Blackbird Gameday Report – Game 24 – (NEC Game 11) – St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers

liusfbkOpponent: St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers

Record: 15-10; 6-4 NEC; 7-8 on the road; Last game: Loss vs. Robert Morris, 72-50

Current KenPom Ranking: 215 out of 351 (LIU Brooklyn: 317 – down from 304 before previous game)

Date and Time: Sunday, February 16, 4:00 PM

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

TV/Web/Radio Coverage: TV: MSG Network, FOX College Sports/ Radio: Red Zone Media

Meeting History: 100th all-time meeting. LIU Brooklyn leads series 62-37. Last meeting: @ St. Francis Brooklyn, 78-64, Loss, 1/9/14. The loss snapped LIU’s six-game winning streak to SFBK. LIU Brooklyn has won the last three Battle of Brooklyn games.

St. Francis Brooklyn’s Players to Watch:

1. Jalen Cannon #5 – 6’6″ Forward – Jr. – 15.6 ppg/8.3 rpg/48.7 FG%/29.3 3FG%/30.4 mpg
2. Ben Mockford #3 – 6’2″ Guard – Sr. – 11.3 ppg/40.0 FG%/38.3 3FG%/28.8 mpg
3. Sheldon Hagigal #43 – 6’1″ Guard – Fr. – 8.7 ppg/39.2 FG%/30.1 3FG%/20.2 mpg

Matchup to Watch: LIU’s E.J. Reed vs SFBK’s Jalen Cannon

Scouting the Terriers:

The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers enter this year’s edition of the Battle of Brooklyn tied for third-place in the NEC with Wagner and Mount St. Mary’s with a 6-4 record. SFBK won the earlier meeting between the two teams back on January 9th at the Pope Center by a 14-point margin. In that game, Ben Mockford finished with a career-high 30 points, Jalen Cannon had himself a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds and Brent Jones dished out 12 assists in their win.

This time around though St. Francis Brooklyn will very likely be without the services of four of their players as they are currently under indefinite suspension by the school for violation of school policy. Since then we have learned that two players in freshman Wayne Martin and sophomore Anthony White were arrested on various charges. Redshirt junior P.J. Santavenere and junior Brent Jones have also been suspended by the school.

Without these four players, they suffered a 72-50 loss to Robert Morris at home on February 8th. Before the loss, the Terriers had been on a three-game winning streak.

Without point guards Brent Jones or Anthony White, those duties now fall mostly to freshman point guard Yunus Hopkinson who played a career-high 21 minutes in his first collegiate start against Robert Morris. Hopkinson had been averaging 7.6 minutes per game in his previous 11 appearances. Shooting guards Ben Mockford, Sheldon Hagigal and Alek Isailovic may have to handle some point guard duties at times as well. Jones was SFBK’s leading assist man at 5.5 apg and was fifth in the NEC in assists.

Still the guys to look out for are senior shooting guard Ben Mockford and junior forward Jalen Cannon. Cannon is still SFBK’s leading scorer at 15.6 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Cannon is currently seventh in the NEC in scoring and second in rebounding. Cannon is averaging 11.6 ppg and 7.8 rpg against LIU in five career games. Mockford is SFBK’s second leading scorer at 11.3 ppg and is their best three-point shooter at 38.3%. Mockford is averaging 14.4 ppg in his five career games versus LIU.

Freshman Sheldon Hagigal has moved up the SFBK scoring charts to become their third leading scorer at 8.7 ppg. Hagigal just this past Monday was named NEC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. He recently comes off a 23-point performance versus Saint Francis (PA) where he shot 9 of 11 from the field.

Freshman Wayne Martin who was in jeopardy of not playing in this game after being among four SFBK players who was suspended last Saturday after getting arrested for an off-the-court incident. On Friday, it was announced Martin was reinstated and will play in this Battle of Brooklyn game. Martin is averaging 7.5 ppg and grabbing 5.3 rpg while shooting over 50% from the field. Martin has been relatively tame since his hot start to his college career in his first eight games. Recently, Martin scored a season-high 17 points versus Wagner.

