southland Conference. They were picked to finished third in the Southland this season in their men’s basketball preseason poll. They enter this game with a 7-4 record with wins against James Madison and Toledo. Last season, SHSU finished 17-17 and ended up sixth in their conference.

The Bearkats are currently led by junior guard Jabari Peters. Peters is the team leader in points (12.7ppg), assists (3.5), steals (1.4) and minutes played (30.6). He has had three games where he has scored 20 or more points. Although, Peters leads the team in scoring, he is tenth on the team in field goal percentage with 35.4%. Peters is coming off a nine-point, 2 for 13 game against Toledo.

Junior guard Kaheem Ransom is the Bearkats’ second leading scorer at 11.3 ppg. Ransom started the season with five straight double digit scoring games including 23 points vs Texas-Pan American in the season opener. Since his nice start, Ransom production has fallen off. He is averaging 7.6 ppg over his last six games.

6’1″ sophomore guard Paul Baxter averages 9.2 ppg and leads the team in three-point shooting percentage at 53.3%. He scored a season-high 19 points in a loss against SMU. He leads the teams in fouls with 35 and has fouled out once already this season.

6’11” center Michael Holyfield has started all 11 games for SHSU this season. He is not much of a scoring threat for the Bearkats averaging just 4.7 ppg. His season-high is just 12 points and he has fouled out four times this season. But with LIU being so short-handed in the front court at the moment and with their season-long difficulties guarding tall bigs, he may have more of an impact than he usually would.

Sam Houston State head coach Jason Hooten likes to go about ten players deep on his bench. They score 77.5 ppg on offense and give up 68 points on the defensive end. The Bearkats score right at 1.00 points per possession and oddly enough they also give up 1.00 ppp. They keep teams to around 45% effective shooting percentage which is fourth in their conference.

LIU Brooklyn needed the week-long break after their worst loss of the season against Temple, losing by 36 points. This season, LIU has suffered two 30+ point losses. At 4-7, LIU already matches the amount of non-conference losses they had all of last season when they had a 5-7 non-conference season.

LIU’s Jason Brickman with his six assists against Temple last week, put himself in the 25th spot in the NCAA all-time career assist list with 826 assists passing Siena’s Ronald Moore. With eight or more assists against Sam Houston State, Brickman could move up to 22nd on the list. Brickman also needs 21 points to become LIU’s 33rd 1,000-point scorer.

LIU makes what seems like their annual visit to the state of Texas. In case you forgot, Texas is LIU’s strongest recruiting base state, they have had more players from Texas in the last five years than from any other state. This season, four players return back to Texas in seniors Julian Boyd and Jason Brickman and sophomores E.J. Reed and D.J. Griggs.

LIU will likely enter this Texas road trip with just ten players and eight scholarship players as injuries continue to rob LIU of their depth in particularly in the front court. Head coach Jack Perri doesn’t anticipate having junior guard/forward Gilbert Parga on this trip as he continues to recover from his latest injury, a strained achilles in his foot. Parga has missed the last two games with this injury and has missed four games this season with this injury and a lacerated elbow injury. Chris Carter will miss his second game with a broken right foot. Carter is schedule to be out at least six weeks. There is still no word on the progress of freshman guard Joel Hernandez who has yet to play this season with a hip injury. Sixth-year senior Julian Boyd (ACL) had been cleared to participate in limited practice with the team and is still on schedule for a January return to the court.

Sophomore forward E.J. Reed is coming off his first double-double of the season vs Temple while junior forward Landon Atterberry is coming his worst game as a Blackbird after just playing 7 minutes before fouling out against Temple.

The Blackbirds are looking to rebound off a very poor shooting performance against Temple where they shot just 28.8% for the game. They made just 5 of 28 threes and missed 15 of 43 free throw attempts.

There is nowhere to go but up for LIU’s defense. LIU is ranked 349th (or three-worst in the nation) in Division I in adjusted defensive efficiency at 117.2 which means LIU gives up 117.2 points per every 100 possessions to the opposition. That is terrible. Teams this season have been scoring almost at will against LIU. The Blackbirds weren’t a strong defensive team to begin with but add on the front court injuries so there is almost no depth and with the lack of size up front, teams have been getting to the rim with ease against LIU. Until guys start coming back from injuries, this situation won’t likely get any better.

