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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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No sweat for men’s basketball

With championship-winning seasons by both football and men’s soccer, winning appears to be a theme for Stony Brook so far this year.

While men’s basketball head coach Steve Pikiell is excited for its successes, he does not let it pressure him and his program to deliver on a championship of their own.

“Basketball’s so different from any other sport, it’s a different animal,” Pikiell said. “If anything, it takes pressure off you.”

Under first-year head coach Ryan Anatol, the men’s soccer team finished second in the America East regular season, won the conference tournament on Nov. 13 and narrowly lost to Monmouth on penalty kicks in the NCAA tournament.

The football team also had a big season, beating Liberty in the regular season finale to win the Big South championship and winning its first-ever playoff game by beating in-state rival Albany.

“It gets your name in the paper, recruits see your name, for any sport, it’s a positive,” Pikiell said.

Picked to finish second in the America East in the coaches’ pre-season poll, the men’s basketball team has expectations of adding another championship to the school’s trophy case this year and making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

With the team at a 2-4 record, Pikiell feels that while the team is making progress in getting together and improving in both rebounding and defense, more work needs to be done.

“We’ve had five different leading scorers in five different games. I don’t particularly like that; I’d like some consistency from our veteran guys,” Pikiell said. “We haven’t really found that groove yet, but I don’t know if anyone else really has at this time of the year.”

For Pikiell, the non-conference part of the schedule isn’t getting any easier, including games against Rutgers, Boston College, Cornell and Rider.

“The competitive non-conference schedule hopefully will prepare us for the league,” Pikiell said.

While he expressed dissatisfaction to where the team is currently at, Pikiell hopes that the team will be ready for the conference opener against Vermont on Jan. 2.

“We got a long time to get better, and I think we will,” Pikiell said. “I like my team; I don’t love them yet, but I like them.”

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