As the summer goes along here, everyday we see a team or two or three putting out their schedules for the upcoming 2014-15 season. If we go by past history, LIU Brooklyn isn’t expected to release their 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule until sometime between late August and early-to-mid September (Yet, BHJ is tracking both the men’s and women’s basketball schedule on our LIU Schedule Tracker.) so we won’t officially know who LIU is playing until then.
Since there is time to kill between now and then, for fun, let’s take on the unenviable task of being an LIU schedule maker. We are assuming this year’s schedule is all but done at this point so lets look beyond the 2014-15 season and pick five opponents that LIU fans would probably like to see the Blackbirds play in the next couple of seasons after this upcoming one.
I’m taking into account not to put on this list teams LIU has played in the last three seasons (2011-14). So that will take out some of the locals teams such as Iona and Manhattan who have owned the MAAC conference the last few seasons. St. John’s, for now, is still a potential opponent for LIU this season so I omitted them. I’ll admit, a couple of teams I have mentioned in similar posts like this in the past are appearing once again. But I think I have better reasons to include them this time around.
Here are five opponents I came up with:
1. Fordham – LIU last played Fordham back in 2010 when LIU won by 12 at Rose Hill Gym in their first of three consecutive championship seasons. That was in Fordham’s head coach Tom Pecora’s first season in the Bronx after coming over from Hofstra. It has now been four years and counting since these two New York City schools have met and it is time to end that streak. Fordham is suppose to be up and coming in the tough Atlantic 10 Conference. With players such as Brooklyn’s Jon Severe and Mandell Thomas, the Rams are heading the right direction.
If these two teams met in the 2015-16 season, I think it would a pretty fun game to watch. The question would be, would Fordham agree to play in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center? I wouldn’t see why not since they are playing Manhattan there this upcoming season. Maybe Barclays Center is too much of a home game for the Rams to play LIU at. Maybe they would be like, it is either Rose Hill or nothing, which I think would be rather big of them since they haven’t been to an NCAA tourney since 1992 and have had exactly one winning season since then. But I digress, I would like to see these two play a home and home series starting in 2015 if both parties are willing.
2. Stony Brook – The Seawolves like LIU Brooklyn are participating in this season’s NIT Season Tip-Off in November so there is potential that these two teams might meet this season. But since no one seems to have a clue how this newly reformatted NIT tip-off is going to play out, they might end up not playing one another at all. Under the previous format, they was a chance they might have faced each other at St. John’s home floor, Carnesecca Arena in Queens. Now who knows, so I decided to put them on the list.
Stony Brook has won at least 22 games in four of the last five seasons as well as finishing in either first or second in the America East Conference in that same span. Although, they have yet to reach the NCAA tournament, they have played in three postseason NITs and one CBI tournament in the last five years, not bad for any mid-major especially one from the America East. Oddly enough, the two teams have never played one another and Stony Brook is about to open their brand spanking new Stony Brook University Arena on-campus this season so it would be a great time in the next couple of years to see these two teams schedule a home and home series with one another.
3. Rutgers – Until this season, I would have never have put Rutgers on a list like this. I will now. The reason: Rutgers now plays in the Big Ten Conference. Now that Rutgers play in one of the biggest conferences in the country, playing them only helps a team’s RPI and strength of schedule. Rutgers now have to play the Michigans, Michigan States, Indianas, Wisconsins, Ohio States of the college basketball world. So playing Rutgers now as opposed to last season when they were in the American Athletic Conference, greatly enhances their outlook in the college basketball world.
LIU and Rutgers have not played one another since 2003 and have only met that one time since 1992. Now that Rutgers is in the Big Ten, I don’t think LIU can convince them to play them at the Barclays Center so LIU would have to go to the RAC in Jersey for a meeting. Since LIU have never played a home game in their previous ten meetings, that wouldn’t be a shock. Now that LIU just finished a home and home with Seton Hall last season, it would be great to see LIU attempt to do the same with next biggest basketball program from New Jersey.
4. Kansas – LIU is currently on a streak. In the last four seasons, they have played at least one team that has won at least one NCAA championship. Grant it, the first two (North Carolina – 2011 & Michigan State – 2012) came in the NCAA tournament but the last three have come in-season on the road over the last two seasons (Kentucky – 2012, Maryland – 2012, Indiana – 2013). Unless there is a surprise coming once LIU officially release their schedule later this summer, this streak is likely going to come to an end.
What better way to start a new streak then for LIU to visit one of the biggest programs in college basketball, Kansas, at one of the most famed college basketball venues, Allen Fieldhouse. Just thinking about it gets me all pumped up!
You might ask, why would Kansas want to play LIU? I say, why the heck not! Kansas this season is playing UC-Santa Barbara, Rider, and Lafayette at home. Iona played at Kansas last season. American played there the year before that. You get the point. It would be awesome to see LIU on the floor of Allen Fieldhouse just like it was when LIU played at Assembly Hall in Indiana and Rupp Arena in Kentucky. Heck, if a good LIU team goes there, they can probably play with them for a half or so. It would be fun to see. Hell, if happens, I’ll be there!
5. Duquesne – It has now been two years since Jim Ferry left LIU Brooklyn to become the head coach at Duquesne. Although he did return back to Brooklyn for the first time with his new team last season in Atlantic 10 tournament at the Barclays Center, he has yet to return for a game back to the school where he coached for ten seasons.
Yes, there is a lot of high mutual respect between the LIU and Duquesne coaching staffs with Duquesne having three former LIU coaches and LIU having three coaches who coached with Ferry at LIU. I understand and see why this matchup has yet to happen and very likely may never happen as long as Ferry and Jack Perri are each team’s respective head coaches.
Yet, I think with two and soon-to-be three seasons going by, enough time have passed by to let the sentimentality go. By the end of this season, LIU will no longer have a player that played under Ferry. I greatly appreciate what Ferry did for LIU in his ten years here but now he coaches Duquesne, who plays in a very good basketball league in the Atlantic 10. It’s time to take advantage of playing another team in a league that sent six teams to the NCAA tournament last season. Duquesne has been willing to play against NEC schools and even play them on the road as they have with Robert Morris last year and St. Francis (PA) this year. Plus, LIU and Duquense, even though they have played each other sixteen times in their histories, have not met since the 1969-70 season.
It’s time to do a home and home. It’s time for LIU to visit Pittsburgh and for Ferry to make his return back to the Wellness Center for one more game.