LIU Brooklyn MBB 2016-17 Year in Review Photo Gallery

This past season, Bob Dea chronicled the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team through his multiple camera lenses and captured some great stills shots. Here are Bob’s personally-selected best from the 2016-17 season. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn survives Hartford’s second half charge, goes to 6-1

A game that only be best described as the epitome of a tell of two halves game, LIU Brooklyn did just enough in the second half to hold on to win at Hartford Wednesday night, 75-68, after leading by 22 points at halftime.

LIU Brooklyn used probably one of their best halves of the season in the first half, taking advantage of opportunities given to them by the porous Hartford defense. LIU shot 53 precent from the floor in half number one and made seven of eleven three-pointers while holding the Hawks to just 26 percent shooting to build as high as a 23-point lead before taking a 22-point lead into the locker room at the break. [Read more…]

Recapping LIU Brooklyn’s trip to the Steve Wright Classic

The LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team on Monday afternoon completed the three games in three days Steve Wright Classic event up at Boston University and for the Blackbirds, it was a rather successful trip as they went 2-1.

On Saturday, LIU defeated Northeastern, 78-74, as the Blackbirds came back from a 12-point second half deficit. They were led by freshman guard Jashaun Agosto who scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half. Fellow freshman point guard Julian Batts scored a season-high 13 points and Jerome Frink (11 pts, 10 rebs) and Nura Zanna (10 pts, 10 rebs) both finished with double-doubles. The win gave LIU a 3-0 start which was the first time since the 1982-83, 1983-84 seasons in which the Blackbirds started out 3-0 in back-to-back seasons. [Read more…]

2016-17 LIU Brooklyn Men’s Basketball Preview – Part 2 – Back Court

Senior guard Joel Hernandez is looking to finish his LIU career with a NEC championship. Photo: Bob Dea - BHJ)

Senior guard Joel Hernandez is looking to finish his LIU career with a NEC championship. (Photo: Bob Dea – BHJ)

Yesterday I took a one-by-one look at the LIU Brooklyn front court players, so naturally today it is time to focus on this season’s Blackbirds guards.

LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri returns back just three scholarship guards from last season and just one starter in Joel Hernandez. This is the part of the LIU roster in which many feel will either make or brake their 2016-17 season.

The biggest question will be at the point guard position in which it will be likely that Perri will go with one of his two incoming freshman, Julian Batts or Jashaun Agosto, as his starting point guard. That competition for that spot in currently underway and it will be a dynamic to pay attention to all season long as the position could a fluid one as the season goes along.

Time to meet the 2016-17 LIU back court players:

Starters* (*These are the three guards I think will be starting when the season tips off on November 11th)

Joel HernandezSenior
2015-16 stats: 12.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 30 starts

If there is a player who will be certainly in the starting lineup this season, it is Joel Hernandez. Hernandez started in 30 of the 31 games played last season and finished fourth in the team in scoring and second in rebounding. He has consistently improved his game every season and has done anything and everything that the coaching staff has asked him to do in his first three seasons at LIU. He recorded a career-high three double-doubles last season and also shot a career-high 45 percent from the field.

This season, Hernandez hopes to raise his game even more in hopes of landing on an All-NEC team at season’s end. Hernandez has been compared to one of the last season’s NCAA Tournament starts, Thomas Walkup of Stephen F. Austin by his head coach Jack Perri. Perri plans on using him in a similar capacity as Walkup was used last season, as a player that can play any spot on the floor and that will include the point guard position. Perri has confidence he will be able to excel in this kind of role and Hernandez feels he is more than capable to taking on this challenge. This is certainly taking his game to a whole new level this season if Hernandez can play whatever Perri asks. Hernandez might be one of the most underrated player in the NEC and I have a feeling he is going to have a tremendous season for LIU.

Iverson FlemingSenior
2015-16 stats: 4.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.2 apg

There is one word that comes to mind when thinking about Iverson Fleming 2015-16 season and that is inconsistent. Fleming started the season as LIU’s starting point guard but that lasted just eight games when he lost his starting position to now-Iona guard Aakim Saintil. Fleming then started seeing his minutes decrease and eventually rode the pine for four straight conference games. Upon his return to the rotation, Fleming still couldn’t break out until a 12-point performance in a loss to Robert Morris in mid-February. In the NEC quarterfinals, Fleming had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points in a win over Sacred Heart.

Although, Fleming for his career is a near 36 percent shooter and shoots 30 percent from three, he is going to be ask to play more shooting guard this season and Perri hopes he can excel at being more of a scorer and a shooter than having to worry about being a playmaker. You’ll probably see him occasionally play the point but his primary role will be to score. Fleming has put up big points in games in the past so if not like he isn’t capable of doing a solid job as a scorer. Whether he can be consistent enough to be a game-in/game-out scorer is what will remain to be seen.

