2015-16 NEC Attendance Numbers

Last week, while I was vacationing in the (mostly) beautiful South Florida weather, the NCAA released their attendance figures for the 2015-16 men’s basketball season and all in all, it was a slightly improved season for the Northeast Conference.

The ten NEC schools increased their average home game attendance by 57 fans per game to 1,109 fans which is the first increase for the league in three seasons since the NEC reached their all-time high back in 2012-13 when they averaged 1,419 fans per game which was also the final season the NEC had twelve teams. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn MBB final game NEC Tournament seeding scenarios

Last night, LIU Brooklyn defeated Central Connecticut, 80-74, at go to 9-8 on the season in the Northeast Conference with one more game remaining tomorrow against Bryant at the Steinberg Wellness Center.

Like I mentioned in the game recap from last night, the NEC this morning put out updated seeding scenarios for all eight teams including LIU Brooklyn. Here is a nifty, easy-to-use chart put together by NEC Associate Commissioner Ron Ratner after last night’s contests: [Read more…]

Jamal Olasewere and Nigeria wins 2015 FIBA AfroBasket. Feidanga and Central African Republic finished 14th

Congratulations to LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball alum Jamal Olasewere and his Nigerian teammates as Nigeria on Sunday defeated Angola in the 2015 FIBA African Championship in Tunisia, 74-65, for win their first-ever AfroBasket championship.

Nigeria with the victory, automatically qualifies to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics basketball tournament in Brazil and erase the disappointment of their 2013 FIBA AfroBasket. Nigeria becomes the third nation to qualify for next summer’s Olympics along with the United States and Australia who qualified by winning last summer’s FIBA World Championships in Spain. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn News and Notes

With the arrival of the dog days of summer and basketball activity picking up as we begin counting down the days towards the 2015-16 college basketball season, what better time to get caught up on some of LIU Brooklyn basketball happenings by bringing you all the first edition of the LIU Brooklyn News and Notes of the new season. [Read more…]

November NEC highlights and lowlights

If November is any indication, this is definitely a transitional year for the Northeast Conference. The league finished the first month of the college basketball season with a 14-37 record which is just a .274 win percentage.

Although this wasn’t unexpected after so many great players who helped shattered records in the NEC having graduated and most are playing professional basketball overseas, yet is not easy to watch a league struggle the way the NEC did in November.

Let’s take a look at some of NEC highlights and lowlights that occurred in the month of November:

Highlight: FDU got the biggest win for the NEC in November with an 58-57 win at Saint Joseph’s on opening night of the college basketball season. FDU was given just a five percent chance to win that game and won it on a Mustafaa Jones’ three-pointer with three seconds remaining to pull off the upset.

Lowlight: Mount St. Mary’s lost at home to Maryland-Eastern Shore 53-41. UMES were ranked second to last on KenPom at the time of this game. The Mount were given a 93% win probability to beat UMES. The Mount only scored 11 points in the first half and were to held to 0.71 points/possession for the game.

Highlight: CCSU’s Matt Mobley is the NEC’s only 30-point scorer in November when he went for 30 against Fairfield on opening night in their loss to Fairfield. There were 10 more NEC players who scored at least 20 in a game in November with Mobley going for 20 or more three times. He is currently second in the NEC in scoring at 18.0 ppg trailing Bryant’s Dyami Starks.

Lowlight: Scoring so far is way down among teams in the NEC. There is not a team cracking 70 points/game. Right now, there are just six NEC teams breaking the 60 ppg mark with St. Francis Brooklyn leading the NEC in scoring currently with 65.8 ppg. Just to give a prospective, nine of the ten NEC teams scored 69 ppg or more with five teams scoring at least 71.5 ppg. Four NEC teams are currently scoring under 60 ppg.

Highlight: The NEC only won one game that would be considered a signature victory but the NEC did come close on a couple of occasions to adding a couple more. LIU Brooklyn were three seconds away from the NEC’s second win over Saint Joseph’s but a late game-tying three pointer by St. Joe’s took the game to overtime and St. Joe’s ended up prevailing. St. Francis Brooklyn were tied with Rutgers with 46 seconds remaining but couldn’t convert on a couple of opportunities late and lost a three-point game.

Lowlight: St. Francis Brooklyn who picked by many to be the preseason favorite to win the NEC this season, got off to a tough start at 0-5 with losses to Georgetown, Army, Rutgers, LaSalle and Norfolk State although three of those losses were by less than three points. The Terriers finally broke through with a 59-57 victory over Tennessee Tech for their first win of the season. CCSU who were picked second are 0-6 (more on them in the next lowlight). RMU who was picked to finish third, are just 2-4 with wins over Bradley and Louisiana-Monroe.

