What seemed like an aberration a few years ago has now become a trend.
Stony Brook was picked to finish second in the America East preseason coaches’ poll for the fourth consecutive year, the league announced Wednesday.
Being picked second has led to good fortune for the Seawolves, who have won three of the last four America East regular season titles.
Stony Brook received three out of a possible eight first-place votes. Vemont was picked to finish first. Albany, Hartford, New Hampshire, UMBC, Binghamton, Maine and newest conference member, UMASS-Lowell, round out the remaining seven schools.
Stony Brook, fresh off a record 25-win season, returns four starters, including preseason All-Conference selections Dave Coley and Jameel Warney. Anthony Jackson and Eric McAlister also return for ninth-year coach Steve Pikiell.
Being No. 1 isn’t necessary the best thing. The last program picked first in the preseason poll to win the America East title was Albany in 2006. The last preseason favorite to take the tournament title was Boston University in 2011.
Stony Brook open at home against Marist on Friday, Nov. 8 at Pritchard Gymnasium.
WOMEN PICKED THIRD
The Stony Brook women's team was picked to finish third in the America East coaches' poll, the second highest in program history. The Seawolves were last picked to finish second in 2006-2007.
The Seawolves, who enjoyed a 10-win improvement last season, return two starters (eight players overall) from last year's team, including the league's returning leading scorer in Sabre Proctor. Proctor averaged 10.9 points per game and finished third in free throw percentage (78.4 percent).
Stony Brook also returns All-Rookie team selection Brittany Snow (7 ppg, 4 reb).
The Seawolves host NJIT in its season opener on Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.
Albany and Hartford were picked first and second, respectively. New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, UMBC, Binghamton and UMASS-Lowell were selected fourth through ninth.