Opponent: Stony Brook (America East Conference)
Record: 3-2 (Last game: W vs Western Kentucky, 71-61)
KenPom Ranking: 129
Tip-Off Time: 4:00pm
Location: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Media Game Coverage: TV: ESPNU/Audio: StonyBrookAthletics.com
Meeting History: First-ever meeting.
Projected Starting Lineups:
LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Landon Atterberry (F), Nura Zanna (F)
Stony Brook: Kameron Mitchell (G), Carson Puriefoy (G), Roland Nyama (G/F), Rayshaun McGrew (F), Jameel Warney (F)
Stony Brook has been a perennial power in the America East conference for the last several seasons. They have won at least 22 games in four of the last five seasons and has finished in either first or second in their conference each of those seasons.
Once again, Stony Brook has a really strong team that was picked to win the America East conference in their annual preseason coaches poll. They are 3-2 so far in November with wins over a good Columbia team and Western Kentucky.
The Seawolves feature two preseason All-America East Conference team members in junior 6’8” forward Jameel Warney and 6’0” guard Carson Puriefoy. Warney was named the America East Player of the Year as a sophomore last season in which he scored 14.5 ppg and grabbed 8 rebounds a game for head coach Steve Pikiell. Warney is currently second on the team in scoring at 16.0 ppg while he is second in the nation in rebounding at 13.6 rpg. He has had five straight double-doubles to start the season including a 26-point, 14-rebound performance in a tough one-point loss at Hofstra. He is a huge load in the middle for Stony Brook.
Puriefoy currently leads Stony Brook in points (16.6 ppg), assists (4.2 apg), steals (1.4 spg) and minutes played (33.6 mpg). He was second team all-conference last season as a bench player. He scored a career-high 26 points against Georgia over a week ago. He is going to be a tough cover for LIU’s mostly young backcourt.
After third leading scorer in junior Rayshaun McGrew (8.6 ppg), the next four top scorers are all freshmen in Tyrell Sturdivant (7.0 ppg/6.3 rpg), Bryan Sekunda (6.6 ppg), Deshaun Thrower (5.8 ppg) and Roland Nyama (5.0 ppg).
Stony Brook is averaging 72.5 ppg and are scoring just under a point per possession. They are shooting 43.2% from the field, hitting 45% of their two-point shots and 35% of their three-pointers. They are grabbing close to 39 rebounds per game. Defensively, they are giving up 63.4 ppg and 0.97 points per possession. Teams are shooting just 43.5% against their defense and making 34% of their threes. They force 11.5 turnovers a game and get over six steals and four blocks a game.
The youth movement is starting to take shape at LIU Brooklyn. It is being led by redshirt freshman Nura Zanna who is currently leading LIU in scoring at 12.0 ppg. He is also second on the team in rebounds at 7 boards a game.
Freshman point guard Elvar Friðriksson is second in scoring at 9.0 ppg and has a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio through LIU’s first two games. Fellow Icelandic teammate Martin Hermannsson is leading the team in minutes played at 34 minutes per game and is leading the team in assists at 5.0 apg.
Sophomores Iverson Fleming and Joel Hernandez are both coming off of games in which each scored in double figures for the first time this season.
LIU’s Keys to the Game:
– Slowing down Warney and Puriefoy. I know that is easier said than done. LIU may have to utilize a double-team on Warney especially if they want to keep their depleted front court out of foul trouble. LIU is going to need Nura Zanna to play as many minutes as possible. You may see multiple defenders on Puriefoy out on the perimeter.
– Stay confident. LIU has played scrappy through their first two games and have been in both games. They need to continue doing what they’re doing and keep the game close and put the pressure on Stony Brook to make plays.
– Gerrell Martin needs to bring his A-game. Martin didn’t have a good outing versus Saint Joseph’s so he is going to look to bounce back offensively and will need to have a strong game defensively as well against a very Stony Brook backcourt.
KenPom Game Prediction: Stony Brook, 71-60. LIU win probability: 12%
LIU Brooklyn heads back to Philadelphia for their final game of their four-game season opening road swing as they take on Temple at the Liacouras Center on Sunday, November 30 at 4pm.