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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PIKIELL NAMED AMERICA EAST COACH OF THE YEAR BY CollegeInsider.com


Pikiell led Seawolves to their most wins since joining the America East in 2001-02.

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook men's basketball head coach Steve Pikiell has been named the America East Coach of the Year by collegeinsider.com, the publication announced on Monday. Pikiell led the Seawolves to numerous program records on the way to the school's best ever finish in the America East Conference.
The 2008-09 season saw Stony Brook finish 16-14 overall and 8-8 in the America East Conference, tying for fourth-place in the final regular season conference standings, the Seawolves best-ever America East finish. The 16 overall wins and eight conference victories are the most for Stony Brook in its eight years as a member of the America East Conference, while its nine-game improvement in the win column over 2007-08 is the fourth best turnaround by a team in Division I in 2008-09. The 15 wins over Division I opponents are the most since the Seawolves joined the Division I ranks in 1999-00.
After winning just two games on the road a year ago, the Seawolves won a program record nine games away from home this season, including victories over Air Force and defending conference champion UMBC. The Seawolves also had great success in their first season at newly renovated Pritchard Gymnasium, which included a program record four sold out crowds as well as wins over Albany, UMBC and Boston University.
Defense was a major reason for the Stony Brook success this season, with the team leading the America East in scoring defense (60.4 ppg), three-point field goal defense (.309), steals per game (8.8) and turnover margin (+2.8). The scoring defense and three-point field goal defense mark rank 31st and 30th in the country, respectively, with the steals per game ranking 25th. SBU also led the America East in turnover margin (+2.8), which is the 37th best mark in the NCAA.
Stony Brook also set a program record with four players earning spots on All-America East teams. Junior Muhammad El-Amin (Lansing, Mich.) was named to the All-America East second team, the first Seawolves player named as high as the second team in five years. He was also selected as the America East Player of the Week in January, becoming the first SBU player to be honored with the award since 2004. After finishing sixth in the conference in steals per game, senior Marques Cox (Jamaica, N.Y.) was named to the America East All-Defensive team.

Stony Brook, which started three freshmen and had four in its normal rotation, had two first-year players honored by the America East Conference. Freshmen Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) and Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J.) were both named to the America East All-Rookie team, the first time in program history that two players have been named All-Rookie. Brenton twice tied the school Division I record for rebounds in a game with 17, finishing the season with an 8.9 rebounds per game average which is second among all freshmen in Division I. His 266 rebounds set a school Division I record, elapsing Leon Brisport's mark of 247. Brenton led the conference in rebounding in conference games and finished the season second overall in the league. Dougher broke the Stony Brook Division I record for three-pointers made in a season.