The Statesman | Hoopla 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Men's Basketball has sights set on NCAA tournament
By Joe Galotti
Assistant Sports Editor
Preseason Poll: 1st Last year: 21-12 overall 11-5 America East Outlook: Vermont is coached by John Becker, who is third season with the Catamounts. They finished 21-12 last season, and 11-5 in conference play. They were picked first in the coach’s poll for the second season in a row. Vermont returns all five starters for the 2013-14 season, and is led by Sandro Carissimo (11.4 ppg last season). Vermont opens up Nov. 9 vs. Saint Joseph’s at 7 p.m.
Preseason Poll: 3rd Last year: 24-11 overall 9-7 America East Outlook: Albany is coached by Will Brown, who is in his 13th season with the Great Danes. They finished 24-11 last season, and a 9-7 conference record. They finished in fourth place last season and won their third America East title since 2006. Returning to the team are Sam Rowley Jr. who averaged nine points per game last season. Albany’s first game is Nov. 8 against Siena.
Preseason Poll: 4th Last year: 11-20 overall 7-9 America East Outlook: The Hawks reached the America East semifinals last year but will need to replace four of its top five scorers. Senior guard Andres Torres will provide a veteran presence to a team that will have seven total new players to the team. The team’s top returning scorer (8.0 ppg), Maciel averaged 16.0 points in two America East tournament games. Hartford first plays Sacred Heart on Nov. 11.
Preseason Poll: 5th Last year: 9-20 overall 5-11 America East Outlook: New Hampshire is coached by Bill Herrion, who is in his ninth season with the team. He is the league’s all time leader in conference wins (155) championship wins (21). They are coming off of a 9-20 record, 5-11 in the America East.They return nine letterwinners, including senior forward Patrick Konan, who was top 15 in points (11.8 ppg). Their first game is Nov. 8 against Suffolk.
The Stony Brook Men’s Basketball team is coming off arguably the best season in the program’s history. They won 25 games, the most since 1977, and won their very first NIT matchup, defeating Massachusetts in the first round of the tournament. The team featured the America East Conference Player of the Year and the National Defensive Player of the Year Tommy Brenton. It also featured the America East Rookie of the Year Jameel Warney. But, the one thing the head coach Steve Pikiell’s squad once again failed to achieve was winning the America East Conference Title and grabbing an NCAA tournament bid. Stony Brook came into the America East Tournament last spring as the No. 1 seed, after posting a 14-2 conference record. The Seawolves cruised to victory in the first round of the tournament against Binghamton, but fell to No. 4 seed Albany in the semifinals in rather heartbreaking fashion. Stony Brook was able to overcome a 10-point deficit with 3:47 remaining to tie the game at 59. But, with 2.4 seconds remaining, Albany’s Mike Black drove past SBU’s freshman guard Carson Puriefoy for a layup with what would be the gamewinning basket. “It was very tough, because the seniors that helped build the program, it was their last chance to make it to NCAA’s,” Puriefoy said. But, despite all the frustration over the past few years, the Seawolves still come into training camp optimistic. “I was disappointed at the end, because you got to win every game at the end,” head coach Pikiell said. “But, when you think about what we’ve accomplished in a short period of time, we feel really good about that." Last season Stony Brook had an offense that lead the America East Conference with 68.0 points per game and a defense that ranked 13th in the nation in points allowed per game, only giving up 57.5. “I think we’re really good,” senior guard Anthony Jackson said. “When we tie it together, and play as a team, I think we’re great.” But, the Seawolves will have the challenge of replacing the production of one of the program’s greatest players, Tommy Brenton, who
Preseason Poll: 6th Last year: 8-23 overall 5-11 America East Outlook: UMBC is lead by second year coach Aki Thomas. The team finished tied for seventh place with an 8-23 record last season, 5-11 in the America East. They were picked to finish sixth this season in the AE preseason poll. Senior Chase Plummer is the top returning scorer from last season, where he averaged 11.8 points, and was a letterwinner. Their first game is Nov. 8 at Arizona State.
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Stony Brook was picked to finish second in the preseason poll for the upcoming year. signed a pro contract in Japan over the summer. “He was one of the most unique players in college basketball,” coach Pikiell said. “To win the player of the year title only averaging eight points a game never happens.” Part of what made Brenton so valuable was the fact that he contributed in almost all facets of the game for Stony Brook. Last season he averaged 8.4 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals. “It’s hard to replace Tommy Brenton,” coach Pikiell said. “We’re gonna have to do it by committee. But, we have good players.” Brenton’s absence leaves a big void in the starting lineup. But, there is still a lot to like about the Seawolves' potential starters this season. Perhaps the team’s biggest strength may be their starting backcourt. Senior guards Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley both averaged over 11 points per game last year, and will also both be looked to for leadership on a team that got a lot younger over the offseason. Upfront Stony Brook features two players that the program is relying on to take their games to the next level, Warney and senior forward Eric McAlister. Warney was named to this year’s America East all-preseason team, and is looking to build upon an outstanding rookie campaign. Last year he lead the team in points, field goal percentage and blocks.
