Posts Tagged ‘Dave Coley’

Stony Brook Seniors Hope Their Third Time’s a Charm

Friday, March 14th, 2014
As a fifth-year senior, Stony Brook's Eric McAlister is the Seawolves' elder statesman and hopes to finally make it to The Big Dance. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

As a fifth-year senior, Stony Brook’s Eric McAlister is the Seawolves’ elder statesman and hopes to finally make it to The Big Dance. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

When Stony Brook played in the America East Championship game for the first time in 2011, Anthony Jackson, Dave Coley and Eric McAlister were freshman. They lost that game on a couple last-second free throws, but were able to return to the title game the following season as sophomores. They came up short in that one, too. Now seniors, the trio is back in the championship game and hoping to end their careers on a high note when the second-seeded Seawolves face No. 4 Albany at home on Saturday.

Those two letdowns, bottled together with last year’s heartbreaking semifinal loss to the Great Danes, have driven the seniors throughout the year and now they have perhaps their best chance to attain the NCAA tournament bid that has proved so elusive over the course of their careers.

“When you’re a senior, everything means that much more,” McAlister said. “We’ve been here twice before, so we know what that feeling of not reaching our goal is like and we’re trying to avoid that.”

“I don’t think ‘hungry’ is the word for it,” Jackson said. “We’ve experienced the ups and downs of the program so I think going into this game we know what we gotta do, we know how we have to play, we know the energy we have to bring, we know how physical it’s gonna be. As a unit, we’re just determined.”

Stony Brook’s first appearance in the conference championship game came off an improbable run as the fifth seed in the conference tournament that included an upset over top-seeded Vermont. But the Seawolves’ Cinderella story ended when player of the year John Holland scored 23 of his 27 points in the second half, including the game-winning free throws with 2.4 seconds left, to lift Boston University to victory.

The loss was understandable considering they were facing the best player in the conference. But this time, it’s the Seawolves who have the America East player of the year on their roster in the 6-foot-8 260-pound beast that is sophomore Jameel Warney.

In 2012, Stony Brook had the luxury of hosting the championship game as the top seed in the tournament. But the game was played on a temporary court in Stony Brook Arena, basically making it a neutral-site contest, and Vermont won a defensive struggle. This year’s game will be played in Pritchard Gymnasium, where the Seawolves are 23-1 in conference games over the past three seasons.

“The arena was still our gym, we’re not gonna try to use it as an excuse,” McAlister said. “Vermont executed better that day. But for Pritchard, there’s definitely a sense of familiarity. We workout there every day, we practice there, all summer long we play there. So it’s definitely gonna be more familiar to us than the arena was.” (more…)

OBW Post Season Awards: America East All-Conference Third Team

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

OBW America East Third Team All-Conference

Albany forward Sam Rowley. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

Albany forward Sam Rowley. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

Antonio Bivins, Sr., F, UMass Lowell
Had Bivins played the entire year and continued to put up the numbers and percentages he did in half a season – and coming off an Achilles tendon tear in August, no less – he’d be a strong candidate for First Team honors and perhaps in the discussion for Player of the Year. As is, his season was wonderful as is. The super-athletic 6’5” scored from everywhere on the floor – from in-your-face posterizations all the way out to a beautiful mid-range game – while impacting the game on the glass, on defense and in the locker room. Bivins ranked sixth in the league in scoring in conference games (14 ppg) while his offensive rating ranked 11th among all players and his usage rate ranked 10th.

Dave Coley, Sr., G, Stony Brook
Coley had a very pedestrian year offensively, igniting for short stretches but then going cold for prolonged ones. Still, he ranked 14th in scoring in conference games (11.6 ppg), and 12th in overall rebounding. Coley made a far larger impact on the defensive end, where he drew the nightly task of defending the opponents best back court scorer and on most nights shut them down.

Gary Johnson, Sr., F, Albany
Johnson quietly had a very surprising and outright stellar senior year, going from a defensive specialist a season ago to a legitimate scorer. A very long, lanky and athletic 6’6”, last year Johnson used his length to blanket defenders, but was all but helpless on offense. This year, he has made a massive leap, ranking 14th in the league among all players in offensive rating. Johnson’s shooting percentage has taken a massive jump from the low 34.6 percent as a first year JUCO transfer last season to 52.8 percent as a senior, while nearly quadrupling his scoring from 3.3 ppg to 11.1.

Rodney Elliott, Fr., G, UMBC
Elliott hasn’t simply been one of the best freshmen in the league, he has been one of the best players and top point guards, keeping the throttle down and pushing the pace while playing at 110-percent effort at all times. Elliot ranked fourth overall in the conference in scoring and assists (14.9 points and 3.5 assists per game) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio, while shooting at a very high percentage for a point guard (45.3 percent from the floor).

Sam Rowley, Jr., F, Albany
Halfway through the year, Rowley looked like a contender for Player of the Year honors and a lock for the first team – scoring at will while shooting at an insane percentage from the floor. A bad wrist injury hindered him for much of the conference slate and, even after returning to health, he simply hasn’t been the same. Still, he is a legit low-post scorer, a big time rebounder and continues to demand double-teams on the blocks. Rowley ranked 13th overall in scoring (11.3 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (6.8 rpg).

