LIU Brooklyn to play Hofstra at Barclays Center in 2014-15

On Sunday morning, CBS Sports’ college basketball insider Jon Rothstein tweeted out the first bit of new 2014-15 LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball scheduling information. He tweeted out the following Sunday morning:

https://twitter.com/JonRothstein/status/460408955496173569

But by Sunday afternoon, the tweet had been deleted and it throw a major monkey wrench into the news of this game.

This morning, Rothstein put out another tweet:

So apparently Jon Rothstein and his source had the LIU opponent wrong. LIU Brooklyn will not be playing Fordham as Rothstein originally tweeted out but will now play Hofstra at the Barclays Center on Sunday, December 28th as part of a doubleheader with St. John’s who will take on Tulane. The doubleheader could likely be part of one of the Brooklyn Hoops holiday events, either the Holiday Invitational or the Winter Festival.

So far, LIU is 0-2 all-time in holiday events at the Barclays Center, losing to Seton Hall in 2012 and last season losing to Temple.

The news of LIU playing Hofstra at Barclays is not the attention grabber or the higher quality of opponent of LIU playing Fordham at the Barclays would have been so there is some disappointment in this update of opponent from Rothstein.

LIU last played Hofstra in the 2012-13 season in which LIU came from way behind in the second half to beat Hofstra at the WRAC, 88-84. That was the game this play happened:

That was the last highlight and last game LIU fans would see Julian Boyd play in as he would tear his ACL in their next game at Rice and would eventually never play again for LIU with his multiple knee injuries.

LIU is 13-16 all-time versus Hofstra. Hofstra is coming off a 10-23 season in 2013-14 and finished with a 5-11 in the Colonial Athletic Association.

We can add this game now to the 2014 LIU Schedule tracker with the list of known return games scheduled for next season.

 

Jason Brickman at the 2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

LIU's Jason Brickman participated in the 2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Photo: Bob Dea)

LIU Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman participated in the 2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Photo: Bob Dea)

This past week, 2014 All-NEC first teamer and NEC all-time assist king, LIU Brooklyn point guard Jason Brickman headed down to Portsmouth, Virginia to play in the annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) which is a tournament of 64 invited senior players who play in teams of eight players and they play in three games in front of NBA and international scouts and executives.

Brickman was on a team named Mike Duman Auto Sales (every team is named after a tournament sponsor). Brickman played in all three games. Here are his stat lines for all three games:

Game PTS FG 3FG FT ASTS REBS TO STLS PF MINS
1 2 1-3 0-2 0-0 3 1 1 0 1 21
2 3 1-3 1-3 0-0 5 1 0 1 0 25
3 2 1-4 0-1 0-0 4 4 4 1 0 24
   
Avg. 2.3 3-10 1-6 0-0 4.0 2.0 1.6 0.6 0.3 23.3

As the numbers show, Brickman had a tough time shooting the ball making just 30% of his field goals and going 1 for 6 from the further out NBA three-point line.

He averaged just over 23 minutes per game in the three games, averaging 2.3 ppg and 4.0 apg. He started in just one of the three games, getting a start in game two. He also had just over a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the PIT.

His team went winless in the three games at the PIT, losing by the scores of 79-77, 95-75, 87-69.

Next up, we will now wait and see if Brickman gets any invites to any pre-draft NBA workouts or camps in the coming weeks.

Jamil Hood Jr. to LIU Brooklyn becomes official

It has been seemingly months in waiting but on the very first day of regular signing period on Wednesday, Green Tech High School (Albany, NY) senior point guard Jamil Hood Jr. signed his National Letter of Intent and officially became a member of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball.

Hood Jr. had verbally committed to LIU Brooklyn and head coach Jack Perri back in early October but had to wait on signing his NLI until April so he can academically qualify.

Hood Jr. had a tremendous senior season at Green Tech. He averaged 16.7 points, 8.1 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game this season. His team went 19-6 and went on to become New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA Section II Champions and eventually became New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA Boys Basketball Champions. He went on to win MVP honors from his play in the postseason.