“Jameel Warney obviously gets me very excited,” coach Pikiell said. “He’s one of the best young post players in the conference.” As for McAlister, he will have an increased role on the team this year. Last season he started 23 games, finished third on the team in offensive boards and second on the team in field goal percentage (.509). “Playing behind the shadows of Tommy Brenton the last few years, I think Eric’s gonna prove to people what a great player he is,” coach Pikiell said. As for the fifth starting spot, it could go to redshirt freshman Ahmad Walker. Coach Pikiell is extremely excited about the 6-foot-4-inch 185-pound guard, describing him as the most athletic player the program has ever had. Puriefoy is also a candidate to be in the starting lineup, and gives coach Pikiell an option to go smaller and faster with his starting five. There is less certainty about who will get major minutes off the bench. Some of last year’s key reserves, such as Marcus Rouse, Leonard Hayes and Ron Bracey have all moved on, and leave a large void in the rotation. There are many newcomers who could be given key minutes off the bench this season. Overall there are six players preparing for their first year with the team. Redshirt freshman Kameron Mitchell, freshman Chris Braley and redshirt freshman Ryan Burnett
are talented shooters who could potentially help replace the sharpshooting Rouse. Roland Nyama, a first year player from Frankfurt, Germany is also expected to contend for minutes off the bench. During his senior year at Holderness High School, he averaged 20.3 points per game, along with 6.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists. “I’m excited about all of (the newcomers),” coach Pikiell said. “All of them have a chance to help us or impact us in one way or another.” “We can go far into the NCAA tournament,” Puriefoy said. “We have so many pieces. Even though we’re young we can bring it together. And if we do that it time, we’re gonna be scary, and we’re gonna be good.” There is plenty of potential on Stony Brook’s roster, but if they are to finally take the next step to the NCAA tournament, the Seawolves will need to keep on improving. Stony Brook found themselves second in the preseason America East Conference rankings, behind Vermont. The Catamounts along with Boston University and Albany could get in the way of SBU’s goal of finally winning the AE Conference Tournament. But, coach Pikiell is still expecting big things from his ball club this year. “We got enough ability to win another championship, and I expect to compete for a league title like we’ve done the last four years,” coach Pikiell said.
Preseason Poll: 7th Last year: 3-27 overall 1-15 America East
Preseason Poll: 8th Last year: 11-19 overall 6-10 America East
Outlook: Binghamton is coached by Tommy Dempsey, who is in his second season with the Bearcats. They look to improve on a 3-27 record last season, 1-15 in the America East. They have eight letterwinners back, including sophomore Jordan Reed who was second in scoring last season with 16.6. Binghamton opens up against Loyola on Nov. 8.
Outlook: Maine is coached by Ted Woodward, who is in his tenth season with the team. The Black Bears finished 11-19, 6-10 in the America East. They fell to Albany in a heartbreaker 50-49 during the quarterfinals last season. Junior Xavier Pollard is top leading scorer returning, with 9.7 ppg. They do have a new home court at the Cross Insurance Center, and open with Fisher on Nov. 10.
Preseason Poll: 9th Last year: 15-13 overall 10-12 Conf. Plau Outlook: UMass Lowell is led by first year head coach Pat Duquette. The River Hawks are in their first season in the America East, and their first season as a Division I school, after going 15-13, and 10-12 in the Northeast 10 conference. Senior guard Akeem Williams leads the River Hawks, after leading the Northeast 10 in scoring with 19.9 ppg. open league play at home Dec. 18 against Vermont.
The Statesman | Hoopla 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Women's team hopes to take next step Transfer
Harris makes big jump look small
By Andrew Eichenholz Staff Writer
“I think we were excited about last year. I think it was a nice step in the right direction, but obviously we want to continue to do better in the America East, and really be able to compete for a championship,” Women's Basketball coach Beth O'Boyle said. O’Boyle, third year coach of the Seawolves and engineer of the seventh best turnaround in the country last season, has reason to have championship aspirations for the first time during her tenure at Stony Brook. Going from pre-season cellar dweller predictions, to obtaining the fourth seed for the America East Conference Championships, the 10-win improvement marked a shift in the right direction for O’Boyle’s squad. With a 14-16 season in the rearview mirror, Stony Brook looks to improve upon their best record since the 2006-2007 season. After dropping a tough battle against the fifth seeded University of New Hampshire 49-46 in the first round of the America East Championships, there is plenty left to achieve. Coaches from all the teams in the America East Conference voted Stony Brook to finish third this season, giving the young team confidence before opening up Nov. 8 at home in Pritchard Gymanisum against NJIT. Is this the season for the Seawolves to roar into the NCAA tournament? Leading the Seawolves' attack in the 2013-2014 season will be junior Sabre Proctor, a second year Seawolf who transferred from North Carolina A&T and took control of the offensive attack last season. Proctor looks to continue where she ended last season, with a strong double-double to help keep the game against New Hampshire close. O’Boyle has high expectations for one of her leaders saying, “Sabre is just an offensive juggernaut. She can score in so many different ways and it forces our players to really learn how to defend her and learn how to battle with her.” Having somebody that can dominate the floor and control the attention of the other team will help the rest of her teammates find open space to create scoring opportunities, especially in the big moments. With a lot of pressure on her
Preseason Poll: 9th Last year: 18-9 overall 15-7 conference play Outlook: The River Hawks replace Boston University in the America East this season, as they begin their first season as a Division I program. Last year they went 18-9 and 15-7 in conference play. Head coach Sarah Behn’s team returns five players from last season. They will have to replace the nation’s leading scorer in Bianca Simmons, who averaged 28.2 points per game last year.
