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LIU men’s basketball completes new recruiting class

Addition of Agosto Solidifies Returning Blackbirds Roster

September 7, 2016 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
With their new recruiting class in place, the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds hope to return to the top of the Northeast Conference in 2016-17. Photo courtesy of LIU-Brooklyn Athletics
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It very well may be the beginning of something big for the LIU-Brooklyn men’s basketball program.

After reaching the Northeast Conference Tournament semifinals last season, something they hadn’t achieved since capping off their record-setting run of three consecutive league titles back in 2013, head coach Jack Perri’s crew appears poised to make a serious run to the top of the NEC in 2016-17.

With returning upperclassmen like senior Joel Hernandez, junior Nura Zanna and fourth-year guard Iverson Fleming, Perri added a trio of new recruits to the mix this past offseason, including Tuesday’s announcement that guard Jashaun Agosto would be in Downtown Brooklyn for the next four years.

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“We are very excited to welcome Jashaun to our program,” Perri said of the two-time state champion from the Northwest’s Garfield High School in Washington.

“He has had a decorated high school career and we feel very fortunate to get a player of his caliber as late in the summer as we did,” Perri added, noting that Agosto could help fill the void left by departing point guard Martin Hermannsson, who left LIU to begin a professional career overseas.

Agosto, who is listed at 5-foot-10, helped lead Garfield to a 4A title as a sophomore in 2013-14, then backed it up with another state championship at the 3A level as a junior.

During the 2014-15 campaign, Agosto led the Metro League with 72 steals while averaging 13.3 points and 3.6 assists per contest as the Bulldogs compiled a 27-2 record.

As a senior, Agosto averaged 10.5 points, 6.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 3.8 steals per game as Garfield finished with a 26-3 mark and ranked third in the state. 

“His skill, speed and athleticism will add a different dimension to our roster,” Perri said of the Seattle native. “He will be a welcomed addition to the LIU-Brooklyn community.”

Agosto joins forward Julian Batts (Jeannette, Pennsylvania) and Ashtyn Bradley (Fresno, Texas) as newcomers to LIU Brooklyn’s men’s basketball program, which will open the 2016-17 season on Friday, Nov. 11 against John Jay at the Steinberg Wellness Center.

“We are excited to be able to add both Julian and Ashtyn during the late signing period,” Perri said back in May. “They are two great kids that are capable of filling needs that we have going into next season.”

The Blackbirds, who finished 16-15 overall last year and 9-9 in conference play, will also participate in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at Barclays Center on Dec. 11 by taking on St. John’s University at their home away from home.

“It is an honor to be part of such a tremendous doubleheader that includes high-quality programs such as Kentucky, St. John’s and Hofstra,” Perri noted. “We continue to enjoy our partnership with Barclays Center, and look forward to building a greater relationship with the premier basketball facility in Brooklyn.”

***

The defending NEC champion men’s soccer team from LIU went 1-1 during the Peter Baldwin Classic in Burlington, Vermont this past weekend, upending Bucknell, 3-1, on Friday before dropping a 3-0 decision to the undefeated host Catamounts Sunday afternoon.

Sophomores Rasmus Hansen, Romario Guscott and Simen Hestnes each tallied during LIU’s tournament-opening win, but the Blackbirds (2-2) never got off the schneid in Sunday’s title match, playing Vermont to a draw for nearly 60 minutes before Bernard Yeboah struck for the contest’s opening goal.

Sophomores Erik Wahlin and Guscott, along with freshman Frej Engberg, were named to the All-Tournament Team for LIU, which will be back in action Sunday evening at Howard University.

***

The St. Francis-Brooklyn men’s soccer squad fell to 1-2 on the young season with a tough 2-1, double-overtime defeat at UMass-Lowell on Sunday afternoon.

Senior midfielder Leo Folla had the lone goal for the Terriers, who were scheduled to travel to Hartford for their next match on Wednesday afternoon.

***

The Lady Bulldogs of Brooklyn College kicked off their soccer season Saturday at Fairleigh Dickinson in Florham, N.J., suffering a 1-0 loss despite a great performance by senior netminder Samantha Rodriguez of Brooklyn’s James Madison High School.

Making her collegiate debut in goal, Rodriguez made 11 saves, but the Bulldogs (0-1) were undone when FDU’s Kristen Fila finally broke through against her in the 60th minute.

“It was good team effort throughout the game,” said Brooklyn College head coach Patrick Horne. “We just have to work out some kinks with players new to the team.”

***

In local pro sports news, Brooklyn Cyclones hurler Harol Gonzalez, a New York-Penn League All-Star and strong candidate for the league’s Pitcher of the Year honor, finished the campaign with a circuit-best 2.01 ERA and 88 strikeouts.

Gonzalez, who ranked third in the league in wins with seven, mainly due to Brooklyn’s anemic, league-worst offense, became the fifth consecutive Baby Bums pitcher to pace the league in strikeouts.

He joins fellow Brooklyn alums Luis Mateo (2012, 85 Ks), Miller Diaz (2013, 87), Marcos Molina (2014, 91), and Kevin Canelon (2015, 70).

Gonzalez, who ranks fourth all-time on the franchise’s single-season strikeout list, could become the first Cyclone to win Pitcher of the Year honors since New York Mets reliever Hansel Robles grabbed the award in 2012.

 


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