2006-07 Metro Preview: Stony Brook
13. Stony Brook Seawolves
2005-06 Record: 4-24 (2-14 America East)
Last season’s final ranking (NY Metro Area poll): 14th
Head Coach: Steve Pikiell (4-2 at Stony Brook, overall)
Leading Returnees: Points (Mitchell Beauford-14.1 ppg); Rebounds (Mike Popoko-5.3 rpg); Assists (Beauford-2.2 apg)
Returning Starters: 3 (G Mitchell Beauford (Jr. 5’11, 175), F Mike Popoko (Sr. 6’5, 190), F/C Andrew Goba (So. 6’9, 190))
Key Losses: G Bobby Santiago, G/F Hendrik Feist, G Antwan Hardy
After a hard-luck season in year one of the Steve Pikiell regime, Stony Brook looks to rebound with a combination of three returning starters and an eight-man recruiting class that many are touting as the best in the America East. Hoopscooponline.com is also a believer in the incoming class, ranking it 27th in the nation.
The top two scorers from last season, Mitchell Beauford and Mike Popoko, return, which should aid the newcomers in understanding what Coach Pikiell wants. What’s needed? More scoring for one thing, as the Seawolves were last in the conference in scoring with an average of 58.2 points per game. It’s hard enough to win with an average like that, but it became nearly impossible when you factor in the fact that Stony Brook allowed 68.8 points per game.
As for the newcomers, look for the greatest contributions to come from a trio of transfers, two from the junior college ranks and two from four-year institutions. Emmanuel Neto, who arrives on campus by way of San Jacinto College, isn’t much of a scorer but did average seven rebounds and three blocks per game last season. Nick Carter, who averaged 17.8 points, 6.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game at Suffolk Community College, will most likely start alongside Beauford in the backcourt.
Ryan Jones (Elon) and Ricky Lucas (George Washington) will add some depth to the backcourt ranks this season. As for incoming freshmen, forward Rio Pitt (12 rpg, 3 bpg at Our Savior New American last year) should help out inside. And guard Eddie Castellanos, who averaged eight assists per game as a senior at Hoboken (NJ) HS, will throw his hat into the ring for immediate playing time. Expect a lot of competition form playing time during the preseason, but the Seawolves should be much deeper this season.
Schedule at a Glance
While the non-conference slate still has its challenges this year, it’s not as tough as last season’s, which saw the Seawolves travel to both Connecticut and Villanova. Stony Brook opens up with a two-game trip to upstate New York, visiting Colgate and Cornell. They then head to Happy Valley to play Penn State, which should be improved. The home opener is November 19th when the Navy Midshipmen come to town. In a rare coup for a smaller school, Stony Brook will host Villanova and Hofstra in back-to-back games (December 5th vs. Hofstra is “Joe Nathan Night”). These are return games due to the fact that Stony Brook visited both last season. The Seawolves close out the non-conference slate with a trip to South Bend to take on Notre Dame December 30th.
Conference play begins on January 3rd, “America East Opening Night”, with a trip to Burlington to take on Vermont. The Catamounts also went through year one of a new coaching staff (head coach Mike Lonergan), so this one will be intriguing to watch, just to see how much the two programs have adjusted to the changes. Key dates include January 15th, when league favorite Albany visits, and January 25th, when Maine (another of the teams predicted to be near the top of the AEC) comes to Stony Brook. The Seawolves will close out the season with visits to these two schools, which should have an impact on seeding for the conference tournament.
Interesting Note: Last season Stony Brook took 197 more shots than their opponents, yet they finished with 204 fewer rebounds.
2005-06 Team Averages
· Points per game: 58.2 - Points per game allowed: 68.8 - Scoring Margin: -10.6
· Rebounds per game: 31.0 - Opp. Rebounds per game: 38.0 - Rebounding Margin: -7.0
· Assists per game: 9.8 - Turnovers per game: 13.1 - Assist-to-Turnover Ratio: 1:1.3
· Field Goal percentage: 38.1% - FG Percentage Defense: 45.3%
· 3-Point Percentage: 33.9% - 3-Point Percentage Def.: 37.7%
· Free Throw Percentage: 60.6%
· Longest winning streak: 2 (Colgate, Vermont) January 5th, 8th
· Longest losing streak: 9-twice (@ Villanova, @ Lehigh, Columbia, @ St. John’s, @ Maryland-Baltimore County, @ Hofstra, Albany, @ Connecticut, @ Wagner) November 18th -December 30th; (@ Albany, @ Vermont, Binghamton, @ Boston College, @ New Hampshire, @ Boston Univ., Hartford, Maine, Maryland-Baltimore County) February 1st -March 3rd.
· The second nine-game skid came at the end of their season.