In ten seasons as the head coach at Stony Brook, Steve Pikiell has amassed a record of 141 wins and 132 losses. That may not look all that impressive at first glance, but a deeper look into those numbers reveal just how good of a job Pikiell has done at the America East school.
Stony Brook’s finished above .500 in five of the last six seasons, winning at least 22 games in four of those campaigns. Also included in this current run of success are three regular season America East titles, with the Seawolves going 62-18 in conference play over the last five seasons. And with that being the case, interim athletic director Donna Woodruff announced Wednesday that Pikiell’s been rewarded with a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.
“Steve has always been an exemplary leader of our Stony Brook men’s basketball program, and I am thrilled to know that he will be leading our student-athletes to future success as we move forward,” Woodruff said in the release. “With the integrity and class that he demonstrates day in and day out, he is truly one of the great ambassadors for University and our Department of Athletics.”
Stony Brook won 23 games last season and reached the final of the America East tournament, where they fell to NCAA tournament participant Albany. The Seawolves will have to account for the loss of two double-digit scorers in guards David Coley and Anthony Jackson, but they’ll return rising juniors Carson Puriefoy and Jameel Warney in 2014-15. And in Warney, Pikiell will have a player who will likely be the preseason choice to win America East Player of the Year.
Warney, who was 2012-13 America East Rookie of the Year, averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore with ten double-doubles. One of those ten double-double performances came in a 104-102 win at Detroit, with Warney tallying 32 points and 21 rebounds.
With the experienced tandem of Warney and Puriefoy leading the way for Pikiell, Stony Brook will once again contend in America East.
Sunday evening Creighton got on the board in the Class of 2016, as 6-foor-4 combo guard Davion Mintz made his pledge to Greg McDermott’s program. Mintz made the decision on the tail end of his official visit to Creighton, picking the Bluejays over Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Tulsa and Wichita State.
News of Mintz’s commitment was first reported by Rick Lewis of the Phenom Hoop Report, with Mintz confirming the news via Twitter shortly thereafter.
Creighton has just two seniors on its current roster in guard Jams Milliken and forward Geoffrey Groselle, but that doesn’t mean they lack for experience. Among the guards on the roster who will be around when Mintz arrives on campus are redshirt juniors Maurice Watson Jr., Malik Albert, and Isaiah Zierden, and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster will be eligible in 2016-17.
Mintz, who attends North Mecklenberg HS just outside of Charlotte, can play either on or off the basketball. Creighton’s veteran guards should help Mintz with his transition to the college game when he arrives in Omaha in 2016. Mintz played for the Charlotte Nets grassroots program this summer.
Three days after landing one power forward in Sagaba Konate, West Virginia received a verbal commitment from another big man Sunday evening.
6-foot-11 Mountain Mission School (Gurndy, Virginia) power forward Maciej Bender became the Mountaineers’ fourth commitment in the Class of 2016 on Sunday, with the Mountain Mission program announcing the news via Twitter. Bender is a native of Poland, and in addition to Konate he joins guards Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler in West Virginia’s 2016 recruiting class.
West Virginia will lose two forwards in TyQuane Goard and Jonathan Holton at the end of the 2015-16 season, and the additions of Konate and Bender will help the Mountaineers account for those departures from a depth standpoint. Bender can score around the basket, but he’s also capable of facing up and scoring in pick-and-pop situations out beyond the three-point line.
Bender officially visited West Virginia last weekend, and he was a player the WVU coaching staff wanted to get in the fold. Other programs to offer Bender included Arizona State (teammate Jethro Tshisumpa is an ASU commit), Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Providence. Bender played his grassroots basketball for the West Virginia Wildcats program this summer.