Jason Brickman just used to laugh. The notion seemed preposterous. More than three years ago, Brickman was a freshman at LIU Brooklyn, serving as the backup point guard on a team that hadn’t made the NCAA Tournament in nearly 14 years. The season swung violently up and down. Some games, he would play 32 minutes, other games, 11 minutes. Sometimes he showed blinding potential, other times, he was held scoreless. In a time of uncertainty, his father, Bruce, let his son know he wasn’t just going to get better, he was going to become the best. “I was struggling a little during the year and he told me to be patient and keep fighting hard, and he said, ‘Once your time comes, you’ll be able to lead the nation in assists,’ ” Brickman recalled this week. “I never believed him. I always just laughed at him, but he was the first person that told me I could do it. He always told me I was such a great passer that I could lead the NCAA in assists one year.” Last season, he did it. Now, he is about to do it again. Brickman, who is responsible for more than 71 percent of the Blackbirds’ assists, could go the final four regular season games without an assist and still lead the nation by 0.8 assists per game, if all other averages hold. His 10-assists-per-game average would make him the first player to reach double digits since 1995, and with 10.9 points per game, the Bob Cousy Award finalist would become just the second player in history to average double-digit points and assists in the same season (Avery Johnson was the first, in 1987-88). In December, the senior from San Antonio became the Northeast Conference’s all-time leader in assists and he is on pace to become just the fourth player in Division I history to record 1,000 career assists, joining Bobby Hurley, Chris Corchiani and Ed Cota. With three assists on Saturday at St. Francis of Pennsylvania, Brickman will move into fifth-place all time, passing Steve Blake of Maryland. “The names that he keeps passing, Sherman Douglas, Gary Payton, it’s remarkable,” LIU coach Jack Perri said. “He’s earned it and he deserves it. He’s that good of a passer and he’s that good of a player. He’s just a unique, unbelievable talent that I’ll never see again or have a chance to coach again.” After the graduations of Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner, and a litany of injuries — none more devastating than former conference player of the year Julian Boyd re-tearing his ACL — Brickman has endured the first losing season of his life with a new supporting cast. The lone senior on the only team in conference history to win three consecutive league championships, Brickman may finish his final season without a chance to defend the crown, with the Blackbirds (8-17, 3-9) currently 1½ games out of the final spot in the NEC Tournament.
Record-setting LIU Brooklyn senior wants one more run
New York Post | Feb 22