Monday, April 15, 2013

Pikiell named Met Writers Coach of the Year

NEW YORK - Stony Brook men's basketball head coach Steve Pikiell has been named the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) Coach of the Year to headline three Seawolves honorees, the organization announced Monday morning. Senior Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md.) was placed on the All-Met second team, and freshman Jameel Warney (Plainfield, N.J.) was selected to the All-Met third team.

Pikiell, who earns his second Met Writers Coach of the Year honors (2010), was at the helm of the Metropolitan area's best team in 2012-13. The Seawolves won a program-record 25 games, which was the most of any New York City area school this season. He guided the Seawolves to their third America East regular season championship in the last four seasons and led them to their first-ever national postseason victory, a 71-58 win over Massachusetts in the first round of the NIT.

The core of Pikiell's coaching has been defense, and this season Stony Brook was one of the nation's leaders at stopping teams from scoring. The team ranked sixth in the country in field goal percentage defense (.378) and 13th in scoring defense (57.5 PPG allowed). Stony Brook held opponents under 60 points in 20 of its 33 games this season, including a season-low 37 vs. Binghamton on Jan. 9.

Brenton and Warney become the fifth and sixth all-time Seawolves All-Met selections, and it's the first time in program history that two Seawolves have been named All-Met in the same season. Brenton had a historic senior season that saw him earn the Lefty Driesell Award as the National Defensive Player of the Year and win America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Brenton led the Seawolves in rebounds, assists and steals while playing a stifling brand of defense. Among all forwards in the country, he sported the best assist/turnover ratio at 2.23.

Brenton finished his career as Stony Brook's all-time leader in rebounds (1,115) and steals (220) and first in the program's Div. I history in assists (405). He is tied for third all-time in conference in history in career rebounds, one of just eight players ever in the league to grab over 1,000 rebounds.

Warney had an incredible rookie campaign that included winning America East Rookie of the Year honors. The 6-8, 255-pound forward was efficient in the paint for the Seawolves, shooting 61.8 percent from the field, which was the fifth best percentage in the country. He led Stony Brook in points (408) and blocks (48) and was second in rebounds (236). After just one season, Warney already ranks in the program's Div. I top 20 in rebounds and is now sixth in blocks.