Monday, January 19, 2009

GAMEDAY: Stony Brook University vs. Boston University

Any year but this, a game at home against Stony Brook would be very easy to predict. The Seawolves have never won at Case Gymnasium since they joined America East, going 0-7 at The Roof since the 2000-01 season. In fact, the Terriers have had SBU's number in all meetings, holding a 12-3 record against them all-time. This year, however, Stony Brook is vastly improved and at 9-8, they've opened some eyes around the conference.

That eye-opening didn't transfer to conference play, though, as Stony Brook has stumbled out of the gate to a 1-3 record. They defeated Maryland-Baltimore County to start their AE slate, but then dropped contests to Binghamton, Maine and Vermont (with a win against Dartmouth thrown in the middle to disrupt a would-be losing streak) to set them up for this afternoon's matchup.

Led by junior guard Muhammad El-Amin, who takes 34.7 percent of the Seawolves' shots (a mark that ranks 19th in the nation), the Seawolves can score in a number of ways -- much different than the days when Ricky "do it all for us" Lucas played for coach Steve Pikell. El-Amin is averaging 14.2 points per game and has strung together seven games of double-figure scoring entering today. Complimenting the junior are a pair of freshman who've been very active for SBU -- Bryan Dougher and Tommy Brenton. Dougher is averaging 11.8 points per game while Brenton is a double-double machine as he's already got four this season and leads the team in rebounding (7.8 rebounds per game, 7.3 points per game).

Given BU's increased interior attack, it will be interesting to see how the Terriers handle Brenton on both ends of the floor. If BU rebounds out of the zone as well as they did against Binghamton (heck, if they do a lot of things as well as they did against Binghamton) they'll be in good shape. Again, the player to watch for the Terriers will be John Holland, who's been lighting teams up lately with 97 points in four conference games. If BU wins this afternoon (in a game that was switched from 7:00 p.m. to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. ceremonies), they'll be above .500 in conference play for the first time all season and it will be their first winning streak since they won three-straight from November 18-25.

Projected starting lineups:

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