Breaking Down Jason Brickman’s 1,000 Assists

Jason Brickman sits on the bench

In the end, Jason Brickman’s 1,000th assist wasn’t overly flashy. A strong drive down the right-hand side of the key followed by a quick rotation and a kick out to an eagerly waiting Gerrell Martin for an easy three. One pass, one shot, one bucket. Continue reading “Breaking Down Jason Brickman’s 1,000 Assists”

Waller-Prince heads to Baylor

Taurean Waller-Prince was supposed to be a player that carried the LIU Blackbirds to the next level. The 6’7″ forward from Texas was named the Express News All-Area Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season as he blew up during his senior campaign. When Jim Ferry headed to Duquesne it was Waller-Prince that people were most concerned about – and with good reason. He asked to be let of out of his National Letter of Intent last week, which LIU allowed, and today Waller-Prince signed a Financial Aid Contract with Baylor.

Continue reading “Waller-Prince heads to Baylor”

Ferry goes to Duquesne, Perri takes over at LIU

It’s official. Jim Ferry is going to become the next head coach at Duquesne. LIU Brooklyn wasted absolutely no time in bringing in his successor. Jack Perri, who had been the associate head coach for the past five seasons, is taking over as the head coach.

“Over the past seven years, I have grown to love the LIU community,” Perri said in a statement. “I cannot put into words just how strongly I feel about this university and how proud I am to lead this team of talented student-athletes. The tradition of LIU Brooklyn basketball speaks for itself and I will work tirelessly to ensure that our program is of the highest caliber on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”

Perri is 36 years old and has been at LIU for the past seven seasons. While he was at Division II Bentley University Perri was very involved in the schools’ recruiting efforts. Most of his coaching experience and background comes from the Northeastern part of the country as Perri coached at Bentley and then was the head coach at Division III Rhode Island College, where he went 20-9 and won a Coach of the Year award in his only season.

I’ll have much more on Perri and Ferry’s move in the future.

Jim Ferry possibly headed to Duquesne

It looks like LIU Brooklyn might need to look for a new head coach soon. Last season Jim Ferry flirted with Manhattan before deciding to stay with the Blackbirds. This time Duquesne of the Atlantic 10 has come calling on Ferry, who has led LIU to back-to-back NEC Championships. The reason this could actually happen is because it looks like the Dukes are making a solid commitment and the A-10 is a big step up from the NEC.

Continue reading “Jim Ferry possibly headed to Duquesne”

Dribble Handoffs – April 5

A bunch of links that I wanted to share with you as the season wraps up. Jerry Carino released his All-Metropolitan ballot and his Haggerty Award nominees. I like some of the Ivy League players a bit better, but overall we agree throughout much of it. Also, Princeton Basketball tipped me off to this hilarious piece about what movie bad guy roles the coaches of the NCAA tournament would be cast in. LIU Brooklyn’s Jim Ferry is apparently in line to play a cop on the take (and got ranked #22).

In some other coaching moves, Bashir Mason has filled out his coaching staff at Wagner adding Mike Babul, Marquis Webb and Scott Smith according to the Staten Island Advance. Smith is the lone returnee and Babul and Webb both have high-major experience either as a player or coach, so that’s a good sign. Cormac Gordon digs into their connections with Mason in his article.

What would be an end of year post without some stats? Keepin’ Track of the MAAC looks at the national leaders from the MAAC. Here are a few more tempo-free nuggets for Iona and Manhattan courtesy of Manhattan’s Rhamel Brown finished second in the nation in block percentage behind only Kansas’ Jeff Withey. Roberto Colonette finished fourth in the nation in offensive rebound percentage at 18.3%. As a team the Jaspers had the 19th best block percentage in the nation and ranked 22nd in assist per field goal made. Iona’s Scott Machado finished fourth in the nation in assist rate. Thanks entirely to his great two-point shooting Mike Glover finished 11th in the nation in effective field goal percentage and 24th in the nation in true shooting percentage. Sean Armand also finished 13th in the nation in offensive rating at 126.8.

