Introducing Cinderella: Meet the Stony Brook Seawolves
Conference: America East
Coach: Steve Pikiell
Ratings and Rankings
– Kenpom: 91
– RPI: 69
– AP/USA Today: N/A
Seeding: The Seawolves are currently a No. 13 seed in our latest Bracketology.
Names you need to know: Jameel Freakin’ Warney. So the big fella has been one of the best mid-major players in college basketball for years -- he’s the three-time America East Player of the Year and two-time Defensive Player of the Year -- and that didn’t change as he averaged 19.0 points, 10.7 boards and 3.0 blocks this season. But if you didn’t believe it, he proved it in the America East title game, going for a career-high 43 points on 18-for-22 shooting with 10 boards and four blocks. That’s called putting the team on your back.
Stats you need to know: You mean other than Jameel Warney’s numbers? The Seawolves are a balanced offensive team that is stout defensively and understands that they need to run their offense through their big man.
Big wins, bad losses: Stony Brook picked off both Princeton and Hofstra this season, and their only “bad” loss was a one-point loss to Western Kentucky.
How’d they get here?: Stony Brook overcame a 15-point second half deficit, going on a 47-26 run in the final 15 minutes to advance to their first ever NCAA tournament with the America East’s automatic bid.
Outlook: The Seawolves have the weapons to win a game in the big dance, depending on their draw. This is a veteran-laden team that is deep, balanced and very nearly picked off Vanderbilt on the road. If there is a concern, it’s that their offense runs through a big man that could very well end up being undersized against a four or five seed’s front line.
How do I know you?: Usually, Stony Brook is on the other end of these celebrations. That’s been their reputation of late. They’ve been to four of the last five America East title games but this is the first time the program has even been to an NCAA tournament. That’s what makes Warney’s performance all the more impressive and special. If they don’t erase that 15-point deficit, Warney would have never played in the NCAA tournament.