Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.
Coach: Jim Ferry
Record: 25-8, 16-2 (1st)
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 167
– RPI: 87
– AP/Coaches: Unranked
Seeding?: LIU-Brooklyn is probably looking at somewhere around a 15 seed.
Names to know: Julian Boyd (17.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg), Jamal Olasewere (16.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Jason Brickman (9.7 ppg, 7.3 apg)
Stats to know: 74.5. That’s how many possessions LIU averages a game, which is good for third in the country. They run, they run and they run. It also should be noted that LIU is second nationally in free throw rate and second nationally in defensive free throw rate. They get fouled and they don’t their opponents. (To be fair, they probably don’t foul their opponents because they are too busy giving up layups.)
Tendencies: LIU also has a tendency not to play defense. They are 272nd in the country in defensive efficiency. Making that stat all the more troublesome is the fact that the Blackbirds give up, on average, more points per possession than they score, which makes one wonder how, exactly, they won 25 games and also helps explain the difference between their RPI and their Kenpom numbers.
Big wins, bad losses: LIU doesn’t have any great wins to speak of this season. Their only truly bad loss on the season came by 28 (!!) against Monmouth.
How’d they get here?: The No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament, LIU ran through the conference and earned the automatic bid when they beat Robert Morris in the conference title game.
Outlook: LIU’s first round game is going to be fun to watch regardless of who they get matched up with. This is a group that runs and runs and runs. They have a terrific point guard in Brickman and a couple of big men that can run the floor and are high-major athletes in Boyd and Olasewere. I’m not sure if they are going to be able to pull off an upset, especially with the way they defend, but whatever happens, it will be entertaining to watch.