Hello, friends. Some of you may know me as a writer at Black Shoe Diaries. I'd bet that none of you know that I'm a die-hard Stony Brook Seawolves fan, and no, I'm not joking. I grew up (and still live, during non-school-times) about 5 minutes away from the university, both of my parents are SB alums, and I've been following the rise of athletics from afterthought to signature of the school. I've watched every televised game Stony Brook has played this season, been to a couple that weren't, and have been playing close attention to what I was sure would be the first Seawolves team to make the NCAA tournament. But...yeah.
For the uninitiated, Stony Brook was D-3 until the mid-90s, and until 2004, it had won a grand total of one conference championship in all sports. Since then, though, it's become a mid-major lacrosse powerhouse, has outgrown the Big South in football (it'll be joining the CAA next year), made a Cinderella run to the College World Series last year, and, more importantly for these purposes, has grown a nice little basketball program up from absolutely nothing.
This was the third season in the past four years that the Seawolves have found themselves in the NIT, after winning the America East regular season crown but bowing out prematurely in the conference tournament. This year's squad dominated the conference, going 14-2, and one of those losses was incredibly fluky (after the Noreaster hit, the team bus got stuck getting to Hartford and basically had to play without having warmed up).They had the Coach of the Year, the Rookie of the Year, the Defensive Player of the Year, and the Player of the Year in the America East, with Tommy Brenton winning each of the latter two.
They've won more true road games than any team in the country, and played real tough in Storrs and College Park, losing in tight games at UConn and Maryland. Going into Carver-Hawkeye is a daunting task, but Stony Brook's probably better prepared for that than any other mid-major team you could have matched up against. They're also a terrific defensive team, ranking 3rd in the country in opponent's FG%.
I could write a lot more, here, but I'm sure Ross, Pat, and co have plenty in store in terms of scouting reports. Also, that would kind of spoil the point of this Fanpost. I'm sure you guys have questions about a team from Long Island that you've probably never heard of before today. Let's hear 'em.