The 2014-15 LIU Brooklyn MBB Non-Conference Team-By-Team Breakdown

Today, LIU Brooklyn Athletics released the 2014-15 LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball schedule. It includes 29 games like it did a season ago and will feature 14 home games including three of those at the Barclays Center. LIU will also return to the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving, November 27th.

The LIU Brooklyn season will start on Wednesday, November 19th with an NIT Season Tip-Off matchup against St. John’s. Their season will start five days after the start of the college basketball season on November 14th.

LIU’s NEC season will tip off at the Steinberg Wellness Center against Bryant on Saturday, January 3rd.

First, let’s take a look at the teams LIU Brooklyn will be playing in non-conference play this upcoming season. In the coming days, I will take a deeper look at LIU’s 2014-15 NEC schedule.

November 19, 2014 – at St. John’s (Carnesecca Arena – Jamaica, NY) TV: ESPN3

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 20-13 (10-8 Big East)/5th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 58/61
Postseason: NIT – First Round

Outlook: Last season, St. John’s got to 20 wins for only the second time in their last eleven seasons. The Red Storm missed out on the NCAA’s last season and had to settle for NIT which ended in an ugly 89-78 loss to LIU rival Robert Morris. St. John’s returns plenty of talent to their roster. It starts with D’Angelo Harrison who returns for his senior season. He led the Red Storm in scoring at 17.5 ppg. Six of their top eight scorers will return for head coach Steve Lavin. St. John’s also return shot blocker extraordinaire junior Chris Obekpa who finished with 2.9 blocks/gm and was 4th in the nation in block rate at 11.9. This is their first meeting since the 2009-10. St. John’s has won the last four meetings, all at Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm went 14-5 at home last season between Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden.

November 25, 2014 – at St. Joseph’s (Hagan Arena – Philadelphia, PA)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 24-10 (11-5 Atlantic 10)/4th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 30/46
Postseason: NCAA Tournament – Second Round

Outlook: St. Joseph’s was one of six 2014 NCAA Tournament participants from the Atlantic 10 conference. It was their first appearance in six seasons. Coming into this season, they will be looking to replace three of their top four scorers including their top two. Sophomore DeAndre Bembry is their leading returning scorer at 14.4 ppg. He is the only returnee to average over 10 ppg last season. Senior Chris Wilson (9.0 ppg) also returns for the Hawks. This is their fourth all-time meeting and the first between the two since the 1979-80 season. St. Joe’s went 11-3 at home last season.

November 27, 2014 – vs Stony Brook (Madison Square Garden, New York, NY) TV: ESPNU

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 23-11 (13-3 America East)/2nd
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 163/174
Postseason: CBI – First Round

Outlook: Last season was Stony Brook’s third consecutive 20-win season and their fourth in the last five seasons. Yet, Stony Brook is still looking for that elusive first NCAA tournament appearance after repeated heartbreak in the America East Tournament, having to settle for a CBI appearance last season. The Seawolves return their top two scorers from last season in juniors Jameel Warney (14.5 ppg) and Carson Puriefoy (12.9 ppg). Warney is also their top returning rebounder (8 rpg). Stony Brook did lose their third, fourth and fifth leading scorers to graduation. Sophomore Ahmed Walker also returns after a 7.0 ppg/5.3 rpg season. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. LIU last played at MSG on February 12, 2012 vs St. Francis Brooklyn, a 86-77 win.

November 30, 2014 – at Temple (Liacouras Center – Philadelphia, PA) TV: ESPN3

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 9-22 (4-14 AAC)/9th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 170/159

Outlook: Temple went through a rough season in 2012-13, their first in the American Athletic Conference, after six straight 20-win seasons. Temple finished 9-22, their worst record since the 1975-76 season (9-18). The Owls are looking to rebound this season but have at it without their top scorer from last season, Dalton Pepper, who graduated. Good news for them, Pepper is their only lost player. Senior Will Cummings is the Owls’ top returning scorer at 16.8 ppg. Senior Anthony Lee (13.6 ppg) returns as their top returning rebounder at 8.6 rpg. LIU were hammered by Temple last season at the Barclays Center, 101-65. Temple is 4-0 all-time vs LIU. Temple last season went 4-10 at home.