By Rebecca Anzel News Editor
shoulders coming from her preseason selection to the All-America East team, Proctor said. “I think that it is an honor to be able to accomplish that without even starting the season so I’m just really excited to start the season.” “It’s just one game at a time basically. I think we have a great team and we’re just going to take it one game at a time and try to improve.. from what our season was last year,” Proctor continued. Averaging an enormous 10.9 points per game, Proctor did more than just put the ball in the basket. Grabbing over 100 boards over the course of the season along with snatching 24 steals, Proctor was a valuable asset all over the court. She made it a point that the team cannot get ahead of themselves before the season even starts, repeating her point that they must take things “one game at a time, just win the first game and then win the second game and then win the third game and then hopefully we’ll be able to compete in the playoffs.” Brittany Snow, a member of the America East all-rookie team from last season, joins Proctor for a dangerous dual threat in the upcoming season. This pairing emerged in the conference tournament, with the duo accounting for about 60 percent of the team’s offensive production in the quarterfinal matchup. Snow led the charge, adding more to the already high potential that Seawolves fans, coaches and conference foes alike have noticed. CoachO’Boyle complimented the sophomore’s work ethic among many reasons supporting the belief that Snow will emerge as a leader of this team. “Brittany, she’s a workhorse, she
has such a great energy level and really helps dictate the pace of play in practice so her leadership comes through from the way that she practices and the way that she plays,” said O'Boyle. With seven new players on the team this season, including two transfers, it will be important for even the younger players with experience to lead by example. In regards to her own evolution as only a second year player, Snow mentioned that, “I just want to keep building off of things that the coaches tell me about, we have good coaches here. Coach [Mitmesser] works with the post and he just he helps us by recognizing what we did last year but then teaching us new moves and teaching me new moves to make me better this year.” Knowing that improvement is something that does not happen over night, Snow said, “I would always love to improve, I would always like to grow as a team, so I just have to do better than I did last year and keep that mentality going.” If Stony Brook is going to thrive throughout the season, they need to capitalize on their biggest strength, their defense. Most would think that if a team is strong in one aspect of any game, that they would work to hide or better their weakness. Snow emphasized the importance of working on defense when she said, “our defense is one of our things that we will always try to improve on, and defensively we’re just basically teaching the new players exactly what we want.” Keys for Stony Brook fans to look
After two years in community college, most athletes have a choice to make. You can either move on into the NCAA and play your final two years at a different school, or you can go into it strictly for the academics and get your degree. Senior Teasha Harris made the decision to come to Stony Brook relatively easily coming out of Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “The atmosphere was great here,” the Bloomington, Ill. native said. “I saw the teammates' chemistry and it was great.” The senior guard lead the Eagles at Kirkwood to a sixth place finish in the 2011-2012 NJCAA DII Women’s Basketball Championship in her final year at the community college level, while averaging 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals and earning first-team AllConference in the process. But even with that fantastic stat line, she was still hesitant about the jump. “I was really nervous coming in,” she said. “My teammates gave me a great sense that everything would be okay and working me through everything." By playing in all 30 games this year, averaging 5.5 points and being second on the team with 43 assists and 31 steals, it is easy to say that the jump was pretty easy for her. But she did not do it alone. “I have 15 other girls on this team,” Harris said. “There’s not one person who we would let down. We’re always going to be there to push each other”. The NJCAA has great talent in its organization and for most athletes serves as a jumping off point into the NCAA, whether it is in the Division I, II, or III rank. The difference between the two levels, however, is a lot
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Preseason Poll: 8th Last year: 6-24 overall 5-11 America East
Preseason Poll: 7th Last year: 10-20 overall 6-10 America East
Preseason Poll: 6th Last year: 4-24 overall 2-14 America East
Outlook: Binghamton finished 6-24 last season, while boasting a 5-11 conference record. They feature 10 letterwinners, along with three returning starters. They’ve advanced to the America East tournament semifinals three times in the past five years. Two of the team’s top three scorers from last season are back, in Sherae Swinson (9.8 ppg) and Morgan Murphy (7 ppg).
Outlook: UMBC was a very senior-led team last year, as they only return four players and one starter. Head coach Phil Stern’s squad were upset in the America East Conference Tournament last year in the first round by Vermont. The Retrievers will have one of the youngest rosters in the conference, as they have only one senior to go along with two juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen.
Outlook: Richard Barron, in his third year at the helm of the Black Bears, will try to improve on their 4-24 performance last season. They went 3-12 in America East play last year. Maine returns 11 players, including last year’s co-rookie of the year, Liz Wood. Ashleigh Roberts will also look to lead the Black Bears to a good year, as she had 10.4 ppg and 6.6 rpg.
NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN
The Seawolves were picked to finish 3rd in the preseason poll.
Preseason Poll: 1st Last year: 27-4 overall 16-0 America East Outlook: Under fourth year head coach Katie AbrahamsonHenderson, the Great Danes went 27-4 record last season, including a perfect 16-0 conference record. They lost by 5 to UNC in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Albany returns seven letterwinners from last season, and bring back two all-conference performers in Megan Craig and Shereesha Richards.
Preseason Poll: 2nd Last year: 21-12 overall 10-6 America East Outlook: Jennifer Rizzotti starts her 15th season with the Hawks, who went 21-12 in the regular season last year, along with a 10-6 conference record. They finished with the No. 2 seed and lost in the conference championship to Albany. They return 11 letterwinners, including Amber Bepko who averaged 10 ppg average as a sophomore.
Preseason Poll: 4th Last year: 12-18 overall 6-10 America East Outlook: The Wildcats, under the leadership of fourth year coach Maureen Magarity, will look to build upon their T-fourth finish last season, as they went 12-18 and had a 6-10 conference record. They return eight letterwinners, and three starters. Senior guard Kelsey Hogan will look to lead the Wildcats, after averaging 9.8 ppg last season and leading the team in assists, with 3.2 assists per game.
Preseason Poll: 5th Last year: 10-21 overall 6-10 America East Outlook: Vermont earned the sixth seed in the conference tournament last year and had an upset win over UMBC in the first round. Vermont was the top offensive rebounding team in the conference, but still finished 10-21, which included a 6-10 conference record. The Catamounts return 10 players, including key seniors in Tonya Conley and Sam Simononis.
