LIU Brooklyn Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds

Northeast Conference (18-16, 10-8)

LIU Brooklyn had some rough stretches during the 2017-2018 season and stringing wins together proved to be quite difficult. Despite the inconsistent play, the Blackbirds managed to head into the conference tournament with a couple wins under their belt. And then over the next week they won three conference tournament games, including a big upset at top-seeded Wagner, to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 1/13 Wagner (69-67), 2/8 St. Francis (83-67), 3/6 at Wagner (71-61)
Bad Losses: 11/22 at Umass-Lowell (66-74), 11/25 at Brown (86-94), 11/28 at NJIT (69-73)
Coach: Derek Kellogg
Why They Can Surprise:
With their season high five game winning streak heading into the NCAA Tournament, LIU Brooklyn has some momentum. They have Joel Hernandez too. The 6-3 senior averages 20.9 points, 2.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game. He is a threat to shoot from long range and has a knack for finishing around the basket. Raiquan Clark, a 6-6 wing, is a big time scoring threat too. He averages 17.4 points per game and leads the team with 7.1 rebounds. Those two will consistently attack the rim and can put a few people in foul trouble too.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Hernandez and Clark will get their points, but LIU Brooklyn needs others to step up too. Point guard Jashaun Agosto and sophomore guard Julian Batts are double digit scorers and have the ability to take some of the pressure off Hernandez and Clark by knocking down three-pointers. If they can stretch the defense, LIU Brooklyn’s offense suddenly becomes much more dynamic. The offense needs to take care of the ball too. This group commits over 14 turnovers per game and that number must get much smaller during the NCAA Tournament.
Probable Starters:
Joel Hernandez, Senior, Guard, 20.9 ppg, 2.6 apg, 5.9 rpg
Raiquan Clark, Junior, Guard, 17.4 ppg, 1.5 apg, 7.1 rpg
Julian Batts, Sophomore, Guard, 10.0 ppg, 2.3 apg, 4.3 rpg
Julius van Sauers, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Jashaun Agosto, Sophomore, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 4.1 apg, 4.1 rpg
Key Role Players:
Raul Frias, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Jamall Robinson, Senior, Guard, 3.9 ppg
Zach Coleman, Senior, Forward, 6.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.7 (75th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 77.0 (285, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.5 (139, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.4 (212, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (132, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (210, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.7 (242, 8)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (115, 4)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (242, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (284, 7)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA Opening Round loss to James Madison
2012    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Michigan State
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to North Carolina
1998    NIT     First Round loss to Dayton
1997    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Villanova
1984    NCAA Opening Round loss to Northeastern
*all team stats through 3/4