Hood Jr. was selected first-team NYSPHSAA All-Section II and was a McDonald’s All-America nominee.

He averaged over 20 points per game his junior season and was a NYSPHSAA All-State sixth-team selection. He was coached in high school by his father, Jamil Hood Sr.

Hood Jr. put out this picture on Instagram showing him signing his NLI along with LIU Athletics official tweet announcing his arrival to LIU Brooklyn:

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 12.36.33 PM

With Hood Jr. now signed, he becomes officially the fourth player signed to LIU Brooklyn for 2014-15. He is the second point guard LIU signed in this class with Elvar Fridriksson who signed in November as LIU starts to look at life after 1,000/1,000 man Jason Brickman. Also signed for next season is Trevin and Trevon Woods, twin brothers from Fort Bend Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas.

It would definitely be a great competition this fall on who will become the next starting point guard but we could very well see a situation in which both these players may end up as starters as Perri could once again utilize the two point guard system that was a great success in their championship run with Brickman and C.J. Garner both on the floor together. Also in the mix will be sophomore guard Iverson Fleming who saw time at the backup point guard spot especially near the end of the season.

With Hood Jr. now officially signed, this means there will be definitely be a couple of players not returning next season as LIU currently has 15 players on the roster for next season. It is not yet known who these players will be. At the moment, the health status of Troy Joseph, who would be a redshirt senior next season, is still unknown whether he will be able to return to play next season or not.

2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament Rosters Announced

This afternoon, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament rosters were announced via Facebook. LIU Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman is among the 64 college seniors who was invitied to particapate in the 62nd annual showcase tournament.

Brickman will play on the team called Mike Duman Auto Sales. His teammates on his team are:

Kendrick Perry – Youngstown State – 6’0″ – Guard

Davion Berry – Weber State – 6’4″ – Guard

Kareem Jamar – Montana – 6’5″ – Guard

Jamil Wilson – Marquette – 6’7″ – Forward

Sam Dower – Gonzaga – 6’9″ – Forward (Dropped out) Replaced by Isaiah Armwood – George Washington – 6’9″ – Forward

Josh Davis – San Diego State – 6’8″ – Forward

Killian Larson – Grand Canyon State – 6’9″ – Center

Other players from local team who will be participating at the Portsmouth Invitational are Iona’s Sean Armand, and Seton Hall’s Fuquan Edwin.

Games will begin play on Wednesday with a champion getting crowned on Saturday. Here is Brickman’s game schedule and link to the live video stream of the entire P.I.T.

You can check out www.portsmouthinvitational.com for more information on the full list of participants.

*Update – 4/14 6:40pm – Pitt’s Talib Zanna, the older brother of LIU Brooklyn’s Nura Zanna has declined his invitation to the PIT.

Recap of Inaugural Gotham Hoops Invitational

Sacred Heart's Louis Montes and Wagner's Latif Rivers were two of four participants in the inaugural Gotham Hoops Invitational out at Farmingdale State College. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Sacred Heart’s Louis Montes (left) and Wagner’s Latif Rivers (right) were two of four NEC participants in the inaugural Gotham Hoops Invitational out at Farmingdale State College. (Photos: Bob Dea)

On Sunday night, BHJ ventured out to Farmingdale, Long Island to catch the first annual Gotham Hoops Invitational held at Division III Farmingdale State College. This was a showcase event in which 40 of local tri-state area seniors who mostly either played in area or were from the area played against one another in a doubleheader.

LIU Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman was selected for this event but had to drop out after learning he was invited to play in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Virginia which starts this Wednesday and go through Saturday. Brickman was not in attendance at the Gotham Hoops Invitational.

Yet, five NEC players were in attendance and four of them played on Sunday evening at Nold Hall in Farmingdale. The list of NEC players included: Wagner’s Latif Rivers and Naofall Folahan, Sacred Heart’s Louis Montes, FDU’s Sidney Sanders Jr. and St. Francis Brooklyn’s Ben Mockford. Mockford was in attendance and was acknowledged but didn’t dress or play in the invitational.

