Friday, March 8, 2013

Men's hoops sweeps America East awards

Albany, N.Y. - The Stony Brook men's basketball team swept the major 2013 America East Basketball awards as senior Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) was named America East Player and Defensive Player of the Year, freshman Jameel Warney (Plainfield, N.J.) was named America East Rookie of the Year and head coach Steve Pikiell was named America East Coach of the Year, the conference announced at its annual awards reception Friday evening at the University at Albany's Campus Center Ballroom.

In addition to the major awards, Brenton was placed on the All-America East first team, Warney was named to the second team and junior Dave Coley(Brooklyn, N.Y.) made the third team. All three were named to the All-Defensive team, and Warney was selected to the All-Rookie team.

Stony Brook is the first team in conference history to sweep all four major awards since the Defensive Player of the Year award was created in 2004. Prior to 2004, Vermont swept the major awards in 2002, and Drexel took home all three awards in 1996. Stony Brook is also the first team to place three players on the All-Defensive team since Binghamton in 2006.

Brenton is the second Stony Brook player to earn Player of the Year honors, joining Muhammad El-Amin, who took home the award in 2010. He also is Stony Brook's first two-time Defensive Player of the Year recipient and just the second player in league history to take home both awards in the same season. The 6-5 senior is the only player in the conference to be in the top five in rebounding (8.7/game), assists (4.9/game), steals (1.6/game) and assist/turnover ratio (2.3). During conference play, he stepped up to have some big games, including a triple-double vs. Maine in which he scored 15 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and 11 assists. In 16 conference games, Brenton reached double-digit rebounds seven times, double-digit points 10 times and five or more assists nine times.

Brenton, who was first-team All-America East in 2012, second-team All-America East in 2010 and on the All-Defensive team in both 2010 and 2012, will finish his career in the top five in America East history in rebounds with over 1,000. He is already Stony Brook's all-time leader in career rebounds (1,089) and steals (213) and the program's Div. I all-time leader in assists (389).

Warney dominated during conference play, shooting 65.0% from the field in the 16 America East games. Overall, he finished first in field goal percentage (62.4), second in blocked shots (1.6/gm), sixth in rebounding (7.3/gm) and 10th in scoring (12.2/gm). He scored 10 or more points in 13 of 16 conference games and scored 15 or more six times. He is Stony Brook's first-ever America East Rookie of the Year, first Stony Brook freshman to make an All-America East team and first Stony Brook freshman to be named to the All-Defensive team.

Pikiell becomes the fourth head coach in America East history to win Coach of the Year honors three or more times. Pikiell has now earned the award in each year that his Seawolves have captured the America East regular season championship (2010, 2012, 2013). This season, Pikiell developed a Stony Brook squad that had to replace three starters from last season into a team that set a program Div. I record for wins (23) while boasting a defense that ranks in the top five in the country in field goal percentage (37.4%). Pikiell's road warrior Seawolves are tied for the most true road victories in the nation with 12.

Coley earns All-America East third team and All-Defensive team honors for the first time in his career. He finished the season ranked in the league's top 20 in scoring, averaging 10.6 points per game. He proved to be one of America East's elite free throw shooters, averaging 78.2 percent from the line overall and 81.4 percent in conference play, which was second-best in America East. During a four-game stretch in January, Coley was unstoppable, averaging 17.3 points while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. He also has developed a reputation as one of America East's best perimeter defenders.

Stony Brook finished the regular season 23-6 overall and 14-2 in America East, posting the program's best Div. I season ever. The Seawolves are the No. 1 seed in the America East Championship and will take on No. 8 seed Binghamton in the quarterfinals Saturday at SEFCU Arena at 6 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app for mobile and tablet devices.