Opponent: Saint Joseph’s Hawks (Atlantic 10 Conference)
Record: 2-2 (Last game: W vs Vermont, 68-60)
KenPom Ranking: 108
Tip-Off Time: 7:00pm
Location: Hagan Arena – Philadelphia, PA
Media Game Coverage: Online: Atlantic 10 Network (pay service-$5 for 24-hr access)/Radio: Sports Radio 610 (WIP-AM)
Meeting History: Fourth meeting. Saint Joseph’s leads series 2-1.
Projected Starting Lineups:
LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Landon Atterberry (F), Nura Zanna (F)
Saint Joseph’s: Chris Wilson (G), Isaiah Miles (F), James Demery (F), DeAndre’ Bembry (F), Jason Baumann (F/C)
LIU Brooklyn heads to Philadelphia for their first of two visits to the City of Brotherly Love in the next six days (At Temple next Sunday). First, the face off against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks from the Atlantic 10 conference.
The Hawks enter this contest at 2-2 after a 68-60 win at home this past Saturday, their first home win of the season.
Although they are .500 early on, the Hawks have really struggled shooting the ball. They are shooting just 35% from the field through four games and have made just 22% of their three-point attempts (14/64). They are scoring 0.84 points per possession to start the season while averaging close to 55 ppg.
The Hawks have also been out-rebounded through their first four games by a 1.3 rebounding margin. Also, defensively they have been giving up over 65 ppg and teams have shot 44% on them and hitting 35% of three-point attempts against them.
Saint Joseph’s is currently led by 6’6” sophomore DeAndre Bembry who leads the Hawks in scoring at 12.0 ppg. He lead the team in minutes played (36.5) but is shooting just 32% from the floor and 25% from three. He is tied for the team lead in rebounding with 6.8 rpg.
Junior Aaron Brown is scoring 11.8 ppg and is their top shooting player at nearly 49% from the field coming off the bench. He is averaging 24 minutes per game in the early going. Junior Isaiah Miles is averaging 8.5 ppg but is shooting just 30% from the floor and just 22% from three. He is also averaging 6.8 rpg along with Bembry.
Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli is pretty much going with a eight to nine man rotation. He plays a one guard, four forwards starting five. Although, the tallest guy in his main rotation is 6’8” forward Javon Baumann (4.0 ppg/4.5 rpg) who is a starter but averages under 20 mpg. Martelli does have a two players 6’9” and taller available but he has just played them one time each so far this season.
This team is also fairly young. There are six freshmen on the roster along with three sophomores which can explain their inconsistent start to their season as they have alternated wins and losses through their first four games. They have already been beaten by an NEC team this season with an season opener loss at home to Fairleigh Dickinson, 58-57.
LIU Brooklyn will begin their season in earnest with this game. It will be the first of three games in the next six days for the Blackbirds.
LIU Brooklyn is coming off a pretty positive performance in their 13-point loss to St. John’s last Wednesday. They were able to hold St. John’s to close to one point per possession and out-rebounded them by five including being a +13 on the offensive glass. They also held St. John’s to 2 for 11 from three.
Senior Landon Atterberry got his first career double-double at LIU versus St. John’s which is good early sign in particularly with his rebounding numbers. He brought down seven offensive boards against St. John’s.
LIU though didn’t shoot the ball particularly well against St. John’s as they were held to just under 30% shooting. They will need to improve on that to have a shot to win against Saint Joseph’s.
The freshmen had so-so collegiate debuts last time out. Nura Zanna had 10 & 6 and didn’t show much rust for not playing in a game in over a year. Martin Hermannsson and Elvar Friðriksson both dished out five assists although neither one shot the ball well in their debuts. All in total, LIU freshmen went 9 for 29 shooting in their debut.
LIU’s Keys to the Game:
– Continue to stay aggressive on the boards. It would be great to see an encore performance on the rebounding front especially on the offensive glass.
– Continue to make Saint Joseph’s struggle shooting from the field. The Hawks are having a hard time making shots at the moment so LIU needs to take advantage and continue with the defensive play they showed against St. John’s last week.
– LIU needs to make shots. LIU themselves struggles from the field and there are going to need to make more of their open looks which they had plenty of against St. John’s but just couldn’t knock them down. If they make their shots, especially from three, they are going to be in prime position for an upset.
– Stay out of foul trouble. If LIU doesn’t have Feidanga or Tshibuy available once again, that means Zanna and Atterberry will need to do a good job of staying out of foul trouble which they were able to do against St. John’s. Freshman Trevin Woods will once again see playing time off the bench if neither of these guys are able to play.
KenPom Game Prediction: Saint Joseph’s, 71-58. LIU win probability: 9%
LIU Brooklyn will be back in action on Thanksgiving as they play their third and final game of the NIT Season Tip-Off as the Blackbirds take on Stony Brook at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, November 27 at 4pm. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Save the turkey and stuffing for after the game!