Game one featured Rivers and Montes on the same team, Team Believe as they were called. They went up against Team Anchor which featured former All-NEC player Ike Azotam from Quinnipiac.

As you would expect in this showcase exhibitions, there was plenty of offense and not too much defense. At the half, Team Anchor lead 54-51 with a strong first half from Stony Brook’s Eric McAlister who had by unoffical scorekeeping 12 first half points. But Team Anchor was unable to hold onto the lead in the second half as Team Believe believed they could come back and win and they did beating Team Anchor, 111-95.

Team Believe was led by the hot shooting of Seton Hall’s Brian Oliver who LIU fans remember him torching the Blackbirds in their game against Seton Hall this past season. Oliver scored a game-high 25 points and hit 7 threes in the game. Team Anchor was led by Michael Woods of York College with 20 points. Wagner’s Latif Rivers finished with 14 points while Sacred Heart’s Louis Montes scored 16 including hitting three three-pointers in helping lead their squad to victory. (All player point totals in this post are unofficial)

Game two featured Sanders Jr. and Folahan playing on opposite sides. Sanders Jr. was on Team Passion and Folahan was on Team Dream.

Team Passion led at the half 47-40 thanks to 14 first half points from Fordham’s Branden Frazier but Team Dream led a second-half charge and actually tied the game at 99 with six seconds left to force a four-minute overtime. Team Passion would eventually prevail to get the win 111-106. Team Passion was led by Frazier’s 26 points. They also got 24 points from Hofstra’s Stephen Nwaukoni and 22 points from Kansas State’s Omari Lawrence. Team Dream was led by 22 points from Iona’s Mike Poole in the loss.

As for the NEC players in this game, Sanders Jr. sat out most of the second half as he had an ice bag over his left knee and looked hobbled running in the first half. Sanders Jr. scored four points in the game while Folahan finished with ten points.

Stacy Podelski of 1495sports.com was also at the Gotham Hoops Invitational and she has some nice photos as well as video interviews with some of the local players including St. Francis Brooklyn’s Ben Mockford. You can go here to check out her post.

Congratulations to Ray Anczelowicz of gothamhoops.com for putting on a successful event and getting a decent crowd for a Sunday night out in Farmingdale.

First look at the LIU Brooklyn 2014-15 non-conference schedule

This is the first post looking ahead at the 2014-15 season for the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. I want to start by looking at the next season’s non-conference schedule and take a peek at the back end of LIU’s home and home series games.

There are four known home and home series that will conclude next season. You will likely see the following four teams once again on LIU’s schedule come late August or September:

Lehigh (Home)

NJIT (Home)

Norfolk State (Away)

Temple (Away)

LIU split the games against these four teams this past season beating NJIT on the road and Norfolk State at home. They lost to Lehigh on the road and were walloped by Temple at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational.

With that LIU head coach Jack Perri and his coaching staff will need to find eight more non-conference games for next season. The NEC will return back to an 18-game conference schedule in 2014-15 and play a balanced schedule in which LIU will play all nine NEC teams twice, home and away. So the coaching staff have two less non-conference games to schedule next season which is a plus considering how hard it has been in the past for not just LIU but most of the NEC teams to schedule 14 non-conference games.

As the spring and summer goes along, I’ll be keeping tabs on LIU Brooklyn’s 2014-15 non-conference schedule and I’ve created a schedule tracker page to track down their games for next season as information starts making its way out to the public.

As Season Two comes to a close, time to say Thanks

Tonight is the final game of the 2013-14 college basketball season and we will see either Kentucky or Connecticut win another national championship in their storied histories. Since this is the final day of this college hoops season, I wanted to say my thanks once again and bring to closure what was a rather difficult season for LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball and a stepping stone year for LIU Brooklyn women’s basketball.

First, congrats to LIU women’s basketball for returning back to the NEC Tournament once again this season after missing out the season before. They got in as the eight-seed and put a bit of a scare into the NEC regular-season champs RMU in the first half before RMU showed their experience and talent in the second half to comeback and win and eventually win the NEC championship.

