Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell and his program have come a long way from a team that lost their first nine games for him in the 2005-06 season.
With a 73-66 victory over Northeastern out of the Colonial Athletic Association on Wednesday night, the Seawolves are 3-0 for the second straight season. Their three-win start is their third in the last five years.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Pikiell, whose overall record at the America East school is 123-126. “I don’t really dwell on any of that stuff, we got Indiana next, 3-0 doesn’t mean anything.”
“We got better today. I thought we’re starting to figure ourselves out a little bit and we made big stops when we had to which is one of our trademarks.”
Nursing a five-point lead against the Huskies, the Seawolves trademark defense forced a shot clock violation with 5:23 left and never looked back in a seven-point victory.
Now comes a four-game road trip to two cities. First the Seawolves travel to Bloomington for a date with Indiana University, then they conclude their portion of the 2K Sports Classic with three games in three days in Detroit.
“It will be a whole new war for this team,” Pikiell said. “We have to see what we can do now on the road.”
First they play the Hoosiers who escaped LIU Brooklyn by a 73-72 margin at home on Tuesday. Sophomore Jameel Warney said that he saw that the Hoosiers slipped past the Blackbirds on ESPN.
“I’m a big ESPN fan so I was looking at the score,” Warney said. “That gave us some confidence to go out there and if we play very tough, like we played today, giving them a run for their money.”
Stony Brook is no stranger to playing games against high-major teams. Last season they lost three games to then-Big East teams Seton Hall and UConn as well as Maryland out of the ACC, before defeating UMass in the NIT and falling to Iowa in the second round.
“Just to go out there and play the way we know how to play,” said senior Anthony Jackson about the Indiana game. “We’re not playing the names on the jerseys, we’re just playing guys that do the same thing as we do.”
As the Seawolves embark on their first road trip of the season Pikiell said he will be interested to see how his team handles the experience.
“I don’t know really a lot about Indiana right now,” Pikiell said. “One of the toughest places to play in the country. It’s going to be very challenging. Six guys have never been on the road so it will be a very challenging game. I’m sure they’re going to be ready to play after the last game against LIU Brooklyn.”
Indiana is 2-0 after victories over LIU-Brookyln and Chicago State. The Hoosiers play Samford out of the Southern Conference Friday before playing the Seawolves.
Ryan Restivo covers the America East for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.