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
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.