Head coach Gail Striegler has a rather young nucleus of players now to work with and they have a Top 50 recruiting class coming in next season so they should only get better next season. Letava Whippy and Kelly Robinson will become the go-to leaders on this as seniors next season. Sophie Bhasin and Aleisha Myers will be the go-to scorers.

The question is going to be, how will LIU replace All-NEC first teamer Cleandra Roberts and her 18.2 ppg. Right now, there isn’t a replacement for her on the roster. Striegler will need some of her other scorers to step up and score more next season and hope she some more help coming in from this incoming class. All in all, it was a season where they made some strides and will need to continue to build on what they did this season going into next season.

Next, the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. This team was hoping to really compete this season after winning three straight NEC championships. Losing five seniors from last year’s team and staying competitive was never going to be an easy task for LIU men’s head coach Jack Perri. Then you add the injury factor which was quite significant and rather devastating and you get the season that happened this year, a 9-20 season and 4-12 in the NEC and a team which failed to get into the NEC tournament for the first time in seven seasons.

Losing a former NEC player of the year in Julian Boyd for the season with his multiple ACL tears was a challenging blow to this team. Then losing a big man prospect like Nura Zanna for the season as well right out of the gate was a sign of how the rest of the season would go for Perri and the LIU Blackbirds. All in all, this team lost over 100 games from players due to injury. It is tough to win when you don’t have players practicing and being able to play.

Also, a big letdown this season was the defensive effort of this team all season long. LIU finished near the bottom of Division I defensive efficiency. They gave up an NEC-worst 1.14 points per possession. It is tough to win when you can’t stop the other team from scoring when you need to. Offensive, this team was a far cry from the offensive juggernauts we have seen them become over the previous three seasons. The lack of offense at times put a bigger spotlight on their defense which was never great over the championship years but was never as bad as this season.

There was a few bright spots in what was a rather disappointing year for LIU Brooklyn. One, we all got the privilege to watch in my opinion, the best point guard to ever play at LIU bar none in Jason Brickman, get to 1000 career assist in his final game as a Blackbird and also got to see him finish was a season-long double-double in points and assists. It is hard to think how much worst things would have likely been this season if Jason Brickman wasn’t on this team this year.

Another bright spot was emergence of Gerrell Martin especially late in the season. He became the go-to scorer on this team and showed himself as a real leader on the court. He is already working hard to make sure what happened this season doesn’t happen again next season and I believe he is going to rise to another level next season. Also, the contributions from the freshman class was key heading into next season. All three freshman in Iverson Fleming, Joel Hernandez and Glenn Feidanga got quality playing time this season and all three will be key moving forward into next season.

Don’t be surprised to see a shakeup in the LIU roster in the upcoming weeks in terms of guys leaving the program. There was a definite question mark around some guys on this team and it will be interesting to see who will be coming back and who is going to transfer out. This team even with the injuries shouldn’t have missed the NEC tournament and there were definitely guys on the team who didn’t live up to expectations. It will be interesting to see if they get another chance or will look for opportunities elsewhere.

With that said, I would like to start saying my Thank You to all those who help make another season of Blackbirds Hoops Journal possible.

First, I have to thank my wife Millie for letting me cover LIU Brooklyn basketball once again. Some of you may or may not know but we are expecting our first child, a baby girl, at the start of May and my wife has been a trooper with this pregnancy throughout the entire season. She was only able to make it to a handful of games this season but she was at the important ones at the end. She is a genuine Blackbird fan. Now we both get to bring a new Blackbird fan into the world and I can’t thank her enough for all the support she has given me from the very beginning.

It bothered her this season I had to move away from the stands which was our way of life from the start to having to cover the team for the blog from press row on the court. It was an unpopular decision for the both us but one we both accepted. I hope to be back in the stands sitting next to my wife and new daughter next season for hopefully at least a few games. I may lose my access for that particular game but it will be worth it to be with my family and being in their company and the company of all the great player families we got to meet and enjoy in the last several years. I look forward to being back in the stands behind the LIU players bench occasionally next season.