The Statesman | Hoopla 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Seawolves expect big things from point guards By Joe Galotti
Assistant Sports Editor
Back in 2011, point guard Bryan Dougher served as the Seawolves’ floor general and one of the team’s biggest leaders. Meanwhile, his young backup Anthony Jackson had the chance to learn from one of the program’s great players about what it took to fill that role. In 2013, history seems to be repeating itself. Now Jackson is the team’s starting point guard and also one of the team captains, while the talented and quick sophomore Carson Puriefoy is learning from him. “I ask AJ for advice all the time,” Puriefoy said. “On the court and off the court, he’s a great leader, and I’m glad he’s my captain.” Jackson has had a lot of success during his first three years at Stony Brook. He has been a major part of a program that has won the America East regular season title for two of the last three years. Last season, the 6-foot, 185-pound guard had a breakout season. He averaged 11.3 points per game, and lead the team in three point field goals and assists. Jackson also had a 20-point performance in the Seawolves 71-58 win over UMass in the first round of last year’s NITs. He buried four out of five three point attempts in the game. “He’s as good a leader as we’ve had, and I love his toughness,” head coach Steve Pikiell says. “He played behind Bryan Dougher, a real good player, for two years. Never complained, never
said a word. He just continued to work, and get better and better.” One thing the senior guard is looking to improve upon this year is speaking up more on and off the court. “Coming off of last season, I wasn’t as vocal as I should have been,” Jackson said. “I feel like this season is another season to get better at that aspect. I want to be a great leader to the young guys.” Now that Jackson is establishing himself as one the team’s leaders and core players, he is looking to provide guidance for the young up-and-coming Puriefoy. “I feel like we’ve got to be the floor generals,” Jackson said. “We’re the point guards of the team, and I’m trying to teach him the system the way that I learned it.” During his freshman campaign the 6-foot, 165-pound Puriefoy gave Stony Brook a lot to be excited about. Coming off the bench last season he averaged 5.3 points per game, 1.2 assists and 1.8 rebounds. Puriefoy also came up big in last year’s America East Tournament semifinals game. In a game in which many of his veteran teammates struggled, the freshman helped keep his team close with 16 points and five rebounds. The man they call “Trey” was a major weapon on Pikiell’s bench last season, in large part due to his quickness. “He’s the fastest guy on our team, and maybe one of the fastest guys in the conference,” Pikiell said. “We’re looking for him to take a real big step this year in his development as a sophomore.” Puriefoy’s quickness and Jackson’s
sharp shooting are major reasons why the duo had success last season while playing together on the court last year. “I like to get in the lane and kick It out, and AJ’s the best shooter in the conference,” Puriefoy said. “I know when I get him the ball, he’s gonna make the shots.” While the two players say they enjoy sharing the backcourt, that does not mean they take it easy on each other when going head-to-head in practice scrimmages. “We try to better each other each day we come out and step out on the floor,” Jackson says. “My thing is once we step around that rectangle, you’re an enemy.” Puriefoy agrees that the practices can get competitive, but also believes they are crucial for both players getting better. “Practice is always tough, but that’s what we need to do, to make sure we’re ready for the season," Puriefoy says. “Once we’re off the court we’re like family, but everything’s competitive during practice.” That competitive drive will be needed this season, if the Seawolves are to finally win the America East Conference tournament. After dealing with frustrating ends to the seasons of the past three years, Jackson says it is his passion for the game that keeps him and his teammates coming back determined. “It’s just the hunger. We love basketball, and basketball is life,” Jackson said. “We go out and play our game, and try and go out and do what we do best.”
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Puriefoy and Jackson are a "dynamic-duo" for SBU. Coming into the season, Jackson has a secure spot in the starting five. Puriefoy will likely have a bigger role on the team this year than last season, but could once again be relegated to coming off the bench. But Puriefoy does not see that as a problem. “My role is whatever the team needs me to do,” Puriefoy said. “Whatever my coach needs me to do, whatever my teammates need me to do, I’m gonna do it." Coach Pikiell recently said that Puriefoy could start for SBU in certain matchups, particularly when he wants to go with a smaller and quicker lineup. Either way, Puriefoy seems to know his role on the team. “(My job is) to bring energy, and get my teammates involved,” Puriefoy said. “I need to just come in, and get assists, and make my team better.”
No matter who starts, or who comes off the bench, one thing that is clear is that the Seawolves will need consistent production out of both Jackson and Puriefoy. With frontcourt mainstay Tommy Brenton now gone, there will be a need for the team’s backcourt players to elevate their games on both sides of the ball. This will likely start with the senior Jackson, who will be looking to close out his Stony Brook career with a trip to the NCAA tournament. His head coach believes that he is more than talented enough to get his team to the tourney. “I love the fact that he’s earned his career, and he’s a really good player now," Pikiell said. “He’ll continue to play after this year. That’s how good I think he is.”
Senior Dave Coley developing into complete player for Stony Brook
By Zach Rowe Staff Writer
This past spring, the college basketball world went through its annual dance of top NBA prospects deciding where they would play their one year of college ball. Big names like Wiggins, Randle and Parker all decided where they would spend their one year of NBA ineligibility coming out of high school. Instead, Stony Brook builds its program on developing recruits over four years at the school. Perhaps their best success in development is of senior guard Dave Coley. Coley, a 6-foot-2-inch guard, was not a highly recruited player out of high school. He was seen as a defensive specialist type player, one to stop the opponent’s offense instead of creating his own. Yet, over his four years here, Coley has become a complete player. In his freshman year, Coley played in 29 games, logging 560 minutes and averaging 6.5 points per game on .317 shooting. He was second on the team in steals with 29. However, in his sophomore year, he made the leap to the next level. He started 27 games out of 32 appearances, averaging 10 points per game. The real jump, however, was in his efficiency, boosting his field goal percentage to 40.9 percent. Throughout this time, he remained the great defensive player he was recruited to be. He became a great all around player as his game developed. “My overall IQ of the game, you know, since coming out of high school, being here helped me see better, helped me learn the geometry of the floor, the aspects of how to score. I
think that’s the most I’ve developed,” Coley said It was not easy, of course, to get to this point. Coley acknowledges that it took a lot of work to get where he is today, saying “Just putting in the time, you know. You put the time in you get the outcome that you want. Defending is one of my strong keys, I like defending. Also, offensive too, you know, I put the time in, the nights in the gym to the early mornings in the gym to working out every day. I think if you just put the time in, if you put the time in to achieve your goals, you really do,” he said. As the defensive leader of the Seawolves, Coley has some tough matchups ahead of him this year, facing NCAA tournament teams like Indiana, VCU and Vermont. However, matchups do not play big in Coley’s mind. “Whatever team we play, whoever their best player on the perimeter is, you know, that’s who I’m assigned to, that’s my matchup,” he said. Coley can rattle off a list of what makes him a good defender. “My tenacity to defend, the energy I provide, my quickness. I’m not that big but I’m not that small, knowing the geometry of the floor, toughness." Coley has been an integral part of this team for these last three years, playing in many crucial games. “My favorite memory as a Seawolf? Beating UMass, me and my backcourt partner A.J. had a terrific game, 20 a piece. Jameel Warney had a great game, you know our rookie of the year last year,” he said, referring to last years NIT win over UMass, Stony Brook’s first postseason win in its history. This year, Coley is one of the three captains coach Steve Pikiell has named for the team. For someone who has come through this program and
developed into what he is, he now plays the reverse role, becoming a mentor for the younger players. “Do whatever I got to do to help my team win the game, to win as much games as possible. We got a new team, different guys, new dynamic of our team. Doing whatever I got to do to help my team win,” he said of his new role. He also spoke of how he mentors the younger players. “Just talking to them. When I was a freshman, a lot of guys talked to me, showed me the program and paved the way for me, allowing us to go and win games. A lot of young guys, we got a lot of talent. They’re really good, they don’t know the system yet, what we’re trying to do. Talking to them in practice, coming in with the tenacity, coming in with the energy, fired up, ready to practice, its a great thing for them because that was something I was able to do as a freshman,” Coley said. Coley has won numerous accolades, such as third team All-America East and All-Defensive America East selections. He was selected as a preseason AllAmerica East team member, not that it matters to him. He has a single focus, one he has always had. “Goals are to get to the NCAA tournament, something I’ve never done. Individual accolades that come, I’m not really concerned with that, that’s not a main priority for me. My goal is to come out and do everything I can to help my team win. Most important is to get to the NCAA tournament, that’s like a dream come true, something I will remember and to be a part of that would be exceptional. That’s one of my main goals. I haven’t achieved anything. I haven’t achieved anything because I haven’t been to
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Coley has been named one of the captains for the team. the NCAA tournament. That’s the achievement I want to accomplish as a basketball player. I don’t care about the individual accolades. That’s not a concern of mine, that’s not a motive of mine, and, you know, I haven’t done
anything," Coley said. If Coley does achieve his goal this year, it will be at least partially because of his contributions to the team this year, as a leader, a defender and a developed offensive weapon.
