Men's hoops tips off 2012-13 at Marist Friday
Nov. 7, 2012
2012-13 Stony Brook Men's Basketball
Game #1: Stony Brook (0-0) at Marist (0-0)
On the Radio
Stony Brook Seawolves (0-0, 0-0 America East)
Marist Red Foxes (0-0, 0-0 MAAC)
About the Game: Stony Brook begins anew with nine returning letterwinners and four newcomers as it begins its chase for the 2013 America East Championship. Its first task is a road game with the Marist Red Foxes of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The team is coming off its most successful season as a Div. I program, going 22-10, winning the America East regular season title and advancing to the postseason NIT. This is the fifth all-time meeting between these two teams, and the first time since 1976. This is Stony Brook’s 14th season as a Div. I member, and the Seawolves are 5-8 all-time in season openers. Their last season opening win came Nov. 13, 2009, a 75-57 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Stony Brook is beginning a stretch of three games in 81 hours.
2011-12 Recap: Last season proved to be Stony Brook’s most successful as a Div. I program. Led by head coach Steve Pikiell, the Seawolves captured their second America East regular season championship in three seasons by running roughshot over the league with a 14-2 record. It was a part of a 22-10 season that matched the 2009-10 team for most wins in its Div. I history. The Seawolves capped the year with their second NIT appearance in three seasons.
Preseason Honors: For the third consecutive season, the league’s preseason vote among head coaches has landed Stony Brook second in the preseason poll. This year, SB is behind only Vermont. The Seawolves had four out of a possible eight first place votes. Senior forward Tommy Brenton was named to the preseason All-America East team after finishing 2011-12 as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-America East.
Meet the New Kids: Stony Brook welcomes four freshmen to this year’s squad and gains the services of a freshman who sat out last season. Carson Puriefoy is a 6-0 point guard who was second-team All-New Jersey last season at Bishop Eustace High School. Jameel Warney is a 6-8, 255-pound forward who was also second-team All-New Jersey out of Roselle Catholic High School. Port Washington, N.Y. native Ahmad Walker is a 6-4 athletic wing, who was the Berkshire School’s all-time leading scorer. Ryan Burnett is a 6-4 wing out of Benedictine Prep in Richmond, Va., and averaged 17 points a game as a senior.
Set Your Alarm Clocks: For the second time in three seasons, Stony Brook will participate in ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, the network’s 24-hour college basketball event. The Seawolves have been slotted in the 6 a.m. game at Rider on Tuesday, Nov. 13. On Nov. 16, 2010, the Seawolves played the 6 a.m. game at Monmouth and came away with a 51-49 victory.
D is the Key: The math is usually simple for Stony Brook and its defense: hold the opponent under 60 points and it’s a victory. The Seawolves were 16-1 last season when holding their opponent under 60 points.
Rebounding Machines: Last season, Stony Brook was one of the best in the country at rebounding, outrebounding opponents by a 8.3 margin (37.6 to 29.3), which led America East and ranked fourth in the nation.
Pritchard Palace: Stony Brook has won 14 consecutive games at Pritchard Gymnasium, dating back to the 2010-11 season. The team was a perfect 13-0 there last season. Since returning to Pritchard Gymnasium prior to the 2008-09 season, the Seawolves are 38-15 (.717) in the building.
The Line’s the Key: Last season, Stony Brook’s win-loss record could be tied to its ability to get to the free throw line more than its opponent. SBU was 19-2 in games in which it has equal or more free throw attempts than its opponents (averaging 20.4 attempts in wins) and 3-8 in games in which it has fewer attempts than its opponents (averaging 11.5 attempts in losses).
Amazing Turnaround: Stony Brook’s second regular season championship in three years continues to tell the story of the program’s turnaround under head coach Steve Pikiell. In his first season, Stony Brook was 4-24 overall and 2-14 in America East. By his fifth season, the team won the league with a 13-3 record. Now Stony Brook has become a force in America East and is annually competing for the league championship. The Seawolves have the third-most America East wins in the nine-team conference since the start of the 2008-09 season.
Approaching a Record: The countdown has begun for Tommy Brenton to become Stony Brook’s all-time leading rebounder. Already the program’s leader in its Div. I history, he is just 70 rebounds away from securing the all-time mark. He is also 164 rebounds away from becoming just the eighth America East player to reach 1,000.
Replacing Some Offense: The Seawolves lost a ton of offense to graduation last season. Bryan Dougher is the program’s all-time leading Div. I scorer with 1,609 points and led the team in scoring in each of the last two seasons. Dallis Joyner was the team’s best offense inside the paint, leading America East in field goal percentage at 61.1%.
Incredible Academic Progress: Head coach Steve Pikiell came into Stony Brook with a team on NCAA probation for poor academics. In 2004-05, prior to Pikiell’s arrival, the team’s rolling Academic Progress Rate (APR) according to the NCAA was 880 and that particular team’s APR was 804. In 2009-10, the team achieved a perfect 1000, and the rolling APR according to the NCAA was 951, an incredible turnaround in a short period of time.
