Countdown to #Seawolves Tip-Off: Suffocating Defense
Oct. 14, 2013
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Head coach Steve Pikiell says it all the time: he doesn't care how many points his team scores. He's only worried about how many points his opponent scores. Defense. It's what's served up at Stony Brook, and it's the main reason why the #Seawolves have been so successful over the last four years.
The numbers themselves tell a story about how prolific Stony Brook's defense has been. But it's really more than that. Watch the disruptions on every possession, watch the hands in the face, watch the defenders' bodies up against the ballhandlers. It's a mantra here at Stony Brook. Defense gets the job done.
The head coach says it best himself:
"We're not worried about points. I tell these guys all the time, 'Offense is inconsistent, defense is consistent.' Defense is the one thing you can count on, home or away."
- Head Coach Steve Pikiell
Stony Brook has led America East in scoring defense in each of the last three seasons, and in each of the last two, that number has been south of 60 points per game. In 2012-13, the #Seawolves limited foes to 57.5 points per game. That number dipped further in America East play; the team held its conference foes to 54.9 points per outing. Take out an 81-point slip-up at Vermont, and the #Seawolves averaged just 53.1 points allowed per game otherwise.
Only three teams have scored 80 or more points against Stony Brook in the team's last 120 games played. That was Vermont in 2013, Indiana in 2011 and Notre Dame in 2010. During that 120-game span, there have been 23 games in which the opponent has not cracked 50 points. And of those 23, there were five games in which the opponent failed to score 40 points! Stony Brook set its Div. I program low for points allowed on Jan. 29, 2011 when the #Seawolves gave up only 35 points to Hartford.
And it's not just on an America East level. The #Seawolves are among the best in the nation at what they do. Stony Brook has ranked in the top 20 in the country in either scoring defense and/or field goal percentage defense in each of the last three seasons. In 2012-13, Stony Brook was sixth in the nation in field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to a paltry 37.8% shooting. In 2011-12, the #Seawolves had the fourth-best rebounding margin in the country after going +8.3 on their opponents.
How does this all happen? Talent and practice. The #Seawolves heavily practice defense, and it shows in the results. In 2012-13, Stony Brook boasted three America East All-Defensive team student-athletes in Tommy Brenton, Jameel Warney and Dave Coley. Brenton went on to earn America East Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive year, and his defensive exploits earned him national honors when he was named the 2013 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year.
Brenton may be gone playing professionally in Japan now, but don't look now because Warney and Coley are back, and Pikiell has six other returners and six new players at his disposal ready to defend, defend and defend.
The stops on D continue Nov. 8 when the #Seawolves open the 2013-14 campaign vs. Marist at Pritchard Gymnasium.