The Statesman | Hoopla 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Building a program: the Pikiell era from 2005 to present By Catie Curatolo Assistant Sports Editor
Steve Pikiell cannot stop smiling on Media Day. In the ninth year of his Stony Brook career, Pikiell has a lot to be happy about. The head men’s basketball coach has overseen the program as it rose from “just hoping to not play the 8/9 game” to contending for a berth in the NCAA tournament. The Seawolves now have the support of the community, the administration and the student body. They have season ticket holders, sold-out games and a new arena coming next fall. It is a complete turnaround from what things were like when Pikiell joined the program back in 2005. “It’s a whole different mindset,” he said. “When I took the job, there was a ton of different obstacles to overcome.” Those obstacles encompassed all areas of the program. After becoming a Division I team in 1999, Stony Brook’s basketball program floundered, with the few supporters they had considering it a good game if the team did not get blown out. When Pikiell arrived, the team was on probation and had the lowest Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the America East, which put scholarship limitations on the program due to a lack of academic success. Kids were there
for a good time, not to get an education. “A lot of those guys were here to have fun,” he said. “These guys here now are here to graduate and to play basketball.” Pikiell is the cause of that changed mindset. He pushed his athletes to get better grades and, his first time speaking as head coach, he made the program’s goal a trip to the NCAA tournament. “You set a goal like that and our first few years, my god it seemed like it would take forever to reach,” he said. “It’s a difficult job to do.” But Pikiell felt he could take that job on. He started by selling the vision of the future. On one of the first tours he did with recruits, the roof was leaking. “We’re showing recruits around with buckets of water dripping through the ceiling,” he recalled. “It’s difficult, but you need to get those guys to believe in the vision to get these players now to come play for you.” And get players he did. Pikiell recruited stars like Muhammad El-Amin and Bryan Dougher, players who he calls “very good basketball players who believed in our vision.” “These guys believed in us before the new arena, before we had a new locker room, before we had a new weight room,” he said. With stars to build a roster
around, Pikiell’s next job was to get the community involved. This, he thinks, was his biggest challenge. “The culture that was here, how people looked at our program and thought of our program,” he said. “The community – it took ‘em time.” He wanted the community’s help, however, to spread the word about how great a university Stony Brook is. To do so, he needed to get them out to games. Pikiell’s strategy was to invite one person to a game, and make sure that person enjoyed themselves. “We educate one at a time,” he said. “Invite one person to a game; if they came, they liked it and then they were supposed to bring a friend with them." “That’s how we’ve kind of built this – when they come they like it,” Pikiell said. So many people come these days that Stony Brook decided to build a new arena. After several years of construction, the brand new, state-of-the-art, 4008-seat arena will be open for the 20142015 basketball season. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Pikiell is not new to playing in front of a crowd. He served as the assistant coach at UConn, Yale, Central Connecticut State and George Washington before coming to Stony Brook. In 1990 as a Husky,
he played on UConn’s first-ever Big East championship team under Jim Calhoun. Pikiell claims that, like at UConn back in the day, what makes his program great is his staff and the support they receive. “It’s not just the basketball coach, it’s everybody,” he said. “We’ve got the support of a great President [Stanley], a great athletic director, the band…you need a lot of people to help you build a basketball program.” The staff, which includes assistant coaches Jay Young, Lamar Chapman and Dan Rickard, and athletic director Jim Fiore have been consistent with their support of Pikiell since he started at SBU. “I’ve got a great staff that I trust and they understand what we need to do here,” he said. What they needed to do was “change 100 percent.” In his nine seasons at Stony Brook, Pikiell has accrued three America East regular season titles and three NIT bids with a winning percentage of .488, all while sending nine of his players on to the professional leagues, including the entire 2012 senior class. SBU has posted back-toback-to-back APRs of 1000, and saw Andrew Goba become the program’s first America East Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete in 2010.
“We’ve done it with great kids, kids that graduate and kids that represent the school the right way,” he said. “And I’m proud of that.” Pikiell continued: “It’s difficult, it’s a difficult job to do and all those other things need to be in place in order to do it – kids have to be eligible, kids have to be graduating, you have to have enough scholarships, you have to do those kind of things to compete for league titles to stay at that level.” With high expectations for the 2013-2014 season – the Seawolves were picked to finish second in the America East preseason coaches poll – Pikiell is excited at the prospect of maybe finally making the NCAA tournament come March. “I feel like we’ve accomplished 99 of things and we just have one more,” he said. “We’re right there and we’re knocking on the door.” Since he became a Seawolf in 2005, expectations have changed “1000 percent,” and Pikiell could not be happier. “We’re a pretty respected basketball program, we’ve really done what we’re supposed to do with the program and put high expectations on where we’re supposed to be," he said. “It’s a great university, it’s a great great place,” he said. “I’m proud to be the head coach.”