Four Athletes, Four Graduates, Four Pros: Bryan Dougher, Dallis Joyner, Al Rapier and Danny Carter all graduated Stony Brook with their bachelor degrees this past spring, and all four of them are now professional basketball players. Joyner is currently playing for Maccabi in Israel. Carter is back with his former Reading Rockets club in England. Rapier is enjoying his season with Sambaense in Portugal. Dougher just signed with the Redwood Hawks in Australia and will start playing in March.
Fulfilling a Hoop Dream: On Oct. 11, the Seawolves took time out to shoot around with Arthur Plowden, a heart transplant patient at Stony Brook Medicine, who was the first person to receive a Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) at a Long Island Hospital two years ago. He had a heart transplant this past July and was eager to return to the court. Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell heard of Arthur’s amazing story and invited him to come play with the team. Arthur and members of the senior class played a game of HORSE before Pikiell presented him with a signed basketball from the team and season tickets to the 2012-13 season at Pritchard Gymnasium.
Face Time: As has been the case over the last few seasons, Stony Brook will receive plenty of airtime on the ESPN family of networks. The Seawolves are slated for at least seven games on an ESPN branded network, including the annual America East showcase game on ESPNU - the Seawolves will play at Vermont on Jan. 18.
Up Next: Stony Brook will open its home schedule and put its unbeaten Pritchard Gymnasium streak on the line Sunday afternoon vs. Mount Ida. Tip-off is 4 p.m.
You have to be in it to win it. And Stony Brook has certainly been in “it” over the last four seasons as head coach Steve Pikiell has successfuly built a program that will annually compete for the America East Championship. Enterin his eighth season at the helm, Pikiell has led the Seawolves to a .500 or better record in the conference in four straight seasons, and in that span the team has captured two regular season championships, appeared in the America East Championship final twice and reached the postseason NIT twice. This season, Pikiell will have a different look to his team as he seeks to replace three starters lost to graduation. He returns nine letterwinners and although the personnel is slightly different, the goal remains the same: contend for the regular season championship and put the team in the best position possible to win the America East Championship and earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Whoever wins the point guard battle will have a talented running mate at the shooting guard position. Junior Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has developed into a go-to scorer. In his sophomore season, he increased his scoring average by 3.5 points per game while also increasing his shooting percentage by nearly 10% (.317 to .409). He has a strong and quick first step, knows how to break defenders off the dribble and knows wehen to pull up shots versus driving to the basket. He spent all summer working on his shot and will look to further better his shooting percentage. An added bonus is that he’s one of the team’s best defenders and will often draw the assignment of stopping the opposing team’s best defender.
Off the bench, Stony Brook will have veteran guards with the ability to make big shots and defend well. Senior Leonard Hayes (Voorhees, N.J) is a 6-4, three-point specialist who also has vastly improved on defense. Although he did not shoot as well in his junior year (.270) than his sophomore year (.451), he is a candidate to go on shooting hot streak at any time. Senior Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.) is a 6-1 off-guard providing an offensive spark with steady hands. He’s capable of putting up big offensive nights without turning the ball over. For his career, he has a 39.8 shooting percentage and a 1.2 assist/turnover ratio.
Stony Brook has two talented freshmen at the guard/ wing position. Ryan Burnett (Richmond, Va.) played for a deep Benedictine Prep team and averaged 17 points a game for it as a senior. He is long, athletic and can shoot well. Ahmad Walker (Port Washington, N.Y.) returns to Long Island after spending three years at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. Perhaps one of the most athletic players on the team, Walker was a four-sport star at Berkshire and became the school’s all-time leader in scoring with 1,745 points. He has excellent offensive instincts and can score by attacking the basket.
Adding depth to the squad is junior Ben Resner (Farmingdale, N.Y.), who is 6-2 and appeared in six games last season.
Expected to either start or be the sixth man is senior Ron Bracey (Cincinnati, Ohio). Bracey will be looked on to have the type of senior season Al Rapier had in 2011- 12 that includes improvement on both ends of the court. Bracey worked hard to get into better shape this summer, losing 25 pounds and working on his offensive game. He can score from anywhere on the court, spot-up the jumper and back down in the post.
There is one newcomer among the forwards and he is poised to make an immediate impact. 6-8 freshman Jameel Warney (Plainfield, N.J.) comes in as one of the program’s best recruits ever and was ranked No. 5 among all New Jersey recruits last year. Warney is long and built to bang in the post. He has a polished offensive game and is a strong shot blocker. Last year for Roselle Catholic, he earned All-State honors after averaging 17.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 blocks per game. He will challenge for the starting spot vacated by Joyner and could challenge to be America East’s best interior player.