St. Francis Brooklyn will likely have three players out with indefinite suspension stemming from an off-the-court which is still under investigation. Starting guards Brent Jones and Anthony White and reserve guard P.J. Santavenere will likely not be available for this game.

St. Francis Brooklyn is currently ninth in the NEC in scoring offense at 68.5 ppg and score 0.98 points per possession. On defense, they are first in the league in scoring defense allowing just 67.8 ppg and 0.97 points per possession which is also best in the NEC.

UPDATE: 12/16 – 12pm: News 12’s Pat O’Keefe within the hour on Twitter tweeted that he has gotten word from a source close to SFBK point guard Brent Jones that he will be eligible to play today’s game at the Barclays Center although St. Francis Brooklyn has yet to confirm this.

Updating the Blackbirds:

LIU Brooklyn is currently on a season-high tying four-game losing streak after dropping a pair of home games last week to Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA). LIU was held to 57 ppg over the two games last week. The LIU offense has gone very cold in particularly from the three-pont mark going just 7 for 37 in the last two games.

Sophomore forward E.J. Reed is playing his best basketball of the season over his last four games. Reed is averaging 19 ppg over that span and shooting 54% from the field. He has fouled out only once in his last ten games. Reed now leads LIU in scoring at 12.4 ppg. He is also leading LIU in rebounding and blocks.

Conversely, Landon Atterberry has been going through a bit of a slump during this same four-game span. Atterberry is averaging just 8 ppg, almost 4 points below his season average. He has shot 45% over this span which is 8% below his season average. He needs to find his second wind and start picking up his play once again for what has been a very good season overall for Atterberry.

Jason Brickman is coming off a rough game versus Saint Francis (PA) with 6 points and 6 assists in 38 minutes. Brickman scoring has taken a drop in the last four game as well. His scoring output is just 7.7 ppg and he is shooting 36% from the floor. Brickman is currently at 947 career assists and is tied for tenth place on the NCAA all-time career assist list. Here is the list of guys who are now within striking distance for Brickman to pass:

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 12.30.23 PM

Injury Updates:

Junior Gerrell Martin is expected to return in this game after sitting out the last two games with a strained shoulder. LIU really missed his outside shooting while he was out.

Junior Gilbert Parga made his return last Saturday against Saint Francis (PA) after missing the previous five games with a sprained achilles. Parga only played three minutes in his return after only recently returning back to practice.

Freshman Glenn Feidanga got his ankle rolled on by teammate E.J. Reed in the game last Saturday and did not return. We will have to wait until game time to see what his condition will be for this game.

Keys to Victory for LIU:

– Brickman needs to be Brickman: With likely no Brent Jones or Anthony White, it should open the floor up for Jason Brickman to work and dish off assists and get clean looks at the rim which he hasn’t been able to get much of lately.

– Need the threes to fall: Hopefully with the return of Martin and a few more minutes for Parga, the outside shooting can get going. Troy Joseph and Brickman really needs to make their open threes.

– Keep the Terriers off offensive glass: Last time out, SFBK grabbed 26(!) offensive rebounds and took down 52 total rebounds in the game. LIU can let the Terriers dominate on the glass to this degree once again or else they are going to have a field day once again in second chance points.

KenPom Score Projection: 81-75 St. Francis Brooklyn (LIU Win Probability: 25%)

Next up for the Blackbirds:

LIU Brooklyn begins their final road trip of the season as their three-game trip starts at NEC-leading Robert Morris on Thursday, February 20. Game is scheduled to tip at 7pm and can be seen on NEC Front Row.


  1. John Ashley says:

    It turned being a good game. Atterbury n Martin helped carry the Blackbirds in the 2nd half, which had each team go on 11-0 runs earlier in said half. Brickman had a good 1 as well. Enjoyed the Barclays Experience in what was the 1st college hoops I attended. Shouts 2 Mr. Castillo n the rest of the LIUBrooklyn contingent that covers/is around the team!

  2. John Ashley says:

    Attn Mr. Nelson Castillo:
    I happen 2b 1 of those @ the BarclaysCenter 4 St. Francis-LIUBrooklyn. Will get a look @ Jason Brickman up close, among other things. Will let u know how it went. 2nd time experiencing Barclays….

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