Athletics boasts about Women's team continues to grow progress on the new arena
By Jason Mazza Staff Writer
Stony Brook Arena is almost here. Last Wednesday, Athletics welcomed members of the media in to view progress on the arena that is scheduled to open in August of 2014. The 4008-seat venue has completed phase one of a two-phase construction process that included the destruction of the old arena, a new floor, all new stands, seats and luxury suites for corporate sponsors according to Associate Athletics Director for Facility Operations and Events Todd Phelps. Phase two, which will begin later on this month, will include the destruction of the north wall of the arena to build a court-length concourse with additional food options and bathrooms. Phase two is expected to take eight months, which will put the completion right on pace with the original expectations of August 2014. Men’s Basketball head coach Steve Pikiell spoke enthusiastically about the progress on the new arena during media day last Wednesday. “It’s really exciting to me having all the new recruits coming in to see the arena, because they’re going to play their whole career in it. It’s going to bring a lot of fans in, new and old, and it’s going to be a place the whole community can enjoy.” Pikiell also unofficially announced last Wednesday that he has finished recruiting for this upcoming year and all scholarships for the class of 2018 have been secured. Pikiell and Women’s Basketball head coach Beth
O’Boyle both alluded to the fact that the arena had a lot to do with the recent success in recruiting. Sophomore point guard Carson “Tre” Puriefoy commented on the impact the arena had on his recruitment as well. “It’s always been my dream since I was a kid to play in a big arena in front of thousands of fans. It’s going to be great to play my junior and senior year here.” But will the Seawolves be able to fill the 4000-seat arena on a consistent basis? Early indications say there is a good chance they will. According to Assistant Athletics Director for Communications Thomas Chen, the 2013-2014 Men’s season ticket package has already been sold out and there is a waiting list of people ready to purchase tickets as well. A sold out Pritchard Gymnasium (capacity of 1600 fans) does not necessarily mean that Stony Brook Arena will also sell out, but it does show the kind of demand that is surrounding the basketball program. For the students, athletics has promised the new arena will house concerts and shows throughout the year in addition to its sporting events. Also, the arena will be home to graduation and job fairs. For the community, the new arena will also host several high school events such as graduations and county tournaments for varsity teams. The countdown to the ribbon cutting has begun. Todd Phelps says they plan to open the arena with a concert in the fall of 2014 in conjunction with the Undergraduate Student Government.
NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN
Defense has been a strong point for the Seawolves since coach O'Boyle took over. Continued from page H3 out for this season include taking care of the basketball, continuing to keep opposing offenses under control and making free throws from the “charity stripe.” Last year, Stony Brook played five games in which they lost by less than 10 points. With a 61 percent free throw percentage compared to their opponents shooting 69 percent from the line, the game lies there. Although it may not seem like it when the ball bounces off the rim, every shot from the free throw line counts, and it comes back to haunt teams when the final score is so close.
Adding to this, it will be important to keep the turnover ratio down this season, as last year, the Seawolves turned the ball over almost twice for every time a player dished the ball out for an assist. With the first game of the season coming up rapidly, NJIT should be a good game to set the tone for the season. Although the out-of-conference schedule for coach O’Boyle’s team may not sport the star power of an Indiana game like the men’s team has, big conference foes like Iowa of the Big Ten should prove to be benchmark matchups for the Seawolves.
Look out for the beginning of the conference schedule starting in 2014, with the Seawolves facing Hartford on Jan. 8 here at Stony Brook. Arguably the biggest matchup of the year will be the last one of the regular season against conference foe and powerhouse, Albany. The easiest way Stony Brook will make the NCAA Tournament is by winning the conference tournament, where they will need to get through Albany, making this good preparation for the biggest moments of the season. As the team motto goes, the team will take it “one game at a time” in an attempt to get to their goal, and America East title.
The Statesman / Hoopla 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Snow achieves on and off the court
By Rebecca Anzel News Editor
At six feet tall, sophomore forward Brittany Snow looks every bit the women’s basketball team leader her coach sees her as. But when she is not training or playing, Snow works toward another goal--becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Snow used to volunteer at her local Ronald McDonald House in New Jersey, and after meeting many of the patients, she realized she wanted to find a way to make a difference. “I wanted to be able to help them and I couldn’t really do a lot,” she said. “And I saw how some of my friends were doctors-how they did things--and I wanted to help people like that.” After arriving at Stony Brook-in part driven by the “great basketball and resources”-- Snow said she was further inspired by the many people who work with her team, including Assistant Athletic Director for StudentAthlete Development, Courtney Sanfelippo. Sanfelippo helped Snow to plan which courses she needs to take to achieve her biology degree on time. Sanfelippo recommended “I take summer classes,” Snow said. “I work on how to space out the workload more than anything, but it’s doable.”
Now, her ambition is driving her to not only excel in her studies, but also in her basketball career at Stony Brook. Snow said during the season, the team has three-hour long practices sometimes with an hour lift as well. And then she has about three or four hours of classes and another couple of hours of tutoring. But coach Beth O’Boyle said Snow “leads by example,” setting the pace for the team during practice and seemingly does it all without struggling. “She is an extremely hard worker both on the court and off, so we look at her to have a big leadership role for us,” she said. Last season, she was named to the America East All-Rookie team and played in all 30 games, starting in 26 of those games. This season, Snow said she wants to “just keep getting better” as a player--she thinks the new arena will be a great asset next season--and continue to do well in her more difficult classes. The basketball player is already planning for what she called the “new MCATs,” where she said she will be the first group to take the newly-redone medical college admission test. And as for her post-university plans, Snow said she is going to leave her playing days at Stony Brook. “I think I’m going to
Continued from page H3
NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN
Snow is a force on the court and off it for Stony Brook. concentrate more on medical school because I really want to try and become a doctor,” she said,
“and if I played overseas I might forget that stuff, so I just want to keep going with that.”
