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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Men’s Basketball Looking Forward To Bright Future

It was too early to think about in the Seawolves locker room Saturday night at SEFCU Arena, but things are certainly looking up for the Men’s Basketball program.

Picked to finish last in the pre-season coaches poll, Head Coach Steve Pikiell found a way to mold together a team of young freshman, junior college transfers, and returning veterans forced into new roles.

“We had 11 new players this year, a lot of role changes,” Coach Pikiell said. “It was tough trying to figure it all out.”

But in coming away with 16 victories overall and eight in conference, the team is set to reach places it has never gone to as a Division I program.

“I was pleased the program took a big step,” Coach Pikiell said after the game. “I thought we were ready to take (another) step tonight.

The Seawolves, who have only two seniors in their regular rotation, will return five players who saw significant minutes this year, along with current freshman Danny Carter, who saw some playing time early in the year, and 6’9″ center Desmond Adedeji. Adedeji’s season was thrown off track before it started with a DUI in November, a nagging knee problem, and his subsequent inability to get into game shape.

Those two seniors, Marques Cox and Demetrius Young, saw their playing time fluctuate over the past two seasons, but we’re still ready when called upon to contribute heavily to the team this year. Cox, who was asked to do much of the team’s dirty work, earned the respect of his teammates.

“He played a big role this year,” Muhammad El-Amin said. “He was guarding the best player every game, taking charges, doing all the little things we needed.”

Coach Pikiell felt the same way about his older players.

“It was a rewarding year,” he said. “I’m disappointed right now for our seniors. Our seniors really blended with our rookies.”

Three of those rookies, forwards Tommy Brenton and Dallis Joyner, and guard Bryan Dougher, were in the starting lineup against New Hampshire.

Dougher stepped up and played his best game in weeks, scoring 17 points and making two three-point shots.

“It’s a big step for the program,” he said. “We just have to work really hard in the offseason and just keep getting better.”

With the majority of his rotation intact going into next season, Pikiell is excited to finally have some continuity in the program.

“I like our newcomers coming into the program and our guys returning,” Coach Pikiell said. “Next year will be the first year I know what I have from one through five. I haven’t been able to coach like that in three years.”

“We had a lot of good stuff happen this year for our program,” he continued. “We’re going to use this year as a stepping stone, and hopefully we start new traditions here at Stony Brook.”

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