For LIU to win this game, they need to solve the issue of front courts guys staying on the court. They just can’t afford to lose either Atterberry or Reed for extended minutes with foul trouble. Glenn Feidanga also has to do a better job of staying out of fouls as well. LIU also have to start making shots. Their offense was actually starting to look like what we are all used to seeing until Temple blew that all up. LIU has got to get back to playing in transition and taking and making good shots. Until the calvary returns from injury, they got to find a way to hold the fort defensively. Holding SHSU to 1.0 ppp might be best case scenario for now so the offense will really need to put up the points and get on the glass and make their free throws. They can’t afford a 60% night once again from the charity stripe.

KenPom Score Projection: 80-70 Sam Houston State (LIU Win Probability: 18%)

Next up for the Blackbirds:

LIU Brooklyn finishes off their non-conference schedule as they complete their two-game Texas road trip with a visit to Texas State on Monday, December 30. Tip-off time is schedule for 8:00pm.

Brickman honored by LIU and the NEC for breaking NEC Career Assist Record before Temple game

Before the start of the Temple-LIU Brooklyn game on Saturday night at the Barclays Center, senior point guard Jason Brickman was honored at mid-court and presented with a ball in honor of him breaking the 25-year old Northeast Conference career assist record of 804 assists back on December 12th.

LIU v Temple 12-21-2013 623

LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri, NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris and LIU Brooklyn Athletic Director John Suarez presented Brickman with the honorary ball.

Brickman currently has 826 assists and needs another 174 assists to become just the 4th player in NCAA Division I history to reach 1000 career assists. He is now in the top 25 on the all-time NCAA Division I career assist list.

Brickman and the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds return to action on Saturday, December 28th at Sam Houston State.

Blackbirds gets blown out by Temple at Barclays Center

The Barclays Center scoreboard says it all. Not a pretty one for Blackbirds on Saturday night. (Photo: Bob Dea)

The Barclays Center scoreboard said it all. It wasn’t a pretty one for Blackbirds on Saturday night. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Box Score

Here were a couple of hints it was going to be a long day for LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri. Landon Atterberry picked up two fouls in under three minutes. The Blackbirds at one point missed six straight free throws in the first half. The dagger, Perri had to go to walk-on forward Darien Best for the first time all season.

That is a nutshell that was how bad this went for the Blackbirds in a 101-65 loss to Temple at the Barclays Center on Saturday night to end LIU Brooklyn’s short two-game winning streak.

LIU Brooklyn HC Jack Perri could only sit and watch as Temple pulled away from his depleted team. (Photo: Bob Dea)

LIU Brooklyn HC Jack Perri (center) could only sit and watch as Temple pulled away from his depleted team. (Photo: Bob Dea)

“We got whipped.” There was really no better way to describe how LIU played after the 36-point loss.

It was an uphill battle almost from the very start of this game. LIU once again had only eight scholarships players available as they didn’t have the services of Gilbert Parga for the second straight game with his strained achilles injury and no Chris Carter for the next few weeks with his broken foot. LIU was again left with three front court scholarship guys and right away, the problem was made ten fold when forward Landon Atterberry was hit with two personal fouls just 2:26 into the game.

“(Our forwards) didn’t necessarily listen very well. We ended up fouling way too much. That hurt us a lot.” said Perri about his depleted front court.

Landon Atterberry ended up playing just seven minutes in this game before fouling out for the first time this season. Foul-prone freshman forward Glenn Feidanga also fouled out in this game in 17 minutes. Oddly enough, E.J. Reed who led LIU in fouls coming into this game only had two fouls, both in the second half.

But Reed didn’t have a great game in this one by any means. Although he finished with a team-high tying 13 points, he was just 2 for 10 from the field and was 8 for 16 from the free throw line.

When LIU was still in the game in the first half and even having a couple of early leads, LIU would let the game get away from them by going ice cold. At one point, they missed six straight free throws as Temple began pulling away.

Landon Atterberry (left) and Glenn Feidanga had to watch most of this game from the bench due to foul trouble (Photo: Bob Dea)

Landon Atterberry (left) and Glenn Feidanga had to watch most of this game from the bench due to foul trouble (Photo: Bob Dea)

It got so bad for Jack Perri with his front court foul trouble after Landon Atterberry and Glenn Feidanga picked up three first half fouls each that he had no other choice but to play sophomore walk-on Darien Best for the first time this season.

Temple played stifling defense all throughout the game. They neutralized LIU’s best player Jason Brickman by taking the ball out of his hands for most of the first half. “(Temple) Coach (Fran) Dunphy did an unbelievable job defensively especially in the first half of not allowing Brickman to go do his thing. They didn’t allow him to get the ball back. That really hurt us.” said Perri.

