A Fantastic Career Far From Over for Jason Brickman

In a frantic and much-needed LIU Brooklyn victory over NJIT on Thursday night, Jason Brickman made history. He became the NEC’s career assist leader and did it with 20 guaranteed games remaining in the 2013-14 season. His 805 career assists currently stands atop the NEC leaderboard and, quite frankly, it’s a record that’ll never be broken. It’s like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and Ted Williams’ 0.406 average in 1941. Barring an injury, Brickman will always be regarded as the NEC’s all-time assist leader. It’s only fitting for one of the most accomplished players in league history.

For his entire career, Jason Brickman has always been one step ahead of his competition. (Photo Credit - NY Post)
For his career, Jason Brickman (left) has always been one step ahead of his competition. (Photo Credit – NY Post)

Despite Brickman’s brilliance, last night didn’t come as much of a surprise to NEC diehards. The nation’s reigning assist leader has been utilizing his tight handle, pristine court vision, and extraordinary poise right from the start. In his first ever game against Norfolk State on November 12, 2010, LIU won a lopsided affair by 23 points, with the point guard dishing out seven assists versus zero turnovers. Brickman finished the season – LIU’s first NEC championship season since 1997 – with 180 assists against only 64 turnovers for a superb assist to turnover ratio of 2.8. Thanks to those efforts, Brickman found himself on the all-conference rookie team at season’s end. It was the beginning to many accolades to come.

Since that remarkable rookie season, Brickman has steadily improved himself into one of the best point guards in the country. He’s been a phenomenal facilitator over the years for his teammates, players that included the likes of Kyle Johnson, Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere, and C.J. Garner. Most of the time, those teammates garnered more praise and attention from the media, but make no mistake, it was the man running the show that served as the critical spark during LIU’s championship three peat. Never once has Brickman found himself outside the nation’s top 25 individuals in assist rate. In fact, his 60.3% assist rate this season leads the nation and is a “mere” 14.2 percentage points ahead of Boston University’s Maurice Watson, who stands in second place.

Brickman is a throwback, crafty floor general – no one will dispute that – but it’s the other part of his offense repertoire that has gone relatively unnoticed by most. The diminutive guard has always possessed excellent shooting percentages – he’s a career 40.4% shooter from behind the arc, while draining 82.4% of his attempts at the charity stripe. For that reason, he was the perfect person to command the ball late in a tight game. On the other end, Brickman isn’t a great defensive player, yet he provides tremendous value by staying on the floor without committing fouls. His intelligence and durability allows Jack Perri to never worry about the point guard position.

With at least 20 games remaining in his storied collegiate career, Brickman is now in reach of a monumental achievement. He can become only the fourth player in NCAA history to record 1,000 career assists. He’s 195 helpers short and will need to average 9.75 assists per contest if he plays the remaining 20 games on LIU’s schedule. Of course, this doesn’t include any postseason games should LIU qualify for the NEC tournament. It may seem like an unattainable goal – Iona’s Scott Machado and North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall are the only players to average more than 9.75 assists per game this century – but Brickman is currently dishing out 9.7 assists per contest for the young season. It may not be probable, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

Along the way he has the opportunity to pass such point guard greats as Pooh Richardson (833), Gary Payton (939), Greg Anthony (950) and Sherman Douglas (960). It’s highly unlikely Brickman will get to approach Bobby Hurley’s all-time mark of 1,075 assists, but the San Antonio native has a chance to join the illustrious group of 1,000 assist men.

Even if he falls short, the three-time champion and all-time NEC assist leader will stand as one of the greatest players to ever suit up in the conference. For now, enjoy the mastery of Jason Brickman while you can, before it’s too late.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter @pioneer_pride

One thought on “A Fantastic Career Far From Over for Jason Brickman

  1. Proud of you Jason Have enjoyed watching you and the Blackbirds for four years now Always keep me amazed.Good luck on 1000 thats rare air up there lol Good luck to you and the team Well done Ryan Happy Holidays

    Like

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