Lowlight:  No team is having a tougher start to their season than CCSU. They went 0-6 in November and the closest they were to a win was a five-point loss to Bethune-Cookman who are ranked 340 on KenPom at the time they played. Add on the fact now that senior Kyle Vinales will not return to the team this season after his arrest in October and this is not the start to their season head coach Howie Dickerman had envisioned coming in.

Highlight: There is a nice young freshman class in the NEC this season and a lot of them are having an early impact on their teams in the first month of the season. Two freshmen (RMU’s Marcquise Reed & FDU’s Darian Anderson) are averaging 10 points/game. LIU’s Nura Zanna (6.3 rpg) is fifth in the NEC in rebounding. LIU’s Elvar Friðriksson is first in the NEC in assists (4.5 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio at 6:1.

While there wasn’t a great deal of wins in November, there were things to take away from the first month of the season. Now, the NEC will get to play some more home games in December so we should see the conference’s record pick up and there are still plenty of big win opportunities that will be available. Hopefully, December will get things turned around for the NEC.

The NEC News Wire – September 16

It has been nearly a month since the last edition of the NEC News Wire as our 2014-15 NEC men’s basketball previews series took over. So here is the latest news and notes around the NEC as the season is now only two months away.

– In the last month, three more NEC men’s basketball teams released their 2014-15 schedules bringing the grand total to eight. Mount St. Mary’s, Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart joins Robert Morris, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner, Bryant and St. Francis Brooklyn. LIU Brooklyn and Saint Francis U. are the two remaining teams in the NEC to have yet to release their 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule.

– A trio of recent NEC alums joined the growing list of players who will be playing professional basketball in Europe for the 2014-15 season.

Fairleigh Dickinson’s Mathias Seilund, Mount St. Mary’s graduate Rashad Whack and last season’s NEC Player of the Year, Robert Morris’ Karvel Anderson joined the professional ranks by signing contracts to play ball from a pair of european clubs. Mathias Seilund signed with the Bristol Flyers of the British Basketball League. Seilund averaged 9.3 ppg for the FDU Knights last season. Rashad Whack last week signed with Island Storm in the Canadian National Basketball League. Last season, Whack was named on the All-NEC second team after a 17.6 ppg season in helping led the Mount to an NEC championship. In late August, Karvel Anderson signed a contract with Italian club Andrea Costa Imola. Anderson led the NEC in scoring last season with a 19.7 ppg average. Anderson scored 31 points in his team’s first preseason game.

– A new season means new basketball uniforms for some teams. Robert Morris will unveil new uniforms when the season begins. They broke them out the new road unis for picture day last week.

Jalen Cannon unveiled St. Francis Brooklyn’s new road unis during their recent photo shoot.

– The first two college basketball preview magazine has hit the newsstands. The Sporting News College Basketball Yearbook and the Lindy’s Sports College Basketball Preview Magazine were released in last couple of weeks and hence released their 2014-15 NEC men’s basketball predictions. Here is how they predicted things will fall in the NEC:

Sporting News

  1. St. Francis Brooklyn
  2. Central Connecticut
  3. Robert Morris
  4. Mount St. Mary’s
  5. Saint Francis PA
  6. Bryant
  7. Wagner
  8. LIU Brooklyn
  9. Fairleigh Dickinson
  10. Sacred Heart

NEC Player of the Year: Jalen Cannon – St. Francis Brooklyn
NEC Newcomer of the Year: Chris Martin – Mount St. Mary’s
NEC Coach of the Year: Andy Toole – Robert Morris


  1. Central Connecticut
  2. Bryant
  3. Saint Francis PA
  4. Robert Morris
  5. St. Francis Brooklyn
  6. Wagner
  7. Mount St. Mary’s
  8. LIU Brooklyn
  9. Fairleigh Dickinson
  10. Sacred Heart

NEC Player of the Year: Dyami Starks – Bryant
NEC Newcomer of the Year: Jamil Hood Jr. – LIU Brooklyn
No selection for NEC Coach of the Year

Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview Magazine is the next preview magazine that is due out. It should hit newsstands next week.

Inside the Blackbirds – August 13

Welcome to the first edition of a new feature I would like to call “Inside the Blackbirds” which is all about updating you on all the latest happenings surrounding LIU Brooklyn men’s and women’s basketball. With just about 50 days to go until the official start of the college basketball season, it is time to get all you Blackbirds fan updated on what is going on in and around LIU hoops.

Former NEC Player of Year Jamal Olasewere is set to make his return to basketball court in Belgium. (Photo Credit: Bob Dea/BHJ)

** First let’s start by congratulating LIU alum Jamal Olasewere. Yesterday evening it was announced that he is returning back to playing basketball after not being able to play last season due to a heart issue. Olasewere signed with Belgium club, VOO Wolves Verviers-Pepinster, who plays in the Belgium Basketball League, Belgium’s top tier league. The news was first reported by Belgian website, lavenir.net.

Olasewere then confirmed the news himself on Twitter after the story had broke.

