2013-14 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (2-4; KenPom: 265; RPI: 208)
2012-13 LIU Brooklyn (20-14, 12-6; KenPom: 191; RPI: 179) -- Northeast Conference Tournament Champions
LIU Brooklyn mainstays Jamal Olasewere, C.J. Garner, and Kenny Onyechi are all gone. Forward Julian Boyd, who was granted a 6th year of eligibility this summer, re-tore the same ACL that caused him to miss last season's match up with Seton Hall in Brooklyn. Boyd is expected to be out until at least January.
One name that Seton Hall fans will recognize is the Blackbird's senior maestro Jason Brickman (8.3 ppg, 10 apg), who pulls all the strings on the offensive end. He leads the country in assist rate by a wide margin (63.1; Sidney Sanders is in 2nd with 46.8) and is second in the nation (low total) in fouls committed per 40 minutes (.40) with a minimum of 40% minutes played to qualify. In other words, its nearly impossible to get Brickman in foul trouble, who also happens to be LIU Brooklyn's leading steal man (8 steals).
Apparently a common theme in Seton Hall's non-conference schedule is a lack of height among opponents. LIU Brooklyn is 287th in average height and 306th in effective height (measures just PFs & Cs). 6-foot-6 sophomore E.J. Reed (12.2 ppg, 4 rpg) and 6-foot-6 junior Landon Atterberry (11.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) are the only two forwards who log significant minutes for a Blackbird team that doesn't play particularally quick (184th in tempo) like in past seasons under former coach Jim Ferry (3rd in tempo in 2011, 2nd in tempo in 2012). 6-foot-8 freshman Glenn Feidanga (2.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 16 mpg), who was lightly recruited by Seton Hall, comes off the bench as a back up forward.
A quote from LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri on undersized Landon Atterberry after beating Norfolk State:"I challenged him before the game. I don't think he played to his potential. Again, he is out-sized. He is not a 5-man. He is playing out of position because of what we have this year right now. It is what it is. He is going to have to be that. He is going have to be a tough competitor on the offensive glass and the defensive glass. I think he is athletic enough and I think he has some quickness to him to be able to do that and he is going to have to play bigger than he is and he was great. I'm really happy with the way he stepped his game up."
LIU Brooklyn has one of the least efficient defenses in the country (330th), but have the 12th best defensive FTA/FGA ratio -- Seton Hall is 8th best in the nation in offensive FTA/FGA. If Seton Hall avoids the dribble-penetration as much as they did against Fairleigh Dickinson, this clash of statistics will likely side against Seton Hall.
Junior guards Gilbert Parga (11.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 7-15 3pt), Gerrell Martin (12 ppg, 4 rpg, 13-29 3pt), and Troy Joseph (7.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 11-27 3pt) do most of the scoring for the Blackbirds and play most of the minutes at their three guard spots. They are also the only 3-point threats for LIU Brooklyn even though Jason Brickman (5-24) is likely to attempt from deep. Gilbert Parga missed a 74-72 win over Norfolk State last Sunday due to a "minor injury" said to be a lacerated elbow, but is expected to return against Seton Hall. The return of the long wing would boost the Blackbirds on both sides of the ball, but would specifically increase their ability to draw fouls. Parga has the 26th best fouls drawn per 40-minutes rate in the country with 8.2.
LIU Brooklyn started the season well by beating Saint Peter's and then narrowly falling at Indiana by just a point. Then the Blackbirds dropped three-straight to KenPom top-200 mid-majors in UC Irvine (#114), future Seton Hall opponent Eastern Washington (#187), and Boston University (#122). Most recently, LIU bested Norfolk State (#226) by 2 points after Gerrell Martin scored a game-winning basket on the break as time expired.
Seton Hall ran Long Island out of the Barclays Center last December with a convincing 31-point victory. It was the first meeting between the two local schools since Herb Pope, Jeremy Hazell, Robert Mitchell, and Eugene Harvey all scored between 18 and 21 points en route to a 29-point win at Prudential Center in 2009.
Jason Brickman was contained well by Seton Hall last year and held scoreless with 6 assists and 4 turnovers. E.J. Reed scored 8 points in 21 minutes off the bench while Gerrell Martin and Troy Joseph combined for 6 points in 31 minutes off the pine.
When considering Seton Hall's largely intact roster, LIU Brooklyn's high roster turnover from last season, the final score of last year's contest, and the Blackbird's defensive record so far in 2013-14, another offensive struggle for Seton Hall would be highly concerning.
Like Sidney Sanders, Seton Hall may have trouble finding a guard to defend Jason Brickman. In response, don't be surprised to see a zone that dares Brickman to drive and eggs the rest of the Blackbirds to shoot from long range. LIU Brooklyn is just 48-139 (34%) from 3-point land on the season.
This will be the 32nd time Seton Hall and LIU Brooklyn have faced off, but just the third time since 1994. Seton Hall leads the all-time series 16-15. The Blackbirds last beat Seton Hall on March 6th, 1973 in Walsh Gym.
KenPom says: No. 137 Seton Hall - 76, No. 265 LIU Brooklyn - 65 (86%)
Projected LIU Brooklyn starters:
Sr., G - Jason Brickman
Jr., G - Gerrell Martin
Jr., G/F - Troy Joseph
So., F - E.J. Reed
Jr., F - Landon Atterberry
Time: 7:00 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: AM 970
All stats are as of 12/3/13