2008-09 Stony Brook Preview
Seawolves look to move up in America East
The Stony Brook Seawolves were one of America East’s better defensive teams in 2007-08, ranking third in points allowed per game (66.6) and second in field goal percentage defense (42.8%). But they were still unable to get out of the dreaded 8/9 game in the conference tournament due primarily to the fact that they were the worst offensive team in the conference. Head coach Steve Pikiell’s team was last in America East in all three major offensive categories: points per game (61.2), field goal percentage (39.1%) and three-point percentage (32.6%).
With three starters from last season out of eligibility, can they be better on the offensive end of the floor? Yes and two reasons stand out. One reason is that they’ve got some actual size inside, with a rotation made up of players who actually look the part. Secondly, a couple of newcomers could give Coach Pikiell the floor general that he lacked in 2007-08. Is this enough to avoid playing on the first day of the America East Tournament come March? Possibly, and even with the improvement on offense it’s the defense that will still be the calling card for Stony Brook.
2007-08 Record: 7-23 (3-13 America East; 8th)
Head coach: Steve Pikiell (20-67 in three seasons at SBU)
Assistant Coaches: Jay Young, Lamar Chapman and Dan Rickard
Home Court: Pritchard Gymnasium (Stony Brook Arena is being renovated this season)
2007-08 Team Stats (conference rank in parentheses)
PPG: 61.2 (9th) 3PT % defense: 36.3% (7th)
PPG allowed: 66.6 (3rd) FT %: 68.6% (5th)
FG %: 39.1% (9th) Rebound margin: -1.0 (5th)
FG % defense: 42.8% (2nd) Assist/Turnover Ratio: 0.64 (8th)
3PT %: 32.6% (9th)
PPG: Demetrius Young (6.9) FT %: Michael Tyree (88.9%)
RPG: Young (6.7) 3PT %: Nick Carter (28.6%)
APG: Eddie Castellanos (2.5) Assist/TO Ratio: Castellanos (1.1)
FG %: Young (63.8%)
Coach Pikiell will have four guards that started at least eight games last season, but their roles may be a little different in 2008-09. One of four seniors on the roster this season, Michael Tyree is the primary gunner from behind the arc for Stony Brook, but he made just twenty-six percent of his attempts from downtown last season. He should be one of the first options off the bench in his final campaign. The man he’ll spell at times is Chris Martin, a 6-1, 210-pound sophomore shooting guard that should improve upon his five points per game with more time on the floor.
The other two guards with starting experience are junior Eddie Castellanos and sophomore Jermol Paul. Despite the graduation of Ricky Lucas and Mitchell Beauford, these two stand to be the most effected by the arrival of a talented recruiting class. Castellanos was Stony Brook’s best passer last season, being the one of two players (Beauford) on the team to finish the year with more assists than turnovers. Until either freshman Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, NJ) or junior Jonathan Moore (Cleveland, OH) show that they can handle the point guard job, look for Castellanos to lead the team.
Dougher and Moore are two important pieces of a seven-member recruiting class brought in by Coach Pikiell and his staff. Also looking to contribute in the backcourt this season are junior Muhammad El-Amin (Lansing, MI), freshman Tommy Brenton (Columbia, MD), senior Michal Zylinski (Monki, Poland), and returnee Marques Cox. Brenton could also see some time on the wing this year.
This is where the big change occurred for the Seawolves program heading into 2008-09, placing emphasis on the word “big”. Enter Dayton transfer Desmond Adedeji, a junior who tips the scales at 6-9, 298 pounds. Despite their lack of size last season, Stony Brook was fifth in America East in rebound margin. The addition of Adedeji should benefit the likes of senior Demetrius Young and redshirt junior Andrew Goba. Young is the best returning rebounder for Stony Brook, and he was also their most accurate shooter.
Goba, who missed last season (save four games) due to a foot injury, could be hard-pressed to earn minutes with a number of newcomers looking to earn playing time. Two freshmen forwards will be on campus, and both have a chance to make solid contributions. Dallis Joyner (Norfolk, VA) and Danny Carter (Windsor, England) will both be given the opportunity to earn minutes, with Joyner being a 6-7, 250-pound power forward and Carter playing more as a swingman despite being 6-9.
The frontcourt essentially had two mainstays in 2007-08 (Young and the graduated Emanuel Neto), something that gave Coach Pikiell a tough time. With added depth and versatility, the frontcourt has a chance to be one of the better units in America East.