Olasewere last played basketball for the Nigeria men’s basketball team at the 2013 FIBA African Championships. He had signed a deal last summer with Italian club Vanoli Cremona when a heart issue was discovered in his physical. He was recently cleared by doctors in the here in the United States to resume his basketball career.

Olasewere graduated from LIU Brooklyn in 2013 as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,871 points in his career and fourth all-time leading rebounder with 963. He also hold the LIU record for games played as a Blackbird with 130.

Olasewere now joins Jason Brickman among the ever-growing list of Blackbirds playing professionally overseas.

LIU Brooklyn new Interim Athletic Director, Brad Cohen. (Photo Credit: LIU Brooklyn/liu.edu)

** Late last week, LIU Brooklyn announced that they have named an interim Athletic Director to take over for long-time LIU Athletic Director John Suarez who will be stepping down from his position at the end of the month.

LIU has named Brad Cohen as their interim AD. Cohen will be overseeing all operations of the LIU Brooklyn athletics department. According to the release, Cohen has been a full-time employee at LIU Brooklyn for the past 20 years and was most recently LIU Brooklyn’s executive director of campus services and human resources.

LIU Brooklyn had put out a search for a new Athletic Director on July 18th, two days after the news of Suarez leaving LIU Brooklyn was revealed.

** News of both LIU Brooklyn’s basketball teams schedules has been trickling out as the summer has gone along. The BHJ LIU Schedule Tracker has been following along all summer long and right now has a better beat on the women’s basketball schedule over the men’s.

Last week, I was caught by surprise when Norfolk State released their non-conference schedule and LIU Brooklyn was not on it. Norfolk State played at LIU last season and it was thought that LIU would return the game this season but apparently that isn’t the case.

Right now, LIU MBB has just two known confirmed non-conference games: at Temple on Sunday, November 30 and vs Hofstra at the Barclays Center on Sunday, December 28. Ten of LIU’s 18 NEC games are known and can be seen on the LIU Schedule Tracker.

LIU should be hosting Lehigh and NJIT this season to complete home and home series with these teams as well as we are waiting on the schedule for NIT Season Tip-Off in which LIU will be participating in.

As far as the LIU WBB, LIU will be hosting Rhode Island, Northern Arizona and a team yet to be announced in their annual LIU Turkey Classic the week of Thanksgiving, November 28 and 29. They will also be hosting Rider on December 2nd, Howard on December 14th and Buffalo on December 21st.

Other possible return games this season which is yet to be confirmed are at NJIT, at Maine and home against Monmouth.

BHJ has unofficially gathered all 18 NEC games for LIU WBB with just four of the games against Saint Francis U. and Mount St. Mary’s being unconfirmed but I have taken a calculated guess when these four games might be played and you can take a look on the LIU Schedule Tracker.

#9 Martin Hermannsson going up for 2 of his 22 points vs Great Britain on 8/10/14.

#9 Martin Hermannsson going up for 2 of his 22 points vs Great Britain on 8/10/14.

** LIU was well represented on Sunday in a 2015 FIBA European Championship qualifying game between Great Britain and Iceland.

Great Britain’s roster once again included 2011 LIU graduate Kyle Johnson who is now playing for them for the third straight summer. Iceland’s roster included the two incoming freshmen who will be coming to Brooklyn this fall in point guard Elvar Fridriksson and shooting guard Martin Hermannsson.

In their first of two meetings in this qualifying round, Iceland got off to a fast start at home and took a 22-10 lead after the first quarter. Great Britain came back with a strong second quarter to tie the game at 34 at the half. Iceland pulled away in the 4th by outscoring Great Britain by 12 to win the first meeting 83-70.

Kyle Johnson finished with just four points for Great Britain as he went 0 for 5 from the floor and 4 for 4 from the free throw line. He also grabbed 4 rebounds and had one assist in 23 minutes.

Martin Hermannsson though was impressive for Iceland. He was their second leading scorer in the game with 22 points on 10 of 14 shooting (0 for 1 from three). He hit both of his free throws and grabbed two boards and had an assist in 29 minutes off the bench. Elvar Fridriksson only played two seconds in the game.

Here is one of the highlight plays of the game for Hermannsson, as he hits on a reverse layup and draws a foul.

Here is a highlight video of the game put up by the Icelandic basketball website karfan.is featuring some plays made by Hermannsson (#9 in white).

These two teams will play each other once again on Wednesday, August 20th in London. Before that, Great Britain will face Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday, August 13th and Iceland will also face Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday, August 17th.

** Former LIU point guard Jason Brickman is beginning his journey into professional basketball. Last week, he left the states to start his career in Russia to play for Dynamo Moscow this season.

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Good luck Jason. BHJ will be keeping tabs on his progress in year one of his pro career.

** Current Blackbirds are getting themselves focused and ready for the upcoming season. Here are a few things put out by members of the team over the last few weeks as summer continues on.