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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

STONY BROOK EXTENDS CONTRACT OF HEAD BASKETBALL COACH STEVE PIKIELL TILL 2014


Pikiell led the Seawolves to best season in Division I history in 2008-09.

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Stony Brook University Director of Athletics, Jim Fiore, has announced that the contract of head men's basketball coach Steve Pikiell has been extended through the 2013-14 season. Pikiell's team just completed one of SBU's most successful seasons since its transition to Division I play in 1999.
"Coach Pikiell has led our men's basketball program with consistency while representing well the values and ideals of Stony Brook University athletics," said Fiore. "He is a highly motivated and talented leader, who is building our program with class and integrity for long term success. I couldn't be more excited about the future of Seawolves basketball with Steve at the helm."
"I'm honored and excited to have the opportunity to be the head basketball coach at Stony Brook University," remarked Pikiell. "While we still have a lot of work to do, I am certainly proud of the improvement we have made as a program and I'm grateful for the confidence and commitment that our administrative leadership continues to have in our progress and plan. I strongly believe we all share the common vision for Seawolves basketball."
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 Conference 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 third best turnaround by a team in Division I in 2008-09. Stony Brook also set school records with 15 wins against 13 different Division I opponents.
After winning just two games on the road a year ago, Pikiell led his team to nine wins away from home to set another Division I record. 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); marks that placed the Seawolves among the top-40 teams in the nation in each category.

In addition to the team's success on the court in 2008-09, Pikiell's teams have also performed in the classroom. During his tenure as head coach, 19 of 20 senior student-athletes will have graduated as members of the men's basketball team. Ricky Lucas ('08) earned America East All-Academic Team Honors, the first time a Stony Brook player has been honored with the award.
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 (66) as well as setting a Division I freshman record for points in a season (335) and points in a game with 24 against NJIT.