It was senior night in Brooklyn, and Jason Brickman was honored before the game along with forward Julian Boyd and guard/forward Troy Joseph. The Blackbirds won the NEC Tournament the last three years, but a loss at home Thursday to Central Connecticut State, prevented them from defending their title.
There was still a lot on the line for LIU, particularly Jason Brickman. He spent his entire collegiate career getting everyone else involved, and he came into tonight's game against Bryant just three assists shy of reaching 1,000 for his career.
Going into the game, only three players in NCAA Division I history had recorded over 1,000 assists in their collegiate careers: Bobby Hurley (1,076) - Duke (89-93), Chris Corchiani (1,038) - NC State (87-91), and Ed Cota (1,030) - UNC (96-00). When the final buzzer sounded inside the Steinberg Wellness Center, Brickman became the fourth.
To enter into a club with just three prior members is extremely impressive. With that said, he also entered into an even more elite fraternity in terms of passing the rock. Avery Johnson, the General, was the only player in NCAA Division I history to average double-digits in points and assists in a single-season - 11.4ppg and 13.3apg at Southern in 87-88. Brickman's 12 assists gave him 290 on the year in 29 games, good for exactly 10 apg, to go with his 11.3 points per game.
For his career, Brickman finished with 1,009 career assists - fourth all-time. He averaged 7.7 assists per game in 130 career games; he also led all NCAA Division I players in assists per game in both his junior and senior seasons.
Perhaps even more impressive, Brickman assisted on over 52 percent of made fields by the Blackbirds when he was on the floor this year, and that was without Boyd (injury) and Jamal Olasewere (graduation); both were former NEC POY winners.
Surprisingly, Brickman has never made an All-NEC First-Team; something that I think will change next Tuesday at 11 a.m. when the awards are announced. It would be bittersweet for Brickman, however. LIU's season ended in disappointment, but it would have been a travesty without Brickman.
While the Blackbirds won't have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament this season, Brickman's accomplishments will be talked about at 1 University Plaza in Brooklyn, N.Y., and inside the Steinberg Wellness Center for years to come. In fact, his No. 15 jersey may very well hang from the rafters there one day.
- Stats courtesy of LIU Athletics Site and Sports-Reference.