Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell directs his players against...

Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell directs his players against Maine during the first half of the America East Tournament quarterfinal game in Albany, N.Y., on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Credit: Hans Pennink

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).


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