Opponent: St. Francis Brooklyn
Record: 21-10, 15-3 NEC (Last game: L vs Bryant, 61-51)
KenPom Ranking: 143
Tip-Off Time: 7:00pm
Location: Generoso Pope Athletic Center – Brooklyn Heights, NY
Media Game Coverage: Online: necfrontrow.com
Meeting History: 103th all-time meeting. LIU Brooklyn leads the series, 63-39. St. Francis Brooklyn took both regular season meetings from LIU Brooklyn this season. The Terriers beat LIU 81-64 at SFBK on January 31st and then beat LIU again 74-69 in overtime last Thursday at LIU.
Projected Starting Lineups:
St. Francis Brooklyn: Brent Jones (G), Tyreek Jewell (G), Chris Hooper (F), Lowell Ulmer (F), Jalen Cannon (F)
LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Landon Atterberry (F), Nura Zanna (F)
What’s At Stake:
– For both teams, the winner will continue to the NEC tournament semifinals on Saturday. A loss for LIU would mean the end of their 2014-15 season while a loss for SFBK would mean they will not be going to the NCAA Tournament and will head to the NIT tournament due to being the NEC regular season champions.
St. Francis Players to Watch Out for:
Jalen Cannon – Senior – Forward – He is the newly minted NEC Player of the Year by virtue of averaging a double-double (16.5 ppg/10.2 rpg) through the regular season. He recorded eighteen double-doubles in 31 games this season. Shot nearly 52% from the field this season and 32% from three. He averaged 18.5 ppg and 12 rpg while shooting 40% in his two games against LIU Brooklyn this season.
Brent Jones – Senior – Guard – He was just named to the All-NEC first team for his outstanding play this season. He was second on the Terriers in scoring at 13.6 ppg and lead them in both assists (5.2 apg) and steals (2.0 spg). He also led the team in minutes played at 34 mpg. He scored in double figures in 27 of the 31 games he played in. He averaged 13.5 ppg and 5.5 apg in his two games against LIU Brooklyn this season.
X-Factors for St. Francis Brooklyn:
Amdy Fall – Junior – Forward – He was just named NEC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the NEC in blocks with 74 and averaging three blocks per game to led the conference. He will usually go on a spree of blocks and get a bunch in a short amount of time especially down the stretch of games when the Terriers are trying to protect a small lead.
Glenn Sanabria – Freshman – Guard – He is the Terrier’s backup point guard and will usually play the point and let Brent Jones slide over to the shooting guard spot. He has shown a knack in his freshman season in hitting big shots at important moments in games. He is currently being hampered by a knee injury which caused him to miss the last three St. Francis Brooklyn games. It will be interesting to see what impact he will have in this game.
The Blackbirds will likely come into this game very loose as all of the pressure will be on the Terriers. LIU should draw some crowd support from fans coming down Fulton Street to watch this game. It is going to be a loud and frantic atmosphere inside that Pope Center so LIU will need to get off to a good start to settle in and give the Terriers something to think about. LIU has to keep applying the pressure on St. Francis Brooklyn all game long.
LIU can ill-afford any long scoring droughts and huge Terrier runs. The Terriers offense is very sneaky and can put points up in a hurry if they’re not careful.
This is a huge spot for freshman Nura Zanna. He will have to guard the NEC Player of the Year in Jalen Cannon. It will be important for Zanna to play smart, not try and do too much, stay out of foul trouble and most importantly rebound the ball.
If LIU has any shot of winning this game, they are going to need major contributions from Gerrell Martin and Martin Hermannsson. Martin’s shot needs to be on and Hermannsson needs to play aggressive and try and get to the free throw line as much as possible.
LIU’s three-point shooting will also be key, if they are cold from the outside, it is going to be hard to beat St. Francis Brooklyn. The three-point shot and the defensive glass will either sink or swim the Blackbirds in this matchup.
St. Francis Brooklyn will win the game if…
They dominate the glass and continue to force LIU turnovers. Also, if their big three of Cannon, Jones and Fall are all having big games, they are not going to lose. Also, if they defend the three, they will be in good shape, LIU is dead last in two-point field goal percentage during conference play.
LIU Brooklyn will win the game if…
They don’t turn the ball over and can keep up with Terriers off the glass. LIU turned the ball over 27 times last Thursday in their overtime loss to SFBK. LIU were also out-rebounded by 10 in that game. They need to do a better job protecting the ball and hitting the glass. Also, LIU needs to hold the Terriers to under 65 points, if they do they have a good shot of getting a monumental upset.
KenPom Game Prediction: St. Francis Brooklyn, 71-61. LIU win probability: 14%.