LIU Brooklyn Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
Northeast Conference (20-13, 12-6)

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When Julian Boyd went down for the year with an injury, many thought LIU Brooklyn would not live up to their earlier expectations. And without last year’s leading scorer and rebounder, it was a logical thought. It was not a wrong thought either. With Boyd the Blackbirds could have dominated the NEC. Without him they slipped to a 12-6 conference mark. But Coach Jack Perri got his team playing good basketball at the right time, knocking off Quinnipiac, Wagner and Mount St. Mary’s in the conference tournament. Those are three teams that the Blackbirds lost to at least once earlier in the season.

Big Wins: 12/1 Lafayette (71-60), 3/9 at Wagner (94-82), 3/12 Mt. St. Mary’s (91-70)
Bad Losses: 12/19 at St. Peter’s (67-80), 12/29 at Lamar (80-81), 1/3 at Sacred Heart (73-77)
Coach: Jack Perri (1 season at LIU Brooklyn)

Why They Can Surprise:
With their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, Coach Perri has a team full of players who have been here before. There are five seniors who are in the regular rotation and the only non-senior starter is point guard Jason Brickman. And Brickman is one of the best in the country at what he does. He averages 8.5 assists per game and is one of the best floor leaders in the country. With the experience around him and Brickman setting it up, LIU Brooklyn can make things very interesting. C.J. Garner and Brandon Thompson will start beside Brickman in the backcourt. Garner has emerged as an amazing all-around scorer. He will not shoot from beyond the arc too often, but he knocks down 45.8 percent of his attempts. Mostly Garner will get his 16.1 points per game by attacking the basket. Thompson is the player who will attempt the most three-point shots. He is not particularly efficient, especially compared to Garner and Brickman and reserves such as Booker Hucks and Gerrell Martin, but Thompson can get hot and put up some big numbers in a hurry.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Jamal Olasewere was Boyd’s mate up front. Now it is just Olasewere doing most of the frontcourt scoring. But at 18.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest, Olasewere has done a fine job picking up the slack. Kenny Onyechi is not a scorer and will never be Boyd, but he is a tough 6-7 forward who will do the dirty work. Freshman E.J. Reed is a good athlete and a decent shot blocker. Yet, as good as the frontcourt looks with Olasewere leading the way, one cannot help but think about what is left on the sidelines for LIU Brooklyn. This is a more experienced squad than the one that lost to North Carolina and Michigan State the last two NCAA Tournaments, so do not count them out. The Blackbirds can score a lot of points against anybody and it will come down to the frontcourt’s ability to play defense.

Probable Starters:
Jason Brickman, Junior, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 8.5 apg
Brandon Thompson, Senior, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 1.3 apg
C.J. Garner, Senior, Guard, 16.1 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.1 rpg
Kenny Onyechi, Senior, Forward, 4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Jamal Olasewere, Senior, Forward, 18.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Booker Hucks, Senior, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg
E.J. Reed, Freshman, Forward, 7.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Gerrell Martin, Sophomore, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.1 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 76.6 (336, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.9 (14, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 47.1 (331, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (57, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.3 (25, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (196, 8)
Rebound Margin: 1.7 (128, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.2 (31, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (253, 7)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Second Round 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 loss to Northeastern

*all team stats through 3/10


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