Stony Brook is one win away from finishing their first trip through the America East undefeated, while Binghamton picked up their first conference win over the weekend at UMass Lowell.
Briefly on Friday’s action, the Seawolves used the national audience to collect a victory over Albany, chronicled here, but here are some other stray observations from their showdown win over the Great Danes.
The Seawolves are not indestructible and demonstrated that on Friday night. Albany became the second team this month to get senior Jameel Warney in foul trouble, something Columbia did back on Jan. 2, and while the Lions capitalized by building a 17-point lead, the Great Danes could not separate themselves without the 6’8” senior in the lineup.
Also a reminder of a different Columbia game came up on Friday when Ahmad Walker’s missed free throw found Ray McGrew’s hands for the offensive rebound, put back and three-point play. It was reminiscent of their first home win at Island Federal Credit Union Arena to open the 2014-15 season when another missed free throw helped Stony Brook win. The concern is that the Seawolves get to the line, but far fewer than almost all of their conference opponents (8th in AE play in FTR), which could be a disadvantage against a team like Albany who lives at the charity stripe.
Anyway, here are some numbers that made the last week:
24.4% – The chances that Stony Brook will go undefeated in league play. After their win over Maine, their probability to win out has increased 1.5%. They are a favorite in every game they play the rest of the season, the lowest number being a 54%/one-point favorite at Albany on Feb. 17.
12 – Now the longest win streak in Seawolves history as a Division I program. The school’s longest streak was 23 games set in the 1978-79 season, which Stony Brook could still achieve if they run the table and reach the America East championship game. Then they would have the chance to set the school record for a trip to the NCAA tournament, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves because they play at Vermont next. The last time the Seawolves beat Vermont in the regular season (remember last year’s win was a America East Playoff Semifinal win) was in 2010.
1.16 – That is the points per possession from the last two games from New Hampshire. The offense seems to be coming together after struggling to start conference play and health has a lot to do with that. Ronnel Jordan turned in his career-best game against Hartford with a 25 point performance on Saturday, while Tanner Leissner is finding his groove after scoring 30 on Maine. Add that to the fact that the Wildcats already have the third best defense per possession in league play and they could be dangerous down the stretch.
14.2 – The points per game total in conference play for Jameel Warney, who is being surpassed in America East play by his senior teammates Carson Puriefoy (14.8) and Rayshaun McGrew (14.7). Yet he could possibly be an All-American as John Pudner explains.
1,127 – The number of rebounds Jameel Warney now has, owning the school record to surpass Tommy Brenton’s record (1,115) set in 2013. The senior now owns the scoring and rebounding records in Stony Brook’s Division I history.
Tweets of the Week:
The winning tweet has to be Daniel Dion’s buzzer beater to pull out a win at UMass Lowell on Thursday night:
Can’t imagine what play from Friday night Albany head coach Will Brown is referring to here…
Postgame on Friday night, Newsday’s Greg Logan referred to Jameel Warney as “Jamal”, which generated a huh?! moment, followed by a laugh, which led to this:
Four All-America East seniors equals three Senior Class Award nominees
Quotes of the Week:
“I was thinking he was going to make both of them, but at the same time you always have to be prepared for whatever happens. I always try to go to the offensive glass aggressive every game.” – Stony Brook senior Ray McGrew on grabbing Ahmad Walker’s missed free throw in the final 20 seconds and converting a three-point play to help beat Albany
“They’re a great team, they’re going to bounce back from this one easily. We can’t wait to play them again and hopefully another time.” – Stony Brook senior Jameel Warney on if their win over Albany sent a message
“It was a great feeling. I think I dropped to my knees and the team tackled me. All the practices in the gym, the shooting on off days – that’s what you’re preparing for, moments like that.” – New Hampshire junior Daniel Dion on his game winning three-pointer to beat UMass Lowell on Thursday
“This is how we want to play, this is how we like to coach, this is how our kids like to play. We don’t have a goal to be at a certain number pace-wise on the KenPom stats, we just want to increase possessions through our pace in practice, in games and take advantage of our depth.” – Maine head coach Bob Walsh on their up-tempo style, which is the largest difference of any team according to KenPom
“We’re very comfortable with the nine schools that are in our league. As we do continue to field questions from time to time that doesn’t change the fact that we are really good with the nine schools we have. Unless and until there’s a desire by our schools, or our presidents to expand beyond that, then we’ll continue to move forward with who we have at our table now.” – America East commissioner Amy Huchthausen on if any schools have approached them to join the conference
Games to Watch: Wednesday Jan. 27 Vermont at New Hampshire 7pm ESPN3, Jan. 27 Binghamton at UMBC 7pm, Saturday Jan. 30 Stony Brook at Vermont 2pm ESPN3
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.