Author Archives: Nelson Castillo

St. Francis Brooklyn 76 LIU Brooklyn 81: Five Thoughts from the 43rd annual Battle of Brooklyn

Well, the 43rd annual Battle of Brooklyn game between St. Francis Brooklyn and LIU Brooklyn at the Steinberg Wellness Center Thursday night had it all.

In a game of huge importance for both teams, St. Francis Brooklyn in a three-way tie for second and LIU Brooklyn, still with hope of hosting a NEC tournament quarterfinal game on Wednesday night, each brought an intensity and a desire to win that has made this rivalry between the two Division I Brooklyn schools, one of the best in the NEC if not among one of the most underrated in the nation. Continue reading

LIU Brooklyn gets by Stony Brook for second straight win

In a matchup of two three-win teams thus far, Stony Brook traveled west on the dreaded Long Island Expressway Monday night to Downtown Brooklyn to visit the Steinberg Wellness Center for the first time ever to play LIU Brooklyn in unexpectedly just the second-ever meeting between the two area schools.

In what turned out to be a tight affair pretty much throughout, LIU Brooklyn came away with a 75-71 victory behind the combination of Joel Hernandez, Raiquan Clark and a rather surprising career-high performance from Julius van Sauers. The three players combined for 59 out of LIU’s 75 points. Continue reading

Five thoughts on NJIT-LIU Brooklyn and Hartford-LIU Brooklyn in the last 72 hours

In the previous 72 hours, I embarked on a two games in three days journey following LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball as they returned back to the tri-state area after playing their previous four games in Jamaica (the Caribbean island, not Queens) and up in the New England area at UMass-Lowell and Brown where they went just 1-3 and entered the week with a bit of a disappointing 2-5 record. Continue reading

Twenty Years Ago, A Record-Shattering Blowout Win Altered The Course Of LIU Basketball

Yesterday, you saw something in college basketball you probably never seen before. In the Minnesota-Alabama game at the Barclays Center, Alabama played several minutes of the second half with just three players as their entire bench got ejected for coming on to the court during an altercation. The crazy thing was, they nearly pulled off the comebacks of all-time comebacks with just three guys!

The reason why I bring that up is that today marks the twentieth anniversary of Medgar Evers-Long Island (as they were known back then before they became better known as LIU Brooklyn) game. Another crazy game in the annals of college basketball. That was the game in which the Blackbirds won by 117 points. Yes, you read correctly, 1-1-7. Twenty years later, it is still an NCAA record for largest margin of victory.

I wrote this piece for my old blog, Blackbirds Hoops Journal, five years ago on the fifteenth anniversary of that game which I was in attendance for. In my opinion, it was probably one of the best pieces I wrote during my five-year run writing for the site. I wanted to bring it back to share it for this twentieth anniversary of that game and I hope one day this record actually gets broken by some team some day. I don’t think it will ever happen though. I think this is one LIU is going to own for a long, long time. I hope you enjoy this recollection of one of the more crazier game I ever attended and will never forget.  Continue reading

LIU Brooklyn 68, Fordham 81: Three Thoughts

On a cool late autumn, Monday evening in the Bronx, LIU Brooklyn and Fordham matched up in a battle of 0-1 teams looking for that first early season victory. LIU Brooklyn was coming off their high-scoring 102-96 loss to Tulane on Friday night while Fordham lost a one-point heartbreaker at home to Miami (OH) that same night.

It was a different story for both teams Monday night as Fordham got up ahead 14-4 to start the game and shot the ball extremely well while frustrating LIU on the offensive end and essentially cruised to an 81-68 wire-to-wire victory over the Blackbirds to go to 1-1 while dropping LIU to 0-2 on the young season. Continue reading

Ten (plus one) Burning Questions Heading Into 2017-18 NEC Season

On Friday, the new college basketball season begins. In the Northeast Conference, after an offseason filled with elite players up-transferring, preseason injuries to some key players, one coaching change, a coach getting suspended for an exhibition game for arguing with his assistant, it is finally to put all the noise aside and get to what really matters, the games!

I came up with ten (plus one) burning questions that most NEC fans including myself have been debating in our minds and across social media on the eve of the 2017-18 season and share my thoughts on the NEC as the tip-off to the new season gets set to begin. Continue reading

34 Teams in 34 Days: Fordham


Outlook: After a good first season for Jeff Neubauer at Fordham two seasons ago, the Rams finished under .500 for the ninth time in their last ten seasons last season and enter this season with 56 percent of their scoring gone from a year ago. Can a team mostly of juniors and seniors get things back on track or will a winning season be problematic to achieve in 2017-18? Continue reading