Julian BattsFreshman 

Based on my observations from LIU practice last week, I feel Batts has the early lead on the starting point guard position over fellow freshman Jashaun Agosto. The Pittsburgh native last season was named WPIAL Class A Player of the Year. He averaged over 22.4 ppg and nearly 10 rpg as well as 8.4 apg.

Based on his high school numbers, Batts can obviously fill up a stat sheet. If anything, he looked quite mature and poised for a kid yet to play in his first college game but time will tell if he gets the starting nod or if he gets beat out for the spot. Batts can shoot the ball and has very good range on his shot but Perri likely isn’t going to ask either Batts or Agosto to do too much at least initially but just manage the floor and try to keep the turnovers down and lean on the senior leadership of the starting unit.

Reserves

Jashaun Agosto Freshman

Agosto is the other point guard in competition currently for the starting point guard spot. Last season, he averaged 10.5 points, 6.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.8 steals per game Garfield High School in Washington state.

One advantage Agosto has is that he has great quickness and can get up and down the floor in a hurry. He also has range on his jumper and can penetrate to the rim and draw fouls on his defenders. He could be a good change of pace point guard off the bench. Like Batts, he is going to be asked to keep mistakes at a minimum.

Raul FriasSophomore
2015-16 stats: 18 games played, 3/18 FGs, 2/10 3FGs, 8 points

Frias played a limited role off of the bench as a freshman last season. He appeared in 18 games and played in just 86 minutes, making three field goals in 16 shot attempts. This season, with the departure of Martin Hermannsson, he will likely move up on the shooting guard depth chart just behind Iverson Fleming.

Frias definitely looks like a player who went to work over the summer, working on his game, his shot and his body in preparation for the chance of more playing time in sophomore year. Frias should also be pushed by the addition of freshman shooting guard Ashtyn Bradley to the roster which should help motivate Frias to have a better season shooting the ball.

Ashtyn BradleyFreshman

Bradley is the latest addition from the state of Texas as the Houston-area native arrives in Brooklyn. He averaged 25.4 points per game his senior year last season and his strength is shooting the ball from deep. Bradley has tremendous range on his shot and could see a amount of playing time at either the 2 or the 3 position for Jack Perri’s team off the bench and could see his playing time gradually increase as the season goes along if he proves to can consistently hit his shots.

Mitchell McMullenRedshirt-Freshman

McMullen is a walk-on point guard who is in his second year with LIU and received a redshirt-year for 2015-16 since he didn’t appear in a single game. Good three-point shooter from what I’ve seen of him in practice.

LIU Brooklyn found their three-point shot to bury Bryant by 18 on the road

Trevon Woods lit up the Chace Athletic Center Saturday night with six threes for a career-high 20 points. Photo: Bob Dea - BHJ)

Trevon Woods lit up the Chace Athletic Center Saturday night with six threes for a career-high 20 points. (Photo: Bob Dea – BHJ)

Basketball is a funny game sometimes. You just never know when the unexpected will rear its head and totally throw you for a loop. That is what happened Saturday afternoon in LIU Brooklyn’s impressive 79-61 victory at Bryant which puts them back at 3-3 in the NEC and back over .500 for the season at 8-7.

Jerome Frink and Martin Hermannsson were one and two in scoring for the Blackbirds coming into the game and neither were one were in the top three in scoring in a game in which LIU won by eighteen points. That was one of several crazy happening for LIU in this game. [Read more…]

NEC Media Day Conversation with LIU Brooklyn MBB head coach Jack Perri and junior guard Iverson Fleming with Photo Gallery

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LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri and junior guard Iverson Fleming chatting it up on the NEC Front Row broadcast with Dave Popkin and Tim Capstraw. (Photo: Bob Dea – BHJ)

This past Tuesday, the Northeast Conference once again put on its annual NEC Basketball Social Media Day at the 40/40 club inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and once again the NEC did a tremendous job organizing and running this great event. It is always the fastest four or five hours of the year it seems.

At NEC Media Day, I along with other members of the media, got to once again speak with LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri as he gets set to begin his fourth season as the Blackbirds head man and also begins his second decade coaching at LIU as he begins year eleven as an both an assistant and head coach in Downtown Brooklyn.

This year, junior guard Iverson Fleming joined him for the festivities. Fleming in his first two years at LIU is averaging 4.3 points per game and is a career 35.6% field goal shooter. [Read more…]

Blackbirds unveil new uniforms for upcoming season

I told you this offseason that LIU Brooklyn would be getting a new look in their uniforms to go along with their new court at the Steinberg Wellness Center. Well, those new Nike LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball uniforms made their debut during the team’s picture day this past Friday and through social media, we got to get a glance at the new threads the Blackbirds will be playing in this season. [Read more…]