Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Groundhog Day for Stony Brook

March 14, 2015 Columns No Comments

ALBANY, N.Y. – Steve Pikiell probably answered the same questions on Saturday he’s answered seemingly thousands of times before. Too many times, really, and not because of anything he’s done.

When will Stony Brook win the big game? What’s the feeling after another one of these close calls? Did you get concerned down the stretch?

You know those questions and variations of each were undoubtedly fired away at the Stony Brook mentor on Saturday.

As members of the media we ask these questions because we have ideas of the answers, but want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. We want the raw, unedited feelings to convey to our readers. It’s understandable, but it’s not easy, and at some point it’s not enjoyable to be a spectator at one of these where those questions and variations of them are rehashed. We got a taste of it last year, when Pikiell knew it was coming and had answers that sounded prepared – and you can’t blame him. We got an additional taste of it last year when Dave Coley broke down and had to leave the press conference early; he said few words, but said a whole lot, really.

In fact, he said all we need to know. If you think this doesn’t matter to today’s players, just go to a locker room after a team lost a heart-breaking championship game with an NCAA bid on the line. I’m sure Stony Brook’s locker room was like that on Saturday.

You have to feel for Pikiell and his staff. They have been to the America East championship game four times in the last five years, and they have lost all of them. One of them was a surprise, when an injury-riddled team made a run and led for most of the game before losing at Boston University; the others were good teams that were expected to at least get that far. They’ve lost in particularly heart-breaking fashion a couple of those times, especially on Saturday. It looked like they finally had one. It looked like we could finally stop asking Pikiell about it, or at least change the questions to “How does it feel to finally win?” and variations of it.

Instead, this narrative will probably take on a new life of its own. And that’s really too bad, because Pikiell has a program that many would love to have right now. There are teams that are lucky to even get to a championship game, let alone as often as this team has been.

“It’s hard to get back to this game,” Pikiell said on Saturday. “A lot of teams in America would love to be in the championship every year.”

Indeed they would. In this age of measuring teams and coaches by whether or not they get to the NCAA Tournament, we miss out on appreciating so many who do great things without getting to the ultimate stage. Stony Brook is one of them, with a good coach, a good staff behind them and that includes as people, and good kids who graduate from a very good academic institution.

Stony Brook may well end up in the CIT with their 23-11 record. It would be another postseason appearance, adding to what Pikiell has done there. They want to be in the NCAA Tournament, and that day will come. Pikiell is too good a coach and the players he recruits are too good not to get there one day. At that point, some will realize what many can plainly see right now by looking past the lack of an NCAA Tournament appearance: that Pikiell has built a heck of a program.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


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 – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

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.

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.