Thursday, November 08, 2012

LIU Blackbirds: Defense Of NEC Title Starts Friday

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

Under New Coach Jack Perri,
Returning NEC Champions Are Ready To Do It Again.
The collegiate members of the Hoops of Flatbush tip-off their 2012-2013 regular season in a non conference match-up versus the Morehead State Eagles, which additionally kicks off the first ever Barclays Center Classic beginning late Friday afternoon.

The back-to-back Northeast Conference champions begin their first season under coach Jack Perri.  Returning from last year's squad are NEC Player of the year, and returning senior, forward Julian Boyd; senior forward Jamal Olasewere; senior forward Kenny Onyechi; senior guard Brandon Thompson; retuning senior guard C.J. Garner; and junior guard Jason Brickman.  Gone from last year's popular team are senior guard Michael Culpo and senior forward Arnold Mayorga.

Newcomers to the team include junior G/F Gilbert Parga and soph forward Khalil Murphy.  Among the freshman class are guard Kedar Edwards, guard D.J. Griggs, and forward E.J. Reed.

Once again, Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere, and Jason Brickman will serve as the team's core.  Julian Boyd averaged 17.4 points last season.  Olasewere averaged 16.9 points per game.  Jason Brickman finished fifth in the nation with 7.3 assists per game.

The Blackbirds finished 25-9 last season.  In their second straight NCAA tournament appearance they fell in the first round to Michigan State.  The loss did not detract however from their fine regular season, and NEC championship effort.  To include last season's championship game against Robert Morris, the Blackbirds have won twenty seven consecutive games inside the Wellness Center.  It is the second longest streak in the country behind Kentucky's mark.

Back in September, returning forward Troy Joseph, Boyd, Olasewere, and C.J. Garner were involved in an on-campus incident which resulted in their arrest.  They were then suspended indefinitely by Long Island University.  They have since been reinstated but will be docked the first two in-conference games of the season.  Otherwise, they will be required to perform community service and attend counseling.

In ten seasons at the helm, former Head Coach Jim Ferry took a moribund program and built it into a Northeastern Conference power.  He inherited a program that went 5-22 in the season prior to his arrival.  By his sixth season as coach, the 2007-2008 Blackbirds played to a 15-15 record.  Then after having successfully built a solid foundation, Coach Ferry constructed a team that won 52 games over the last two seasons, and earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.  In this most recent 2011-2012 campaign, his Blackbirds were the second highest scoring team in the Nation.

Coach Ferry left Long Island University-Brooklyn after accepting the head coaching position at Duquesne.  The departing coach didn't just save an athletic program here, he put Downtown Brooklyn on the national map.  For that, we Brooklynites are thankful, and wish Jim Ferry all the best in his new endeavour to rebuild his next program.


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