Stony Brook Arena makeover near completion
By Caithlin Pena Staff Writer
Stony Brook University is expecting a new addition in the form of a new athletic and entertainment facility in fall 2014. But Stony Brook Arena is not exactly new. According to a press release from May 2012, the university commenced a renovation of the 40,000 square foot arena. With a budget of $21.1 million, renovation began in June of 2012. According to the press release, the renovation “provides Stony Brook with a new opportunity to build relationships within the community.” Designed by NK Architects and Populous and contracted by Fortunato Sons Contracting Inc., the new arena will feature a larger seating capacity. 4008 seats will be constructed for the basketball court and 4200 for the entertainment seats. But one of the facility’s notable features will be the brand new LED video displays from Daktronics. According to Digital Signage Connection, one display, measuring nine feet high and 17.5 feet wide, will be installed at the end of each side of the arena. These LED screens will provide the entire arena with a clear visual of the event.
“They are capable of featuring one large image of live video and instant replays, and can also be divided into sections of various sizes to highlight up-to-the-minute statistics, scoring information, sponsor messages, and other graphics and animations,” the website said. Not only that, eight LED scorer’s tables, measuring 4 feet high and 9.5 inches wide, will be installed at the sides of the court, and will showcase sponsors, up-to-the-minute statistics and other game information. Daktronics will also provide two fixed-digit scoreboards, two stat panel displays, two locker room clocks and three shot clocks and two light strips. For now, the seats are still covered in plastic sheets and the new scoreboards yet to be unveiled. But, in less than a year, the arena will be the new home of Stony Brook’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. Members of both teams are thrilled to have this new facility. Ben Resner, a grad student and guard for the Men’s team, described the new arena as “magical.” “When you walk in here, you feel what a Division I program should look like,” he said. Sophomore forward for the women’s team Brittany Snow is also excited to use the new court, which is bigger than
Senior Teasha Harris leading Seawolf team
JESUS PICHARDO / THE STATESMAN
The new arena is expected to open for teams in the fall of 2014. Pritchard Gymnasium, both teams’ current home. “I wish it was ready this year so we can play in it,” she said. “It’s a different feel and it’s a different environment.” Sophomore forward for the men’s team, Scott King, said that playing in the new arena will be completely different than playing in Pritchard. “But I feel like it’s still going to be the same atmosphere,” King said. “’Cause we have great fans, great people coming to the games, people with a lot of support, I think it will be fine.” However, senior members on both teams are saddened that they will not get the chance to play in the new arena, but happy for their younger team members. “It’s unfortunate that I don’t get to play in the arena,” senior
and guard for the women’s team Teasha Harris said. “But, I think it’s great for the young players who don’t get to play here.” “If they can fill it like they do Pritchard and make that environment the same," grad student and forward on the men’s team Eric McAlister said. “It’s gonna be a true, true advantage.” In addition to the large seating capacity and high tech display screens, Aruba Networks, Inc. will provide the new arena with Wi-Fi connection. Aruba Networks is a “leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise,” according to the Wall Street Journal. It is slated to open in the fall of 2014 for both the men and women's teams.
more significant than some might expect, and some players are not able to make this jump for a number of reasons. “It’s a bigger jump than what a lot of people think,” Harris said. “You’re playing against people who are quicker than you, stronger than you and sometimes smarter than you. So you have to be smart in everything you do." Not only is the athletics a big jump, but the academics are also an even bigger part. Harris gives a lot of credit to the Goldstein Academic Center which helps keep them on track. “We have a great academic center here,” she said. “Our academic advisor, Courtney, does a great job keeping our schedule together." The Seawolves last year made a big jump in wins from a year ago, going from four to 14 wins and losing on a buzzer beater in the first round of the America East tournament. A big reason for this would be camaraderie and the leadership qualities on the team. “It was in the way we worked together,” Harris said. “We had a great group of seniors to provide the leadership." Those seniors brought a big improvement in their program and Harris would like to lead her senior class in taking the next step with her team. And she brings the intangibles to the team that every successful roster needs. “I bring a lot of energy to practice and games and am always talking,” she said. “She’s got the energy to go,” coach Beth O’Boyle added. “She makes plays on the offensive side, and we’re definitely going to rely on her this year”. Now that they made the first round of that tournament, it is time to take the next step and trying to do that would be impossible without building on last year's performance. “We want to have a great year,” Harris said. “We have to focus on bringing back things from last year." “We have to take every practice and move from it and keep learning from every situation that we’re in,” she added. The Seawolves have a very competitive non-conference schedule, as they play two teams who qualified for non-conference play in the 2012-2013 season. They will take on Patriot League champions, who were upended by the Seawolves 44-40 last season, on Nov. 10 at the Naval Academy. Exactly one week later, the Seawolves will travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes, who participated in last year’s WNIT. “When you play really good teams, you have to learn how to play at a higher level,” Harris said. “They push you more so when you get to conference, you know you’ll be able to do it."
The Statesman / Hoopla 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Seven former Seawolves playing basketball overseas this year By Mike Daniello Sports Editor
Bryan Dougher left Stony Brook as its leading scorer with 1609 points, and now finds himself playing in Australia. He is part of the Ringwood Hawks' starting five, as the starting point guard. In 23 games he averaged 20.8 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game.
Dougher also averaged 1.5 steals per game for Ringwood. He had a field goal percentage of 36.1 percent, shot 36.3 percent from three-point range and shot 78.7 percent from the free throw line. He finished as a finalist in the Australian Big V division. He is playing alongside another American, Sam Belt, formerly of the University of Central Oklahoma. Also on the team are three native
KENNETH HO / THE STATESMAN
Brenton has been playing in Japan for the Link Tochigi Brex.
