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Stony Brook picked to win America East men's hoops

Stony Brook's Jameel Warney prepares to shoot a

Stony Brook's Jameel Warney prepares to shoot a foul shot in a game against UMBC on Wednesday Feb. 19, 2014. Photo Credit: George A. Faella

Despite losing three starters, Stony Brook sits atop the America East preseason men's basketball poll for the first time in school history.

Returning Seawolves starters Jameel Warney, who was conference player of the year as a sophomore last season, and Carson Puriefoy III were selected to the preseason all-conference team announced Thursday.

Coach Steve Pikiell's team received six of the eight possible first-place votes and totaled 60 points to finish ahead of Hartford (55 points, 2 first-place votes). Coaches cannot vote for their own teams.

Warner and Puriefoy were joined on the all-conference team by Hartford's Mark Nwakamma, Albany's Peter Hooley and Binghamton's Jordan Reed. Warney, a 6-8 forward, led Stony Brook in scoring (14.5) and rebounding (8.0) last season and ranked fifth nationally in field-goal percentage (.616). Speedy point guard Puriefoy averaged 12.9 points and led the Seawolves in assists (86), steals (46) and three-point percentage (.433).

SBU finished second in the preseason poll each of the past four seasons. Last season, Stony Brook won its third regular-season title in five years but lost in the America East tournament title game for the third time in that span and still is seeking the school's first NCAA Tournament bid.

America East preseason ranking

1. Stony Brook, 60 points (6 first-place votes)

2. Hartford, 55 points (2)

3. Albany, 51 points (1)

4. Vermont, 48 points

5. Binghamton, 34 points

6. New Hampshire, 26 points

7. UMBC, 23 points

8. Maine, 17 points

9. UMass-Lowell, 10 points

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