Perri Announces Three New Additions for Upcoming Campaign
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
After winning a record three consecutive Northeast Conference Championships from 2010-13, the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds found themselves on the outside looking in at the NEC Tournament last season.
Third-year men’s basketball coach Jack Perri is hoping his incoming recruiting class, bolstered by the official signing of three new players Wednesday morning, will give the Blackbirds an opportunity to return to their former glory.
Perri revealed that Jerome Frink of Jersey City, N.J., Martin Hermannsson of Reykjavik, Iceland and Jonathan Tshibuy of Montreal, Quebec, Canada would join four other newcomers – Elvar Fridriksson (Iceland), Jamil Hood (Albany, N.Y.), and Trevin and Trevon Woods (Houston, Texas) – in completing the 2014-15 recruiting class.
"We are very excited to add three more student-athletes to our incoming class,” Perri said. "They are great kids that will be welcomed into the LIU-Brooklyn family."
That family suffered a tremendous loss after enduring a brutal 9-20 campaign, including a previously unfathomable 4-12 mark in NEC play, in 2013-14.
Point guard Jason Brickman, the nation’s assists leader in each of the previous two campaigns, completed his eligibility and signed to play with Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Superleague.
Brickman’s departure signaled the end of the dynastic era that he, Jamal Olasewere, also playing in Europe, and Julian Boyd spearheaded to start the decade.
Now, it’s up to Perri and his staff to assure Blackbird fanatics that their run as an NEC powerhouse and perennial NCAA Tournament contender didn’t end with the loss of those three key players.
Frink’s impact will not be felt during the upcoming regular season as the Florida International transfer will have to sit out in 2014-15 due to NCAA transfer rules. He will, however, be permitted to practice with the new-look Blackbirds.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds as a freshman with the Golden Panthers, helping them to 18 wins in his 31 starts. As a sophomore, Frink again started all 31 games for FIU, but his average sunk to 8.4 points per contest.
A product of the legendary St. Anthony’s program in New Jersey, helmed by Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley, Frink figures to be a big part of LIU’s basketball future.
"Jerome comes from a great family and played for two highly competitive programs in the past,” Perri said. “He was here during our summer session and immediately fit in. He is a talented and tough forward that has a great work ethic and demeanor. He will really help us in practice this year with his overall competitiveness and toughness. He will have a huge impact on our program even while he is sitting out for the year."
Hermannsson, a 6-foot-3 guard, is the second-youngest member of the Iceland National Basketball Team, and will fit in nicely with fellow incoming freshman Fridriksson. The duo competed together in the FIBA U18 Euro Championships, and will give Perri the dynamic he needs in the backcourt to maintain LIU's frenetic up-and-down pace.
"Martin is a tremendous person from a real good family,” Perri noted. “He is a talented combo guard with good size and a great ability to play with or without the ball in his hands. He can score in a variety of ways and his basketball IQ is off the charts. He should have an immediate impact on our program."
Tshibuy will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after playing for Missouri State University-West Plains for two years. As a freshman, he started 17 games and averaged 9.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. The 6-5, 235-pound forward played in nine contests last season, averaging 10.3 points per game.
"Jonathan is a really nice kid that will help give us some depth in our frontcourt,” Perri said. “He is a versatile forward that can create mismatches with his ability to attack the basket from the perimeter. I like his ability to defend multiple positions and compete on the glass as well."