Monday, February 27, 2012

Know Thy Foe: No. 1 Stony Brook Seawolves

Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Welcome to Know Thy Foe, a new feature appearing twice daily this week in advance of the America East men’s basketball tournament. Know The Foe will help you, an undereducated fan of America East basketball, become an expert on every team in the conference. It's also possible you'll know less than when you began reading this. A 50-50 proposition, to be honest. 

Could you please tell me a little about the full name of this school and the system it is a part of? Sure, straw man I’ve invented for this week-long exercise. The full name of the first school featured this week is Stony Brook University, though State University of New York at Stony Brook would also be considered acceptable. It is one of the four flagship schools of the SUNY system, a system which includes a school in every tiny hamlet in the state. No, really. It seems almost as big as the entire California state system, and there are far too many state schools in California. 

When was it founded? Stony Brook was founded in 1957. My dad was born in 1953. Ergo, my dad is older than Stony Brook. Also, he’s almost 60. I only realized that as I was writing this.

Don’t let the young age of SBU (not my dad) fool you, however. It’s not really much smaller than one university I’m quite familiar with that was founded in 1839. Stony Brook is a major research university and one of the pillars of the SUNY system, and it doesn’t even look a day over 55. 

Where is it located? The main campus is in Stony Brook, New York, a nice-looking town on the north shore of Long Island with a population of 13,727. The first website Google returns when you search “Stony Brook,” not associated with the university, is for Stony Brook Village, a downtown business district offering a number of retail businesses, medical services, and upcoming events. After looking at that fine website, perhaps you would like to book a stay in Stony Brook? Remember, It’s All Here In The Stony Brook Village Center.

The university also has three other facilities on Long Island, and a center in New York City. Fine places, all of them, I’m sure.

How big is their campus? 1,454 total acres, 1,039 of which are on the main campus. If you would like to see a total breakdown of acreage by campus, it can be found here. It really is something you should know.

How many people go there? The total enrollment is 24,103, which is broken down into two major groups: East Campus and West Campus. Both groups are on the main campus, so I have no idea why this matters, but West has almost seven times the number of students as East, 20,654 to 3,367. The only logical conclusion is everyone must hate East.

Who or what is their mascot? Wolfie the Seawolf, a sort of swimming wolf the university tried to popularize in 2009 with a campaign entitled “Where in the World is Wolfie?” The campaign is ongoing, and you can catch up with Wolfie’s latest adventures on the “Where in the World is Wolfie?” Facebook page.

Is their coach a different creature? Yes, yes he is. Steve Pikiell is not a seawolf. He does not bleed seawolf blood. He is human; he bleeds human blood. He has held the job since 2005 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1990. He’s been an assistant at Connecticut, Central Connecticut State, and George Washington. 

Where do they play? Pritchard Gymnasium. It holds 1,680 people, making it the 322nd largest in Division-I according to KenPom. It is a cramped place, by all accounts, and I’m still not entirely sure how national television broadcast crews manage to squeeze in there. I guess they employ smarter people than me to get the job done. And if you’ve read this far, you know how smart I am.

What was their final record? 20-8 overall, 14-2 America East

What is their rank in the conference tournament? No. 1. The Seawolves will play the winner of the play-in game between No. 8 UMBC and No. 9 Binghamton.

Who would be their basic statistic leaders? Senior guard Bryan Dougher (13.4 points per game), redshirt junior guard Tommy Brenton  (7.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game), senior forward Dallis Joyner (0.7 blocks per game)

What are some of the notable wins this team has? Vs. Cornell, 68-59; at Northeastern, 76-69; vs. Vermont, 65-59

What are some of the notable losses this team has? at Northwestern, 63-58; at Boston College, 66-51; at Vermont, 68-49

How did they do against BU? 1-1. The Seawolves lost to the Terriers at Case Gymnasium, 61-55, on January 14th, but beat them two weeks later on Long Island, 66-57. The second game was televised on ESPNU, and was played in a sea of red. Seriously, the place was filled with people wearing almost nothing but bright red. It was cool, and an example of how smaller gyms can be as awesome as Cameron Indoor Stadium or another less-clichéd arena. 

Who was their token non-Division-I opponent and does that opponent even acknowledge the game ever took place? For their first win of the year, the Seawolves beat Mount Ida College, 93-39, at home. Mount Ida is a Division-III school located in Newton that lists “arranging a visit to campus is easy” as its 10th best reason to attend Mount Ida. The Mustangs do not list their game against the Seawolves on their online schedule, claiming only their games against D-III opponents actually happened. 

The Mustangs went 9-17 in games they remember, and lost 79-43 to Saint Joseph’s University (Maine) in the quarterfinals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament. We here at Full Court Press congratulate Mount Ida on a great season and a strong performance against Stony Brook.

Do you have some statistic from KenPom presented without any context whatsoever?  51.5 effective field goal percentage in conference play 

What about a random factoid from the game notes? Each player has a QR code on their page of the game notes, so if you would rather read about their statistics on your tiny phone screen instead of an 8.5-by-11 piece of paper, you can! Technology for the win!

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