Temple shot lights out in this game. They hit 61% of their shots from the floor and buried 15 of 27 threes in the game. Meanwhile, LIU couldn’t get any offensive flow thanks to Temple stingy defense. The Blackbirds shot a miserable 28% from the floor and were even worse from three hitting on only 5 of their 26 threes for 19%. LIU also shot a brutal 26 of 43 from the free throw line for 60%.

LIU gave up 100 points for the second time already this season. Temple hadn’t broken 100 points in nearly seven years until this game. The Owls scored 1.347 points per possessions which isn’t a worst for LIU. Sadly, it was the third time this season LIU has given up at least 1.3 ppp to the opposition, Eastern Washington and Seton Hall being the other two.

All five Temple starters finished in double figures with Dalton Pepper going for a double-double 26 points (game-high) and 10 rebounds. Will Cummings had 23 points for Temple who were looking to rebound from two straight one-point losses at home. Temple improved to 5-5.

E.J. Reed finished with his second double-double of the season. (Photo: Bob Dea)

E.J. Reed finished with his second double-double of the season. (Photo: Bob Dea)

For LIU Brooklyn, it was a game they might quickly want to burn the tape. Atterberry was the only Blackbird to shoot over 50% in the game and he was just 2 of 3 for six points. Reed and Gerrell Martin each finished with 13 points to lead LIU. Reed got his second double-double of the season (12 rebounds) in a losing cause. Troy Joseph finished with 11 points. Jason Brickman was held in check by Temple with 9 points, 6 assists and three turnovers. Iverson Fleming also finished with nine points.

LIU now enter a week-long Christmas break as they finish off the non-conference schedule with two games back down in the Lone Star State of Texas as they play Sam Houston State and Texas State next weekend before the new year ball drops.

All Jack Perri can do is hope for his guys to get healthy and back on to the court as soon as possible. Perri indicated in the postgame press conference that Gilbert Parga could be out until the start of NEC play on January 9th with his achilles injury. That would mean he will have to finish out non-conference play with these remaining eight scholarship guys. Hopefully, the reinforcements are on their way with Parga and Julian Boyd possibly returning very soon. Until then, Perri will have to hope his team can play smarter, stop fouling and begin making shots again and can find some kind of defensive strategy that works as they try to build some momentum heading into what will likely be another wild Northeast Conference season ahead.

Blackbird Gameday Report – Game 11 – Temple Owls

templevsliuOpponent (Conference Affiliation): Temple Owls (American Athletic Conference)

Record: 4-5; 3-2 away from home; Last game: Loss to Texas Southern, 90-89

Current KenPom Ranking: 112 out of 351 (LIU Brooklyn: 277 – down from 268 before previous game)

Time: 5:30 PM – Second game of Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

TV/Web/Radio Coverage: Web: BarclaysCenter.com ($9.95 fee)/ Radio: Red Zone Media

Meeting History: 4th all-time meeting. Temple leads series 3-0. Last meeting: @ Temple, 80-55, L (1969-70)

Game Notes Links: Temple – LIU Brooklyn

Temple Players to Watch:

1. Will Cummings #02 – 6’2″ Guard – Jr. – 17.1 ppg/3.3 rpg/4.4 apg/46.3 FG%/24.2 3FG%/34.0 mpg
2. Dalton Pepper #32 – 6’5″ Guard – Sr. – 16.2 ppg/5.4 rpg/48.7 FG%/35.6 mpg
3. Anthony Lee #03 – 6’9″ Forward – Jr. – 14.9 ppg/9.9 rpg/55.1 FG%/29.1 mpg

Matchup to Watch: Temple’s Anthony Lee vs LIU’s Landon Atterberry

Game Report: 

LIU Brooklyn will face off against Temple at the Barclays Center in the middle game of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational tripleheader.

Temple is coming into this game under .500 at 4-5 and are coming off what they must feel is a terrible loss to Texas Southern at home, losing 90-89. Texas Southern came into that game ranked 237 in the Kenpom rankings and had their center Aaric Murray scored an NCAA Division 1-high 48 points against the Owls.

Temple is playing in their first year in the new American Athletic Conference (AAC) after leaving the Atlantic 10. The Owls have been in the NCAA Tournament the last six seasons, winning at least 21 games each season but could be in jeopardy of missing out this season.

Temple is scoring at a 77.6 points per game clip. They are not a great shooting team. Their effective field goal percentage is 49.6% which is eighth in the AAC and shooting just under 32% from three. They like to play at a good pace, they get 72.5 possessions per 40 minutes. They score 1.05 points per possession so far this season which is 9th in the AAC.

