NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know LIU Brooklyn

1 Comment

Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: NEC

Coach: Jack Perri

Record: 20-13, 13-6

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 192
– RPI: 180
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had the Blackbirds as a one of the First Four in Dayton in Monday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Jamal Olasewere (19.0 points, 8.5 rebounds), C.J. Garner (15,6 points, 4.2 rebounds), Jason Brickman (9.7 points, 8.5 assists per game)

Stats you need to know: Offense, offense, offense. LIU Brooklyn ranks sixth in the country in scoring at 79.1 points per game, 30th in assists with 15.2, and sixth in the country with 47.9 percent shooting from the floor.

Tendencies: LIU Brooklyn is one of the most high-octane offenses in the country at the mid-major level. Even having lost star Julian Boyd in December with the torn ACL, the Blackbirds have kept running and scoring. The problem, though, will be defense.

Big wins, bad losses: The biggest non-conference win for LIU was against Lafayette, who is now in the Patriot League championship against Bucknell. Other notable non-conference wins include Rice and Manhattan. They lost by double digits to high-majors including Maryland, Kentucky, and Seton Hall. In the NEC, LIU has beaten Wagner and Bryant.

How’d they get here?: The Blackbirds won the NEC tournament championship over Mount St. Mary’s, 91-70, after beating Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals and Wagner in the semifinals.

Outlook: For as well as they work offensively, defense will be the problem in the NCAA tournament. They rank 342nd out of 347 Division I teams in points allowed per game. If they can make it into the First Four and push the pace with a team, perhaps they can get a win and advance to the Round of 64. Outside of that, their defensive weaknesses will be hard to overcome against high-major opponents.

How Do I know you? This is the third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the Blackbirds. They lost to Michigan State in 2012 and to North Carolina in 2011.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Shareef O’Neal decommits from Arizona

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Shareef O’Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, has decommitted from Arizona following the latest in the FBI scandal.

Considered a five-star prospect on Rivals, the 6-foot-9 Shareef becomes one of the best available prospects in the country in the Class of 2018.

Arizona head coach Sean Miller was reportedly caught on a wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to secure the services of freshman Deandre Ayton. The conversations that were intercepted were between Miller and Christian Dawkins, who is a focal point in the FBI’s investigation.

Recruiting has taken a major hit for Arizona over the last several months as the program lost five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly and now O’Neal due to scandal.

Sean Miller’s contract with Arizona pays him $5 million more if he’s fired for cause

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Following a bombshell report from ESPN on Friday night that Sean Miller is caught on a wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment for superstar recruit Deandre Ayton, the Arizona head coach will not be coaching the Wildcats on Saturday night when they play at Oregon.

It seems as if Miller’s tenure in Tucson is coming to an end, which puts the University into a weird position. According to ESPN, the way that Miller’s contract is written, if he is fired for cause, he will receive twice as much money in a buyout — $10.3 million vs. $5.15 million — as he would receive if he was not fired for cause.

The reason for this?

According to Forbes, it appears to simply be a mistake that was made by Arizona when drafting the contract. In a section titled “Termination by University Without Cause; Liquidated Damages”, the contract states clearly that he’ll be entitled to receive 50 percent of his base salary for each year left on his contract. But in the section discussing what happens if Miller is fired FOR cause, the contract reads that “the University’s sole obligation to Coach shall be the payment of his Base Salary” for each year left on the contract.

His full base salary.

No agent in their right mind is going try and sneak something like that into a contract with a school because no school is going to be dumb enough to agree to put a clause like that in the contract. It is, quite literally, an incentive to break rules in order to get fired for cause.

What does that mean?

Well, Miller is probably not going to be fired for cause.

And if he is, he’ll double the amount of money that he’ll have to toss into his bank account while he figures out what the next move for him will be.

No. 19 Tennessee tops Ole Miss 73-65

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

OXFORD, Miss. — Admiral Schofield scored 23 points, Jordan Bowden scored 15, Lamonte Turner scored 13 and No. 19 Tennessee earned a 73-65 win over Mississippi on Saturday.

The Volunteers (21-7, 11-5 SEC) jumped out to a 29-9 lead in the first 10 minutes and held off a rally by Ole Miss in the second half to earn the key road victory.

Neither team shot well from the floor with Tennessee shooting 39 percent and Ole Miss shooting 34 percent.

The Rebels (12-17, 5-11) struggled from long distance. Ole Miss shot 4 percent (1-for-23) from three-point range. Terence Davis, who was 1 for 7 on 3s, connected in the second half.

Breein Tyree led the Rebels with 17 points, Bruce Stevens scored 14 and Davis finished with 13.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: With Saturday’s win, the Vols remained behind No. 12 Auburn and in second place in the league.

Mississippi: The Rebels enter the final week of the season with an attempt to grab momentum heading into the SEC Tournament and the offseason.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: The Volunteers will travel to Mississippi State on Tuesday before closing out the regular season at home against Georgia next Saturday.

Mississippi: Ole Miss travels to Kentucky on Wednesday and will host Vanderbilt on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

Michigan State clears Miles Bridges to play

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges has been cleared to play, the school announced on Saturday.

Bridges was one of the players named in the Yahoo Sports report on Friday that linked numerous players to NBA agent Andy Miller and former runner Christian Dawkins. In the report, Bridges’ mom allegedly received $400, according to an expense report filed by Dawkins, while Bridges’ parents had a meal with Dawkins listed at $70.05.

Even though the report looks bad, a number of programs, including Duke, Kentucky and USC are allowing their players named in the report to continue to play.

“After learning of the allegations in yesterday’s Yahoo! Sports article, our compliance office conducted a thorough internal review. Michigan State presented its findings to the NCAA, and Miles Bridges has been cleared for competition moving forward, beginning Sunday at Wisconsin,” Beekman said.

In the midst of an 11-game winning streak, Michigan State has been one of the best teams in the country over the next several weeks. But now the Bridges case adds another complicated matter that this program has to deal with heading into the Big Ten Tournament next week.

Arizona’s Sean Miller will not coach Saturday night

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
1 Comment

Arizona head coach Sean Miller is not expected to be on the sidelines coaching for Arizona on Saturday night as they play at Oregon.

Miller was reportedly caught on a wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to secure the services of potential No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton. The conversations that were intercepted were between Miller and Christian Dawkins, a former runner for ex-NBA agent Andy Miller. According to ESPN, when asked by Dawkins if he should work through former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel ‘Book’ Richardson to finalize a deal, “Miller told Dawkins he should deal directly with him when it came to money.”

“I believe it is in the best interest of our team that I not coach the game tonight,” Miller said in a statement. “I continue to fully support the University’s efforts to fully investigate this matter and am confident that I will be vindicated. For now, my thoughts are with our team. They are a great group of young men that will support each other and continue their pursuit of winning a Pac-12 championship.”

Ayton will be eligible to play tonight.

Arizona is already playing without Allonzo Trier, who tested positive for a PED for for the second time in his career. He was suspended prior to Thursday night’s game at Oregon State.

Richardson was fired by Arizona after he was caught up in the original FBI complaints in September. He had worked for Miller for 10 years at Xavier and Arizona. He was alleged to have accepted $20,000 in bribes to steer players to Dawkins and another financial advisor.

Ayton committed to Arizona in September of 2016. He is currently averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 boards for No. 14 Arizona and is considered by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Miller denied any knowledge of a scheme to pay recruits to enroll at Arizona in October.

There has been speculation all season long that Arizona’s ties to this investigation could cost Miller his job.