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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Seawolves Head To Maryland For Season Opener

Stony Brook’s men’s basketball team will travel south on Friday to face University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the first game of the season. This will be the second straight year they face each other in the season opener, as the Seawolves defeated the Hawks 60-44 in last year’s home opener.

The Seawolves are returning four of their starters from last year, including sophomore Tommy Brenton, who had a dominating performance in last year’s game against UMES. Brenton recorded eight points and a school-record 16 rebounds in his collegiate debut, earning himself national honors as he was named America East Rookie of the Week.

UMES adds nine newcomers to a team that went 7-23 last year. Senior Neal Pitt returns after averaging 16.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Pitt was also a 2009 All-MEAC second team selection.

Head Coach Steve Pikiell said the first game of the season is always the hardest to prepare for, especially when the opponent adds nine new players.

‘They’re a whole new team, with their best player returning from last year with nine newcomers, so I don’t know what their strengths or weaknesses are,’ he said. ‘So I’ve just been focused on us doing what we need to do to be a good basketball team.’

Despite adding four freshmen, Pikiell said he will be leaning towards experience in this game.

‘The veterans will log most of the minutes,’ he said. ‘Depending on the situation, the freshmen may see some playing time, but for the most part, we’re going to use a veteran lineup.’

Stony Brook starts the season with eight out their first 11 games on the road. Pikiell said he hopes this year’s team can replicate last year’s squad that won nine games away from home.

‘This year’s team is more experienced, we were young as can be last year,’ he said. ‘Last year’s team was tough on the road, so I hope we have that same quality this year.’

Because of the lack of home games, Pikiell stressed the need for fan support.

‘One thing we built last year was an advantage of having students come out to games and making it a loud place to play,’ he said. ‘So we need a home-court advantage, we need students to come out and make it difficult for the other team. Those little things are actually big things, and they make a big difference.’

The Seawolves’ first home game will be November 16 against Mount Saint Mary.

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