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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.