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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook Men’s Basketball could be facing the “most challenging” non-conference schedule ever, Director of Athletics says


Junior forward Tyrell Sturdivant drives to the basket in a game against Vermont on Jan. 28.
Sturdivant is the top scorer among returning players for the upcoming season. SAMANTHA MONTES/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook Men’s Basketball has announced only one game scheduled for the upcoming 2017-18 season, but other teams’ schedule announcements pieced together provide a partial picture of the Seawolves’ non-conference matchups this fall and winter.

Twelve non-conference games have been announced by Stony Brook opponents, including Michigan State, Maryland, UConn, Hofstra and Steve Pikiell-helmed Rutgers.

In the last two seasons, Stony Brook played 13 non-conference games. This season, the Seawolves will face four 2016-17 NCAA tournament teams, a projected top-five team and tough road matchups at Michigan State, UConn, Rutgers and Hofstra.  

Stony Brook Athletics could not confirm any of the matchups reported. However, Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron tweeted in May that Rutgers, Hofstra, Brown, Columbia and Saint Francis University would all be on the schedule in 2017-18.

On Thursday, Heilbron confirmed seven games in the most recent Together We Transform blog post, saying “this could be the most challenging men’s non-conference schedule that we have ever played.”

Norfolk State and Providence will also play against Stony Brook this season, according to schedules those teams released.

No America East team has released its conference schedule, so only non-conference matchups for the Seawolves could be determined at this time. However, conference play typically consists of two regular season games against each team in the America East.

Nov. 10 vs. Maryland (2016-17 Record: 24-9)

A rematch scheduled in advance of the pairs’ matchup last season, the Seawolves will open their season with the Terps at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Maryland defeated a visiting Stony Brook 77-63 last November. Prior to that, the Seawolves last played the Terps in December of 2012, a 76-69 road loss.

Maryland will be without its leading scorer from last season, guard Melo Trimble, who just signed a partially guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Only 40 miles west of Island Federal Credit Union Arena, the Coliseum will be a friendly crowd for the Seawolves as the team takes on the Terps, who will be just beginning to figure out how to play sans Trimble.

Nov. 14 or 15 at UConn (2016-17 Record: 16-17)

Of the eight non-conference matchups confirmed, the game at UConn was the only one not confirmed by the opposing team’s schedule. Both the Hartford Courant and the Middletown Press reported that the Seawolves will visit the Huskies on either Nov. 14 or 15, the only non-conference home game yet to be announced by UConn, as seen in this press release.

Stony Brook has not faced UConn since 2012 and has lost all five matchups between the teams since 2000.

Nov. 19 at Michigan State (2016-17 Record: 20-15)

Michigan State announced Wednesday that Stony Brook would be on the team’s home schedule this fall. The Seawolves will travel to East Lansing, Mich. to face off with the Spartans for the first time in program history.

Las Vegas listed Michigan State and Kentucky as the co-favorites to win the 2018 NCAA championship in April after incoming sophomore Miles Bridges announced he would not depart for the NBA. A young core with the addition of five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. will undoubtedly prove formidable to any opponent, including mid-major Stony Brook.

Nov. 26 vs. Bucknell (2016-17 Record: 26-9)

Bucknell announced Friday they will be visiting IFCU Arena this season as well. The Bison dominated the Patriot League last season with a 15-3 conference record and a conference championship that earned them a bid to the NCAA tournament. A 13-seed paired with 4-seed West Virginia, Bucknell lost 86-80 to the eventual Sweet Sixteen team.

Dec. 2 vs. Saint Francis University (2016-17 Record: 17-17)

Stony Brook and Saint Francis last met on the court in December 2016. The Seawolves won 75-63 in the first game between the two programs. The Red Flash ended their season with a loss to UMBC, in the Postseason Tournament after beating Jacksonville to secure their most successful season since 1997-98. Saint Francis released their non-conference schedule in July.

Dec. 12 vs. Hofstra (2016-17 Record: 15-17)

Long Island neighbor Hofstra crushed Stony Brook in Hempstead last time out. The December 2016 game ended 96-58, furthering the divide in the all-time series to 9-4 in the Pride’s favor. The year prior, Jameel Warney led the Seawolves to a 71-68 victory at home with 22 points, nine boards and five blocks.

Hofstra announced its non-conference schedule on July 25, confirming the geographic rivals will play each other for the fourth consecutive year.

Dec. 17 vs. Providence (2016-17 Record: 20-13)

Providence ended its 2016-17 season in a disappointing fashion, losing by four points to USC in the play-in game for the NCAA tournament. Had the Friars won, they would have slotted in as the 11-seed and played 6-seed SMU, who ultimately lost by one point to USC.

The Friars play in a tough Big East conference (10-8 conference record in 2016-17) and retained seven of their top scorers from last year’s 20-win campaign. The two teams played for the first time in 2014, a 79-61 Seawolves loss. Providence announced their second ever game with Stony Brook in May.

Dec. 22 at Rutgers (2016-17 Record: 15-18)

Thanks to a clause in former Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell’s contract, the Seawolves will play the Scarlet Knights for a second consecutive year. Now at Rutgers, Pikiell’s contract stated whatever team he left Stony Brook for would have to schedule a home-and-home over the successive two years.

Pikiell returned to IFCU Arena triumphantly last season with a 71-66 victory for Rutgers, riding a 9-1 record that would ultimately fall apart once they entered Big Ten conference play. After starting the season 11-2, the Scarlet Knights would go 3-15 against conference opponents. The rematch was announced by Rutgers on Wednesday.

Dec. 30 vs. Norfolk State (2016-17 Record: 17-17)

Norfolk State and Stony Brook have never played each other. The programs’ first contest was announced by the Spartans earlier this month. The Virginia school ended its season with a loss to North Carolina Central in part to an 11-minute scoreless stretch in the second half of the MEAC championship. A first round exit to Liberty in the CIT followed.

TBA vs. Brown (2016-17 Record: 13-17) and TBA vs. Columbia (2016-17 Record: 11-16)

These Ivy League schools bookended Stony Brook’s non-conference play last season. After winning three games in two years against Columbia, the Seawolves opened the Jeff Boals era with a home loss to the Lions in November. Then, on New Year’s Eve, Stony Brook traveled to Providence, R.I. to beat Brown 92-89. Neither team has announced their schedule yet, but the Heilbron confirmed they would be on the schedule back in May.

TBA at Ball State (2016-17 Record: 21-13)

The 21-win Cardinals will host the Seawolves at some point this season, Heilbron announced on Thursday. However, Ball State Athletics has yet to release their schedule for the 2017-18 season.

The Muncie, Ind. team had an 11-5 home record en route to a season that culminated with a MAC tournament semifinal loss to Akron and a first round exit in the CIT Tournament.

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