Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stony Brook hoops heading to Europe


Fresh off its first appearance in the America East championship game, the Stony Brook men's basketball team will mark another milestone: its first trip to Europe.
The Seawolves announced Tuesday they will play five exhibition games in Dublin, London and Paris next month. The Aug. 11-22 trip will be the first time the program will play outside of North America.
"We've been planning it for a couple of years and we just thought it was a great time," coach Steve Pikiell said. "There's a lot of exciting things going for our program right now. It gives us a chance to do something new."
The Seawolves will play five exhibition games against European club teams, giving the team a chance to practice together, play advanced opponents and get away from Long Island for a while.
The Seawolves will face two teams Aug. 13-14 in Dublin, two Aug. 17-18 in London -- a homecoming for British forward Danny Carter -- and finish Aug. 20 in Paris against Charenton, a French club program that Pikiell expects will be the strongest opponent. He guesses most of the clubs will be older, experienced and tough.
The team also will have a chance to do some sightseeing, and, as Pikiell joked, "get a chance to interact with Coach off campus."
Pikiell sounded ready to begin the season Wednesday, be it in Europe or elsewhere. He is optimistic about his team, which features 12 lettermen, including second-team all-conference selection Bryan Dougher and former second-team all-conference player Tommy Brenton, who missed last season with a knee injury.
"He's doing good; he's back, his knee is fine," Pikiell said of Brenton. "Getting him back is like having a new recruit."