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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Slow start to the season doesn’t concern Coach Pikiell




Those words were used by men’s basketball head coach Steve Pikiell to describe the start of the 2010-11 season. After playing five games, one of which was played at 6 a.m., in just 10 days, the Seawolves have a 3-2 record.

After such a grueling stretch, Stony Brook is enjoying a week off before it returns to action on Wednesday night against Lehigh. With that break comes time to reflect on how the season has been progressing.

What has been most impressive is the team’s resiliency, most evident in its victory over Monmouth. The Seawolves overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to come out with a 51-49 win in a game that started at 6 a.m. as a part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. In the next game against Farleigh Dickinson, they relied on a balanced offense and stellar defense to maintain the lead and defeat the Knights 66-59.

However, their most recent loss to Wagner raised some concerns. Stony Brook was held to just 15 field goals on 23.8 percent shooting, missing a lot of easy layups and taking some ill-advised shots. Through five games the Seawolves are shooting 33 percent from the field and 31 percent from behind the three-point line. Pikiell said those numbers do not concern him right now.

“The good thing is that we’re 3-2 despite not shooting the ball well,” he said. “It’s a long season, so those early numbers don’t really matter.”

Stony Brook has been without two of its better-shooting players as injuries have sidelined forward Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) and guard Marcus Rouse (Upper Marlboro, Md.), both of whom suffered knee injuries before the season. While Brenton’s injury has him out indefinitely, Rouse returned to practice last week and Pikiell said he hopes to have him back soon.

As expected, junior guard Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) is leading the Seawolves with 16.2 points per game, but a question coming into the season was where the rest of the scoring would come from. It looks like Pikiell was expecting guard Dave Coley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to fill that role, as he gave him a starting job in his first year. However, Coley is shooting just 24 percent from the field and has committed 11 turnovers. Despite these figures, Pikiell still has confidence in the freshman, even predicting that he will eventually score 1,000 points.

“Dave’s going to be great,” he said. “He just has to adjust to college because it’s a big difference.”

While the early season struggles may cause many to be concerned that this year’s team will not be able to duplicate the success of last year’s record-setting squad, Pikiell urged fans not to worry about the Seawolves.

“Let me do the worrying,” he said with a laugh. “Typical New Yorkers want us to be as good as last season, but this is a whole new year. We’ve been competitive in every game, so I’m satisfied with our performance so far.”

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