On defense, Temple gives up 76.4 ppg and teams shot 43.3% against them from the field, 6th-best in the AAC. They give up 1.04 ppp. They are a decent rebounding team grabbing over 34 rebounds per game. The Owls do take care of the ball, they only turn the ball over 9.8 times per game which 24th-best in the nation and have a very good assist-to-turnover ration at 1.441 a/to.

The Owls have four players scoring over 14 points/game starting with junior guard Will Cummings who leads them with 17.1 ppg. He has scored between 13 and 22 points in every game so far this season. He is their leading assist-man with 4.4 apg. He is also their second-best free throw shooter at 82.1%.

Next is senior guard Dalton Pepper who is scoring 16.2 ppg. He leads the Owls in minutes, free throw shooting, three-pointer shooting, steals and effective field goal percentage. He has gone for 20 or more points three times this season with a season-high 24 points against UAB in a win.

Anthony Lee is a junior forward who is averaging near a double-double in points and rebounds (14.9 ppg/9.9 rpg). Lee has five double-double this season and can do damage inside as his 55% field goal shooting attests. Lee though is prone to fouls. He has fouled out once so far and has collected four fouls in another five games.

The final double-digit scorer for Temple is 6’5″ guard Quenton DeCosey. He is averaging 14.2 ppg. He also has reach double figures in every game he has played this season. He is coming off a career-high 19 points against Texas Southern.

Oddly, Temple head coach Fran Dunphy has only ten players on his roster with just one senior in Dalton Pepper. He does play all ten guys as every player plays at least ten minutes per game.

LIU Brooklyn comes into this game on a two-game winning streak after beating Lamar on a last-second Gerrell Martin three. This game marks LIU’s second visit to the Barclays Center this season as they beat Saint Peter’s in the first game at the Barclays in the season opener.

LIU now have five players scoring over 11 ppg led now by E.J. Reed (12.2 ppg) by just a tenth of a point over Gilbert Parga (12.1 ppg). Landon Atterberry, LIU’s most consistent player this season, is averaging 12 ppg while Jason Brickman has raised his scoring average up 11.7 ppg with five straight double digits scoring performances. Gerrell Martin is the final double digit scorer with 11.2 ppg. Martin oddly enough is shooting better from three (41.2%) than from inside the arc (36.4%).

Jason Brickman has been on a tear in his last five game averaging 15.4 ppg and 10.6 apg. He now has six double-doubles this season which is a new career high. His 10.1 apg is still tops in the nation. He also leads the nation in assist rate (55.0 %) and lowest-fouled called per 40 minutes (0.2). His assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.3:1 is one of the best ratios for a point guard in the nation.

The Blackbirds are becoming a MASH unit this season with all the injuries they have suffered. Here is the list of lost games so far: Nura Zanna: 10 (wrist-out for season), Julian Boyd: 10 (torn ACL-more on him below), Joel Hernandez: 10 (hip-no time table for his return), Gilbert Parga: 3 (elbow & sprained achilles/day-to-day), Chris Carter: 1 (broken foot-out 6 weeks). That is a total of 34 games lost to injury for LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri. He played with just eight scholarship players on the win against Lamar on Wednesday.

Gilbert Parga is expected to miss his second straight game with his strained achilles he suffered vs NJIT on December 12. Good news for LIU is sixth-year Julian Boyd has been cleared to participate in limited practice as he comes back from his two ACL tears over the course of the past year. He is still on pace to make his return to the court in January during NEC play. In the meantime, LIU may have to play extra short-handed.

It is a repeated theme almost every game but LIU will have to at some point, get a team to have a bad shooting game and force them to score under 0.99 ppp. Every team against LIU has scored that much and above, sometimes way above. Jack Perri has addressed it to his team that they need to improve on the defensive end and on the glass. They were improving on the glass until they had a setback against Lamar giving up 10 more rebounds to them and also giving up 14 offensive rebounds to a team that wasn’t a great offensive rebounding team. Temple is a much better rebounding and overall team and if LIU wants to sneak out of the Barclays Center with a win, they will need to rebound, stay out of foul trouble and get some stops on defense, the latter has been proven to be the most challenging this season.

KenPom Score Projection: 86-78 Temple (LIU Win Probability: 24%)

Next up for the Blackbirds:

The Blackbirds will take a week off for the Christmas holiday before heading down to Texas for a start of two-game Texas road trip which begins at Sam Houston State on Saturday, December 28