After falling to Hartford in last years America East semifinals, expectations were high for Stony Brook heading into the 2020-21 season. However, Stony Brook ended up losing their 4 leading scorers due to transfer in the offseason. This included Elijah Olaniyi who was Stony Brook’s leading scorer from the previous season, averaging 18PPG. With the additions of guys like Juan Felix Rodriguez, Jaden Sayles, and Tykei Greene, Stony Brook kept the same high expectations for themselves.
Non Conference Recap
Some early postponements and schedule changes made Stony Brook’s opening to their season a bit crazy. They finally got to play St. Peter’s to open their season. St. Peter’s ended up taking that one 82-68. The Seawolves would get their first win of the season 3 days later in an overtime thriller against Fairfield. From there, Stony Brook dropped 3 straight games, including one to rival Hofstra. A 23 point Hofstra lead in the second half was almost erased, which made it apparent Stony Brook was playing well, just not well enough.
Their non conference schedule was closed out with a win against Point Park University (NAIA). 2-4 was the record Stony Brook took into conference play, but it was worth noting that most, if not all of the games were well played by the Seawolves.
Conference play got off to a different start then non conference did. Series sweeps against Binghamton and Umass Lowell had Stony Brook at the top of the America East early on. Then came a 20 day Covid pause.
The pause seemed to have a huge effect as all of their momentum was completely halted. Stony Brook was swept by New Hampshire in their first series back from their pause. Then series splits to NJIT and Hartford had the Seawolves trending in the wrong direction. Scoring quickly became an issue. In their first 6 games back from Covid, they were only putting up 61.5PPG. Their defense was the reason they were in all of these games until the end. SBU would have to ride with this style of play as they went on to play 2 straight important series against UMBC and Vermont.
In the biggest part of the season, Stony Brook didn’t show up at all. They were swept in both series, which had a season low 48 point performance against UMBC. This ended up dropping Stony Brook to 8th place heading into the last week of the regular season. Stony Brook needed both of these games to hopefully finish 5th, but ended up splitting with Albany. This meant a 7th place finish for the Seawolves which is far below what they expect.
When it was all said and done, SBU ended with a 9-13 overall record, and 7-9 in conference play. They were picked to finish 5th in the preseason poll, so this is something that may not come has a huge surprise. Regardless, you can still say Stony Brook underperformed this season. They will await a matchup against Umass Lowell in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday.
Who Did What
It was going to be tough to have an offense that compared to last years when you consider what they lost. The transfers actually ended up leading the way for Stony Brook. Juan Felix Rodriguez ended up as the leading scorer, notching 12.9PPG. Frankie Policelli, the transfer from Dayton who had to sit out last year, was averaging around 12-13 points early on. But things fell off a little bit as he ended things averaging 10.5 a night. Jaden Sayles, the transfer from Akron averaged 9.9 points. Tykei Greene wasn’t far behind him with 9.6 points and 6.9 rebounds a night.
As for what Stony Brook originally had, well, it wasn’t much. Mouhamadou Gueye was the only one who had a major impact on this team. He averaged 9.8 points a game with 6.9 rebounds. Defensively he averaged 3 blocks per game. In fact, his 59 blocks for the season puts him top 10 in the whole country in that category. Definitely something you don’t see often with any statistic when it comes to Stony Brook.
What’s Left For Stony Brook?
As mentioned earlier, Stony Brook will be taking on Umass Lowell Saturday at 1:00. It’s win or go home for the Seawolves. They have already swept Umass this year, but it doesn’t mean this game is a guarantee win. And in my opinion, it would be a huge let down if this team fell in round 1, especially after how things started off.