Also, a huge thanks goes out to Bob Dea. You see him at nearly LIU men’s and women’s game with his camera taking great action shots all year long. The man is dedicated to LIU Athletics. He is at volleyball matches in the fall and at every single home basketball game in the winter. We were road partners a lot this season. We made road trips out to Lehigh, Seton Hall, NJIT as well as NEC road trips to Wagner, Sacred Heart and of course St. Francis Brooklyn. We bonded over these trips and I greatly enjoyed his company. He shares a love for LIU Brooklyn basketball as much as I do and like me does it for the love of it all. I appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice he put in this season and he has help bring the blog to a level above ordinary with his great photos from games and even after the game. Thanks Bob for everything.

I would also like to thank the LIU Brooklyn women’s and men’s basketball players, coaches and staff for once again helping me out tremendously during this season and allowing me to pester them with questions.

Thanks to LIU men’s head coach Jack Perri and his all his assistant coaches for speaking with me throughout the season. A huge thanks goes to LIU Brooklyn Director of Media Relations Dan Lobacz once again for helping me out with information and access to the team. He helped get me anything I needed all year long and I greatly appreciate it. Thanks also to Casey Snedecor in Media Relations and to the entire LIU Brooklyn Athletic Department from AD John Suarez and Associate AD Greg Fox and everyone else on down.

I also would like to say thanks once again to the great folks at the Northeast Conference. From NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris to NEC Associate Commissioner, the great Ron Ratner to omnipresent Director of Communications and Social Media Ralph Ventre and the entire NEC staff. I’m once again thankful and grateful for all their help. The NEC, in my opinion, is the most fan-friendly conference in the country. From their outstanding NEC Front Row online platform to all their promotions and events, they run a first-class operation and are easy people to root for. I know I keep saying it every year but it is I really believe one day it is going to happen, an NEC win in the NCAAs is going to come. The NEC just need to find their way out of continually going to Dayton and getting seed 16th. I believe once that happens there is no doubt in my mind the NCAA win will come.

I also want to say thank to some of my fellow bloggers and newspaper writers who I got to chat with and enjoy their company at games this season and on Twitter: John Templon and Ryan Peters (Big Apple Buckets), Jaden Daly (A Daly Dose of Hoops), Josh Adams (College Hoops Digest), Rob Abruzzese (Brooklyn Daily Eagle), Ray Curren (The Mid-Majority), Andrew Chippazzi (Rivals.com – Colonials Corner), Chris Cappella and Lee Kunkel (Chronicling the Colonials) and many, many others.

Lastly, I want to thank you all for checking out and supporting Blackbirds Hoops Journal over the past two seasons. I greatly appreciate all the kind comments and emails some of you have sent my way. Thank you to those who see me at the games and come up to me and say hello and give your complements. I’m very happy that you guys have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Even though this was a trying season for all us Blackbird fans, the blog did almost as well this season in terms of page views in a down year as it did in the first season in what was a championship season. That is a big thanks to you for staying with the team as a real fans should and for continually checking out the blog throughout.

As we all know by now, the offseason tends to be slow and long during the spring and summer months as we start now looking ahead to the 2014-15 season but I will continue to do my best to keep up-to-date with the latest LIU Brooklyn and NEC news and updates. The April signing period is just around the corner and there is a chance another player or two will be coming to Downtown Brooklyn next season. Also, we will be keeping tabs on Jason Brickman and his new journey into playing profession ball. As usual, I’ll be keeping tabs on next season LIU’s non-conference schedule. You can find me constantly on Twitter @NelCastBHJ. I’ll be ranting about the Mets and Jets and the World Cup this summer in between LIU Brooklyn and NEC hoop tweets.

Once again, thank you all for the support once again and I will steal the line from the end of LIU Athletics Blackbird Bulletin videos, “Keep Flying High”.