December 3, 2014 – vs New Hampshire (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 6-24 (4-12 America East)/9th (last)
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 340/329

Outlook: UNH finished last in the America East conference last season. They haven’t had a winning season in 20 years. The Wildcats lose their top three scorers from a year ago and have no returning scorers who averaged over 10 ppg. UNH will look to a trio of sophomores to carry the load for them in Daniel Dion (8.2 ppg), Jacoby Armstrong (7.4 ppg), and Jaleen Smith (5.3 ppg). The last time these two teams faced each other was back in the 2008-09 season. LIU is 4-0 all-time vs UNH. UNH was 3-12 on the road last season.

December 6, 2014 – vs Lehigh (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 14-18 (7-11 Patriot)/6th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 233/256

Outlook: Lehigh in their first season without NBA draftee C.J. McCollum, went from having back-to-back 20-win seasons to a 14-18 season in 2012-13. Making matters a little worse, they also lost their leading scorer from last season in Mackey McKnight. Fortunately for them, he was their only senior from last senior so they have plenty of guys who played last season returning. Sophomore Tim Kempton is the Mountain Hawks’ top returning scorer and rebounder at 13.0 ppg and 7.1 rpg. Junior Jesse Chuku (8.7 ppg/5.9 rpg) also returns, he went for 15 pts and 10 rebs in a 76-69 win vs LIU last season. The loss to Lehigh last season was LIU’s first loss in the all-time series (1-2). Lehigh went 4-12 on the road last season.

December 9, 2014 – at Maine (Alfond Arena – Orono, ME)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 6-23 (4-12 America East)/8th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 330/338

Outlook: Maine has been on a steady decline wins-wise since 2009-10. Last season, they matched their lowest win total since 1981-82. A change at head coach was made. Out went Ted Woodward after ten seasons and in comes Bob Welsh who arrives from Division III Rhode Island College where he had .764 winning percentage in nine seasons. With the coaching change, a couple of players decided to transfer including last season’s leading scorer Xavier Pollard. They also lost third-leading scorer Dimitry Akanda-Coronel who transferred. Senior Zarko Valjarevic is their top returning scorer at 11.3 ppg. This is fourth all-time series meeting, the first since 1999-2000 season. Maine is 4-0 all-time vs LIU. Maine went 4-9 at home last season.

December 14, 2014 – vs NJIT (Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 13-16 (Independent)
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 302/312

Outlook: NJIT will play their second season as an independent as they continue their search to get an invite into a conference. They went a respectable 13-16 last season and they return back most of their roster. They bring back top scorers in sophomore Damon Lynn (17.2 ppg), junior Terrence Smith (12.2 ppg), and junior Ky Howard (9.1 ppg). NJIT played LIU tough in high-scoring 96-93 game in Newark last season. LIU is 3-0 all-time against the Highlanders. NJIT went 6-10 on the road in 2012-13.

December 18, 2014 – Florida International (Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 15-16 (7-9 Conference USA)/10th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 203/221

Outlook: In their first season in Conference USA under first-year head coach Anthony Evans, the Panthers finished a game under .500. Unfortunately for them, they lose their top three scorers due to graduation. In fact, FIU losses four of their top five scorers from last season, one of them is LIU’s newest transfer Jerome Frink. Their return top returning scorer is redshirt senior Dennis Mavin (11.8 ppg). The two teams have only meet once before, back in 2001-02 where LIU lost to FIU, 54-50 at FIU. FIU was 5-8 on the road a season ago.

December 22, 2014 – at New Hampshire (Whittemore Center – Durham, NH)

Outlook: This is the second game between LIU and UNH in 2014-15 but this time the game is up in New Hampshire. It will be the sixth all-time meeting and the first up at UNH since 2007-08. UNH’s home record in 2012-13 was 3-11.

December 28, 2014 – vs Hofstra (Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY)

’13-’14 Record/Finish: 10-23 (5-11 CAA)/8th
’13-’14 Final RPI/KenPom rankings: 276/265

Outlook: Hofstra will begin their second season under head coach Joe Mihalich. The Pride won ten games last season in Mihalich’s first go-around. Early buzz around Hofstra is that will be a contender in the CAA this coming season. Even though they lose last season’s leading scorer Zeke Upshaw to graduation, the Pride returns Monmouth transfer Dion Nesmith (13. 3 ppg/4.2 apg) as a fifth-year grad student. The Pride also returns senior Moussa Kone (7.1 ppg/5.9 rpg) and sophomore Jamall Robinson (9.5 ppg). LIU defeated Hofstra in their last meeting at the Steinberg Wellness Center in 2012-13 in a come-from-behind 88-84 win. Hofstra still leads the all-time series 16-13. Hofstra went 1-12 on the road last season.

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