NIT Second Round: Iowa (22-12) vs. Stony Brook (25-7)
Date: March 22, 2013
Time: 8:30 p.m. CT
Location: Carver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
Line: Iowa -8.5
STONY BROOK. This school is probably most famous to Iowa fans as the landing spot for former running back Marcus Coker. They do play basketball at the New York University and this year they've played it well. Stony Brook has won the regular season America East Conference title three of the last four years. The Seawolves have yet to win their conference tournament and it's been three trips to the NIT over the last four years. Wednesday, they defeated #2 seed UMASS 71-58 in Massachusetts to record the first NIT win in the school's history.
Stony Brook is rated #55 on the latest kenpom rankings. That's nine spots ahead of conference foe Purdue and they're 14 spots ahead of in-state rival Northern Iowa. Sticking with kenpom, the Seawolves rank 31st in defensive efficiency. Iowa is #20.
There's not a lot of what we'd consider tough competition on their schedule. "We" being fans of a Big Ten school. Stony Brook faced Maryland and Seton Hall back in November. They also played UCONN. They lost all three but kept them respectable. Using the BPI formula, Stony Brook played only three teams ranked in the Top 100 all season. It was two prior to their first round game with UMASS.
So, what do we make of this team? They rebound well and play defense. They average 68 points per game with 38 rebounds. Iowa averages 70 points per game and 39 rebounds. Stony Brook has won 13 games this season on the road. They are indeed road warriors.
Three of their five starters average double digits: Freshman Jameel Warney 12.2 ppg, junior Anthony Jackson 11.2 ppg and junior Dave Coley 11.1 ppg. Senior forward Tommy Brenton averages 8.5 ppg and adds 8.6 rebounds per game. They have a total of five seniors but only Brenton and Ron Bracey play signification minutes. They are not especially tall, only four players are listed at 6'8" or taller. Brenton and Warney are the team's leading rebounders at 6'5" and 6'8".
I suppose they are "scrappy" and "tough," as most smaller conference schools are categorized. In truth, they have a program with a short history of success that only added to it by getting a coveted post-season win. Their "road warrior" label is neat but that's in front of tiny crowds at Maine and Boston U. This is big boy basketball tonight for Stony. I think we'll find that they are who we thought they were.