If coach Steve Pikiell’s Stony Brook men's basketball team wins 20 games in 2014-15 for the fifth time in six seasons, the Seawolves are assured of having a strong RPI ranking. The schedule they announced on Friday figures to be the toughest they’ve ever faced in their Division I history, and it coincides with the opening of 4,000-seat Stony Brook Arena.
The season-opening game in the new facility is Nov. 14 against Columbia, a much-improved Ivy League team that went 21-13 last season. That is followed by road trips to Georgia of the SEC and to cross-Island rival Hofstra, where coach Joe Mihalich welcomes several top-caliber transfers who should transform the Pride.
Thanks to their participation in the Preseason NIT, the Seawolves get a home game against Western Kentucky, which was 20-12 last season, and they face LIU-Brooklyn in a Madison Square Garden doubleheader on Thanksgiving.
The December schedule is brutal, including road games at Cincinnati, Princeton, Providence and Canisius, all 20-win teams last season, and a long trip to Washington of the Pac-12. The only two home games are against Loyola-Maryland and American, another 20-win team from the Patriot League.
The America East season opener comes at home against New Hampshire on Jan. 3. The Seawolves then visit Columbia for their final non-conference game before resuming America East play. The league schedule is highlighted by visits from rivals Albany (Jan. 19) and Vermont (Feb. 7).