From left, Stony Brook basketball player Dave Coley, track alum...

From left, Stony Brook basketball player Dave Coley, track alum Daire Birmingham, and basketball player Tommy Brenton after the Seawolves' game against Killester in Dublin, Ireland. (Aug. 13, 2011) Credit: Stony Brook

If there were ever a time to utter the overused cliché “the pressure is on”, it’s right now for Stony Brook.

The Sporting News, Lindy’s and all named Stony Brook as their preseason favorite to win the America East regular season title.

It’s not a stretch to think Stony Brook can and maybe should be the top dog in the America East. With all but one of its players back from last season and highly touted junior college transfer Ron Bracey in the fold, the Seawolves will be in position to make some serious waves thIS season.

Stony Brook has finished .500 or better in conference play the last three seasons. The Seawolves (15-17) fell just short of finishing .500 or better overall last year, after finishing with a winning record in 2008-‘09 and 09-’10.

Lindy’s named senior guard Bryan Dougher to its preseason All-Conference team, while it picked Tommy Brenton as the league’s top rebounder. The Sporting News also named Dougher to its preseason All-America East team and junior college transfer Ron Bracey as the conference’s top newcomer. named Dougher to its preseason All-Conference squad and picked the Seawolves as its top team.

The pressure is certainly going to be on the Seawolves, but not just to have a successful enough season to make an NCAA Tournament appearance for the first time in school history. Stony Brook could very well be showcasing itself for another conference.

We may be beating a dead horse with this, but the conference realignment issue is far from a done deal, with just about all of the BCS conferences admitting they are finished expanding. A few –PAC-12, ACC– may have cooled their jets for a minute, but rest assured they will be looking to pluck worthy teams from another conference within the next year.

There’s been nothing reported to suggest that the Big South or the America East is in any trouble, but that could change in an instant. The Big East went from a position of strength –see the addition of TCU– to a position of instability almost overnight.

Again, this is not to suggest that Stony Brook or any other team should make a premature move, but clearly times are changing on the college atheltics landscape and no one wants to be caught without a seat and a partner when the music stops.


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