LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds open up the 2017-18 season on the road at Tulane

After missing the 2016-17 season due to injury, Joel Hernandez is back and ready to lead the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds on their quest for a spot in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
BROOKLYN, NY. — The wait is over. The 2017-18 season is less than a week away.

This Friday, the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds open their 2017-2018 campaign on the road against the Tulane Green Wave inside Devlin Fieldhouse.

For new head coach Derek Kellogg, the current edition of the Blackbirds will not be without its challenges, but the potential is there for LIU Brooklyn to surprise in the Northeats Conference.

This season, the Blackbirds are without three of their team’s top scorers, a group that includes the reigning Northeast Conference Player of the Year in Jerome Frink. Also missing from last year’s team are All-NEC selections Nura Zanna and Iverson Fleming.

In spite of the losses, have no fear, as LIU Brooklyn welcomes back redshirt senior Joel Hernandez, who missed last season due to injury. Add him in with All-Rookie honoree Jashaun Agosto at point guard, who emerged as a proven facilitator and scorer in his freshman season, and the level of excitement quickly rises.

Several key returnees on the team include Raiquan Clark, Julian Batts and Julius van Sauers, all of whom will be major factors in Coach Kellogg’s system. Clark is entering his junior season in 2017-18, while both Batts and van Sauers are sophomores.

While the Blackbirds have some experienced players on their roster, they also have their fair share of fresh faces. The Blackbirds welcome a pair of freshmen to the rotation, as well as JUCO transfer Craig Owens, Jr.

Opening night will be a good test for the Blackbirds, as their match-up with the Green Wave is going to be a hard-fought battle. Both teams are substantially different from who they were at this time last year, and will be looking to make a statement right out of the gates.

Tulane adds experience to their rotation this summer, as a pair of redshirts become eligible in 2017-18. Junior wing Jordan Cornish and sophomore forward Samir Sehic both transferred to the Green Wave following the 2015-16 season, and have had more than a year of practice time to learn their new system.

The Green Wave also have five freshman on their 2017-18 roster, including Canadian Shakwon Barrett and 7-footer Buay Koka of South Sudan. You can expect senior Cameron Reynolds to have a powerful presence in the game with his shooting ability and athleticism on the wing.

Tip off is set for 7 pm in New Orleans on Friday, November 10th.

-N. Wright