Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Stony Brook May Turn a Corner With Close Win

December 9, 2010 Columns No Comments

WORCESTER, Mass. – It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Tuesday becomes a turning point for Stony Brook. The Seawolves have had to overcome their share of adversity, which lately has included some tough losses late in games. But on Tuesday, they came out on the winning end of a close game as they pulled out a 54-53 win at Holy Cross, another team that has had plenty of adversity early on as the Crusaders are now 0-7.

Stony Brook started out auspiciously after a season-opening loss at Connecticut, winning their next three games. Two came on the road at Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson, the former a nationally televised game that started at 6 a.m. as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. But then they lost the aforementioned three straight, all by five points or less including an overtime loss to Lehigh, before pulling out Tuesday night’s win.

“We’ve been battling a lot of adversity all year long,” head coach Steve Pikiell said.

Stony Brook is having to play a little differently without star forward Tommy Brenton, who dislocated his right knee in a pickup game before practice started. That’s where the adversity began, as Brenton led the America East Conference in rebounding last year and figured to be primed to not only do that again but also bring his scoring up towards double digits.

With Brenton out, Pikiell has spent more time working on rebounding with his team. He also is more conscious of the size he has on the floor at a given time, and that’s why it helps that Anthony Mayo has been able to contribute right away as a freshman since he adds size there.

“I used to go into every game knowing we would out-rebound everybody,” Pikiell said. “We’re playing a little bit different, a little smaller than I would like. But we’re playing a little bit faster, too. We mix up defenses, trying to generate some offense from our defense.”

While it’s highly unlikely he returns this season, they aren’t ruling out that possibility since his recovery is going better than expected. But even if he’s ready to go well into January, a practical question arises because of the point in the season he would return, because by then players have settled into certain roles and adding a player would change that drastically, more so than if he were to return next week.

“We’ve got to sprinkle the minutes now in a different way,” Pikiell added, noting also that he’d rather bring Al Rapier off the bench at this point in time and groom him to start later. “Our frontcourt is not with us right now, and we have to sprinkle the infield with a lot of different guys.”

Nine players average at least 13 minutes per game, to Pikiell’s point. He’s trying to develop depth, and the non-conference stretch is the time to do it. Helping is that all three true freshmen have contributed and are all among those playing at least 13 minutes a game. Mayo recently moved into the starting lineup and has had blocked at least one shot in every game in his young college career. Dave Coley is fourth on the team in scoring and is a tough guard who was right in the thick of things on Tuesday. Pikiell sees Coley growing through this stretch, which will only help with the talent he has.

“I’m pleased, I’m playing him through some tough times and he’s learning how to survive in Division I,” Pikiell said. “I’m very confident, he practices the right way, he prepares for games, he’s in the gym, he’s a great kid.”

The Seawolves have been in every game, thanks largely to their defense. Although Holy Cross shot just under 47 percent from the field on Tuesday night, the Seawolves entered the game holding opponents to 37 percent shooting and force over 15 turnovers a game. While the Crusaders shot well, they turned it over 22 times, with 11 coming in each half. With Dallis Joyner also sidelined for the second straight game, they were out-rebounded 39-28. Bryan Dougher, a conference Player of the Year candidate, never got going as he scored eight points on just 2-9 shooting. But they found a way to pull it out, and much like the season as a whole, overcame some adversity to do it.

Coley scored all nine of his points in the second half, none bigger than the final two. But it began earlier, with a game-tying jumper with 8:35 left. Later, with Holy Cross leading 53-50, he hit a jumper to get them within one. About a minute later, he stripped Holy Cross guard Andrew Beinert. After a miss at the offensive end, he committed a loose ball foul, but it didn’t hurt them as the front end of a one-and-one was missed.

He would get another chance, getting the ball with 17 seconds left, but nearly turned it over. After another timeout, they drew up a play for him. He drove toward the basket, made a slight move left and laid the ball in with one second left. After they knocked down the inbound pass, they held on.

“We haven’t closed out the last couple of games, so it’s big for us to come out and get this one,” Dougher said.

Pikiell drew the last play up for Coley, a big vote of confidence for the freshman. Pikiell said he needs to finish games better, and gave him the chance to do so in this one. It paid off.

“He believed in me and I was fortunate to make the play,” Coley said after the game.

The Seawolves won a close game after three tough losses. They did it without Brenton, with Joyner out again and with Dougher having a rough night. Pikiell talked about how they pride themselves on their defense, and it showed. It’s one thing to be in every game, as they have been save for the season opener, but breaking through to win them is another matter. Tuesday night, they did that, and it could prove to be a turning point down the road.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we break d own the national semifinals, where one game went back and forth while the other was never really a ballgame thanks to an impressive performance for the ages by the winning team.

College Basketball Tonight – March 26, 2018

March 27, 2018 by

With the Final Four all set, we look back on the regional finals and ahead to the final games of the season. We are joined along the way by veteran writer Ken Davis and Towson head coach Pat Skerry for their insights as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.