Two big pieces of information leaked today. First of all, LIU Brooklyn has reinstated the four suspended basketball players and suspended each of them two games apiece according to a report from Zach Braziller.
Also, it has been pointed out that Meiko Lyles isn’t on Columbia’s current 2012-13 roster. (UPDATE 10/10: Apparently he’s back!) Losing Lyles is a big blow for Columbia in terms of trying to take a step upwards in the Ivy League. It’s possible, but it’ll be much more difficult. As the 2011-12 season progressed Lyles became an even more valuable player for the Lions. Without his scoring threat, more of the burden will fall onto Brian Barbour and Mark Cisco. (UPDATE 10/10: Hopefully this whole paragraph is moot now.)
As for LIU, the two games apparently are two NEC games, so the team didn’t get off free, but it’s also not the worst. The Blackbirds will play at Sacred Heart on Jan. 3 and at Quinnipiac on Jan. 5 in those two games. That means they will be available though for the game against Wagner on Jan. 10, which is a huge game in terms of the conference standings.
LIU could still win the top seed in the conference tournament by winning out or maybe the NEC final won’t be at the Wellness Center this season. Still, this automatically makes the Blackbirds the favorite to win the NEC. Yes, it’ll be a tough three-team race, but the reinstatement of NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner means that all that firepower will be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.