Why all the NEC’s top coaches could be staying

The NEC championship game hasn’t even been played, but the coaching carousel doesn’t wait for anything. When the Rhode Island Rams decided to part ways with head coach Jim Barron three NEC coaches found themselves thrown into the rumors. Two of those coaches are coaching on Wednesday and all three will hear their names mentioned many more times. It’s possible though that all could stay at their respective institutions.

That sounds weird, because the NEC is a single-bid conference near the bottom of Division I by almost any metric, but all three have lots of reasons to be excited about the future of their respective programs and each has more to do. In turn the league should benefit and continue to rise in 2012-13. Will they all stay? Let’s take a look at each’s unique situation.

Dan Hurley: Destined for big things

When Dan Hurley came to Grymes Hill he was already a high school coaching legend, with a career record of 223-21 at Saint Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey. He has a famous father and brother and was expected to succeed from day one, even as he stepped into a program that had won just five games the year before he took over. Two seasons later the Seahawks lost at home in the semifinals of the NEC Tournament after going 15-3 in conference play. They also beat Pittsburgh, Princeton and Penn in non-conference play. Hurley’s name was being thrown around in Twitter rumors for the URI while the semifinal was still in progress.

There will always be jobs out there for Hurley. He’s got the name, the pedigree and the system to shoot for the biggest of jobs when he decides to leave Staten Island. His defensive system will play anywhere and as he moves up the ladder he’ll just be able to get more and more talent.

That ability to acquire talent is one of the reasons that Hurley shouldn’t leave Wagner after this season. Chris Martin and Tyler Murray both graduate, but the cupboard is far from bare. Former Michigan Mr. Basketball Dwaun Anderson may be eligible next season. He’ll complement Latif Rivers, NEC Defensive Player of the Year Kenneth Ortiz and the developing Naofall Folahan and Mario Moody in the paint. Once again Hurley will have the talent to compete for an NEC title.

Jim Ferry: Building a program

If he wanted to LIU Brooklyn head coach Jim Ferry could’ve left after last season. He accomplished pretty much everything an NEC coach can by winning the conference regular season and tournament titles and claiming a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Manhattan came calling last off season and it seemed like Ferry might go, until he didn’t. Instead he returned and once again won the NEC regular season title.

Now, after back-to-back seasons with NEC titles, Ferry is in charge of one of the premiere programs in the conference. He took eight seasons to build the foundation for this success and it’s going to take the perfect job for him to leave. Like Hurley’s Seahawks the Blackbirds will be loaded against next season. NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd will be back for his senior season with Jamal Olasewere and Jason Brickman is there to run the floor with them. Ferry will need to find some more front court depth, but Brandon Thompson could be starting in the NEC right now and more talent is surely on the way.

Andrew Toole: The youngster

It’s a testament to Mike Rice, the Robert Morris program and Andrew Toole what has happened in Pittsburgh the past few seasons. When Rice got the opportunity to go to Rutgers Toole took the reigns and has never faltered. The Colonials played in the NEC title game last season and are there once again after their upset of Wagner on Sunday. Like their coach, the Colonials are a careful blend of experience and youth. Just one player, Lawrence Bridges, will graduate at the end of this season.

Toole is the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I. He’s been a head coach for just two (albeit very successful) seasons. Is he ready to leap? Will the struggles his mentor Rice has had at Rutgers serve as a cautionary tale? Toole is a shooting star, but it’s obvious that success can be sustained at Robert Morris. There are athletes to be found in that area of the country who can play the switching defensive system that RMU so deftly employs. The majority of the roster comes from the area surrounding the city. There are lots of gems to be found in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which make up more than half the roster.

And there’s this wildcard, Karon Abraham, arguably RMU’s most talented player, will return next season. He was suspended all season due to violating school rules. It was a gutsy move by a young coach, but it’s paid dividends and showed Toole wasn’t afraid to make tough decisions.

More to come

Where does that leave us? Could all three return? Surely. If they did the NEC would probably be prepared for the best season in conference history. These three programs should be joined by others like Central Connecticut, St. Francis (NY) and Monmouth next season. Seven of the league’s top 10 players return. It could be a banner year for the conference, but it’ll only be as strong as possible if Hurley, Ferry and Toole resist the siren’s song of other jobs and come back to finish what they’ve started.