Australians: Willie Weimer, Shaun Clarke and Mark Whitehead. Dougher and the Hawks finished in fourth place in the Big V division, with a 13-5 record. Dougher is also Stony Brook’s all-time leader in threepointers with 337. Dallis Joyner finished his Stony Brook career as the eighth leading scorer with 903 points and secondbest rebounder with 731. He spent the 2012-13 season as a starter with Maccabi Kiryat Bialik in the IsraeliNational League. In 31 games he averaged 16.2 points per game, nine rebounds per game and 2.6 assists per game. Joyner also had a field goal percentage of 63.4 percent, a threepoint percentage of 22.2 percent and a free throw percentage of 55 percent. Joyner has moved onto the Slovakia-Extraliga, where he is a starter on the MBK Rieker Komarno team. In four games so far, Joyner has 50 points in 89 minutes. He is shooting 20-36 from the field, which is good for 55.6 percent. Since leaving Stony Brook after the 2012 season, he signed with Kouvot Kouvola in Finland, but left the team soon after. Al Rapier played two seasons at Stony Brook after transferring from Mineral Area College in Chicago, Ill. He averaged 7.9 points and five rebounds per game during his senior season with the Seawolves. Rapier spent the 2012-13 season with Sampaense Basket in the Portugal LPB, where he played in 18 games. He averaged 17.1 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game. He shot 54.1 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from the free throw line. This season, Rapier has moved to Marin PeixeGalego of the SpainLEB Silver, where he is in the starting five. Through four games, Rapier has averaged 8.5 points per game and is
KENNETH HO / THE STATESMAN
Dougher is playing in Australia for Ringwood. shooting 53.8 percent from the field. Danny Carter is in his second season with the Reading Rockets after graduating from Stony Brook after the 2012 season. As a starter last season, Carter averaged eight points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game in 10 games. He shot 45.7 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from three-point range. His free throw percentage was 68.4 percent. His team won the British EBL Division One Regular Season Championship. Carter also played for the Rockets from 2005 to 2008 before attending Stony Brook. During his previous time with Reading, Carter was a two-time British EBL Division One Regular Season Runner-Up in 2006 and 2008. He also won the British EBL Division One Championship in 2006 as well. Carter also was a British EBL Division One Finalist in 2008 as a starter on the Rockets. Desmond Adedeji is also in his second season away from Stony Brook. In 2011, he joined Valga Korvpallikool in Estonia-KML as a starter. There, he averaged 7.8 points per game through four
games, before moving to Faith US de Rabat in the Morocco-D1. He played for Team Germany A2 in the Blacktop Showcase and UNLV in the Worldwide SM Invitational in 2012. Tommy Brenton graduated from SBU just last season as the program’s all-time leader in rebounds and steals and Stony Brook’s Division I leader in assists. He was named the 2013 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Seawolf to win the national award. He also won the America East Player of the Year and America East Defensive Player of the Year, becoming just the second player to do so. Brenton is now playing in Japan, where he is a starter on the Link Tochigi Brex. In five games so far, Brenton is averaging 5.6 points and shooting 43.3 percent from the field. He also has 10 steals this season, for Link Tochigi Brex, who are in third place. Taylor Burner also is in her first season away from Stony Brook, as she signed a contact to play in Israel with Hap.Petah Tikva. She played her first game on Monday, Oct. 28 and scored a point in six minutes of play during Tikva’s loss.
Women's defense looks to dominate as they were picked to finish third By Cameron Boon Staff Writers
As the old saying goes, defense wins championships. Nobody believes in that philosophy more strongly than third-year coach Beth O’Boyle. In her first two years at the helm of the Stony Brook Women’s Basketball team, her team has finished in the top 50 in the nation in scoring defense. Last year, the Seawolves finished 44th in the nation in the category, letting opposing offenses score an average of 55.3 points per game. And when the Seawolves held teams to under 50 points, they went 9-2. “We take a lot of pride in our defense,” coach O'Boyle said on Media Day. “That’s something that we work on every day." Looking at some teams, they have one lockdown defender and try to devise their defense around that one player to make the team successful. That could not be farther from the truth with coach O’Boyle’s system. “Our defensive system is very team-oriented,” she said. “Anybody who can help us out in a lockdown role and has experience doing it definitely helps though.” When she took the role three
years ago, defense was not as prominent in the nation as it has become with her. The system she teaches was made from scratch and it takes a little bit to get it down to perfection, but once this team does, it is a deadly formula. “For us it’s a system that we teach step by step,” O'Boyle said. “Hopefully by the end of the year, we can really rely on it to get us wins." The Seawolves last year, along with a 44th-ranked scoring defense, made the nation’s seventh best turnaround with a 10-win difference from the year before. A big thing that contributed to this was not only the defense, but the recruiting class and mindset that was brought in by coach O’Boyle and her staff. “We brought in 6 new players,” she said. “Our expectations changed. I’m also lucky to have a great staff who are very thorough in their preparation from scouting reports and so on.” This year, the defense will again be a hallmark, but the expectations are a little higher as the team looks to utilize its good combination of senior leadership and good young talent as well. “The first thing we’re going to have to figure out is how we are as a team” O’Boyle said. “As
with all teams here at Stony Brook we want to compete for championship." Last year, O'Boyle brought in six new players to her team. This year that number grew to seven, and it is not always a bad thing. “When you’re building, you’re going to have some bigger classes,” O'Boyle said. “We want to see how they will mesh together, that senior leadership and that young, raw talent.” This team is going to continue to build and it is all going to be around their defense and the leadership of the seniors and the stars. Sabre Proctor and Brittany Snow will lead on the offensive end, as Proctor is the leading returning scorer and a preseason All-America East pick. On the defensive end, it will be seniors Chikilra Goodman and Teasha Harris as the lockdown defenders. They were first and second on the team in steals, and Goodman recorded 101 thefts, which is good for tenth in Stony Brook history for a single season. The team will also not only look to build on its scoring defense, but the rebounding statistic, which was second in the conference in both total rebounds and rebounding margin.
JIA YAO / THE STATESMAN
Proctor and the Seawolves look to improve on last season. The Seawolves will showcase that stellar defense first on their
home court when they take on NJIT on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.