Opponent: New Hampshire (America East Conference)
Record: 3-2 (Last game: W vs Dartmouth, 65-63)
KenPom Ranking: 302
Tip-Off Time: 7:00pm
Location: Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY
Media Game Coverage: Online: NEC Front Row/Audio: Red Zone Media
Meeting History: Fifth all-time meeting. LIU Brooklyn leads all-time series 4-0. Teams last played one another back in the 2008-09 season, LIU won 76-72 at the Steinberg Wellness Center.
Projected Starting Lineups:
LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Landon Atterberry (F), Nura Zanna (F)
New Hampshire: Jaleen Smith (G), Daniel Dion (G), Tommy McDonnell (G), Tanner Leissner (F), Jacoby Armstrong (F)
New Hampshire is on a two-game winning streak after dropping two of their first three games. They are coming off their first road win of the season on Sunday, beating Dartmouth 65-63.
New Hampshire’s head coach Bill Herrion is in his tenth season but he has yet to produce a winning season in his time at UNH. Last season, the Wildcats finished 6-24 and 4-12 in the America East.
Most of this season’s team are either sophomore or juniors with a couple of seniors and freshmen mixed in. Sophomore Daniel Dion leads the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and assists (3.0 apg). He is their top three-point shooter at 41.7% as he has hit 15 threes so far. He is coming off of back-to-back 23 points performances against Boston University and Dartmouth.
Freshman Tanner Leissner is second on the team in scoring (11.8 ppg) and leads them in rebounding (5.4 rpg). He had gone for double-figures scoring in four of his first five games. He scored 17 in his collegiate debut against Boston College.
Sophomore Jaleen Smith is UNH’s final double-digit scorer at 10 ppg. He had just two points in his last game against Dartmouth but scored 15 in the prior game in their win against Boston University. He hasn’t shot the ball great to start off. He is just a 32% shooter and has made just 4 of 19 three-point attempts.
No one else on the team is averaging over 20 minutes a game for UNH. Herrion likes to go pretty deep on his bench playing at least ten guys.
UNH is currently third in the America East in scoring at 67.4 ppg. They’re second in the conference in rebounding at 33.6 rpg and shoot 41.6% from the field. UNH is scoring 0.96 points/possession, averaging close to 66 possessions per game.
Defensively, the Wildcats are giving up just 59.4 ppg and exactly one point per possession. Opponents are only hitting 41.7% of their shots against them, 49.3% from two-point range and 30.1% from three. Also, their defense doesn’t force a lot of turnovers. They force about twelve turnovers per game.
Point guard Elvar Friðriksson is off to a nice start to his LIU Brooklyn career. The 6’0” guard from Iceland is one of five players averaging at least eight points per game. He is currently leading the NEC in assists at 4.5 apg and his 6:1 assist-to-turnover ration is tops in the NEC and tied for 13th in the nation. He dished off a career-high eight assists last time out against Temple and has not committed more than one turnover in any of the first four games. His shooting will hopefully pick up as he has made 35% of his shots and is just 5 of 17 from three.
LIU plays their first home game of the season vs UNH. LIU is 8-0 in home openers played at the Steinberg Wellness Center since its first full season of existence back in 2006-07 .
LIU’s Keys to the Game:
– LIU needs to score. The Blackbirds are scoring just 58.6 points per game. A far cry from what everyone including the coaching staff was expecting. They are playing a team that has been keeping teams to under 60 points per game so LIU desperately needs to score over 1.0 points/possession. They have not done so this season, only coming close once.
– LIU needs to draw fouls. With LIU playing bigger teams, they have been losing the foul battle. LIU have been called for 20 fouls per game so far while the opposition have just been called for 16 fouls per game. This is resulting in 34 more free throw attempts for LIU opponents. LIU has to do a better job of limiting their fouls while getting fouled more.
– Keep the ball moving. LIU played their best vs Temple in the first half due to constant ball movement and finding open players. An over one team assist-to-turnover ratio would be ideal.
– Time to run. With a like-opponent, it is time to let the horses run wild and get out on the break on every possible opportunity off of misses and makes. LIU needs to put pressure on this UNH defense.
KenPom Game Prediction: LIU Brooklyn, 64-60. LIU win probability: 68%.
LIU Brooklyn complete their short two-game home stand as they take on Lehigh at the Steinberg Wellness Center on Saturday, December 6th at 2pm.