If you enjoy One-Bid Wonders’ continued coverage of the America East, Patriot League, Ivy League and commitment to telling the stories of players who toil in the empty-gym obscurity of mid-major hoops, please consider making a donation. OBW is a not for profit website and every dollar raised goes directly back into the website. No donation is too small and every cent goes a tremendously long way towards helping us cover fantastic young men playing for love of the game.

OBW Post Season Awards: OBW America East All-Defensive Team

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

OBW America East All-Defensive Team
Gary Johnson and Josh Elbaum were incredibly tough omits from this list.

Dave Coley has been blanketing scorers for four years. OBW File Photo / Sam Perkins

Dave Coley has been blanketing scorers for four years. OBW File Photo / Sam Perkins

Jordan Bronner, Sr., G, New Hampshire
UNH head coach Bill Herrion called Bronner one of the best back court defenders he has seen in his career – strong praise considering the coach’s career. Generously listed at 6-feet, Bronner has been relentless, almost single-handedly turning the clock back on to the program’s glory years on the defensive end.

Dave Coley, Sr., G, Stony Brook
Since day one four years ago, the 6’2” bundle of energy has been a lock-down, game-changing perimeter defender, blanketing the opponent’s best back-court scorer.

Brian Voelkel, Sr., F, Vermont
What can you say about Voelkel? He might not be able to outrun a broken down city bus or jump over a park bench, but he is relentless and has a Good Will Hunting-esque Basketball IQ and unparallel understanding of angles, numbers and defensive positioning. He’s also as strong as an ox and un-matched when it comes to bodying up, beating down, and scaring the bejesus out of opponents.

Kerry Weldon, Sr., F, UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell was a shockingly solid defensive team this season – downright outstanding defending against the three – and Weldon was the team’s best defender. The 6’5” senior blocked shots, ripped down defensive boards and clogged up the paint, but also did a terrific job at both the top and bottom of the 1-3-1 zone.

Corban Wroe, Jr., G, Hartford
If you took Brian Voelkel, shrunk him down about four inches, gave him some hops and an Australian accent, you’d have someone similar to Wroe on the defensive end. The junior guard from the land down under is a relentless on-ball defender who gets under opponents’ skin while blanketing them on D.

If you enjoy One-Bid Wonders’ continued coverage of the America East, Patriot League, Ivy League and commitment to telling the stories of players who toil in the empty-gym obscurity of mid-major hoops, please consider making a donation. OBW is a not for profit website and every dollar raised goes directly back into the website. No donation is too small and every cent goes a tremendously long way towards helping us cover fantastic young men playing for love of the game.

Stony Brook closes Pritchard in style, beats Albany 73-68

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

There was a point during Sunday’s game between Stony Brook and Albany that I tweeted, “Honestly, Pritchard Gym isn’t what I remember it to be. When I was here in 2011, it was deafening and standing-room only for every home game.” The Seawolves trailed the Great Danes for most of the game and the sellout crowd of 1,630 was completely out of the game, groaning and sighing after every missed shot.

In a gym that pits fans right on top of the players in a truly claustrophobic fashion, it was so quiet that I could explicitly hear Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell and Albany coach Will Brown calling out plays and arguing with the referees. Most of the student section was sitting down and would only stand up when the cameraman for ESPN3 gave them some airtime, a far cry from the sea of red that used to bounce up and down for every home game.

Guess they were waiting for the show to start.

The Seawolves trailed by 10 with eight minutes to go and then went on a 21-2 run, sending their fans into a rambunctious frenzy and leading a 73-68 comeback win over the Great Danes on senior day in the final regular-season game at Pritchard. Stony Brook will move into the newly-renovated 4,008-seat Stony Brook Arena next year.

“Our fans are fantastic with the energy they bring,” senior forward Eric McAlister said. “They really helped us when we got on that run today.”

“We opened Pritchard with a win, and this was a great game to close it,” Pikiell said. Stony Brook has gone 61-18 at Pritchard since moving back into the gym in November 2008.

Albany led 55-45 with 8:09 left, but redshirt freshman Ahmad Walker sparked the run for Stony Brook with a three-point play followed by another layup. That’s when the seniors took over, as senior guard Dave Coley hit a three-pointer and McAlister followed with a layup to tie it at 55. Coley then drilled back-to-back threes, the second of which came on a catch-and-shoot from about 24 feet out.

“Once you hit one and then you hit two, then the basket looks like an ocean now,” Coley said. “My teammates were able to find me, keep me going with the hot hand and I was fortunate to knock some down. The energy was great, the crowd had a lot to do with that.”

Senior guard Anthony Jackson, who eclipsed to 1,000-point mark, capped the run with a three-pointer to make it 66-57 with 1:32 left. The Great Danes didn’t give up, scoring 11 points on their next four possessions to make it 71-68 with 13 seconds left, but Jackson iced the game with two free throws with eight seconds to go. (more…)

Milestone moment: UMass Lowell’s Akeem Williams scores 2,000th point – a mark made even more meaningful because it came at Division I level against Stony Brook

Monday, February 17th, 2014
UMass Lowell senior Akeem Williams became just the fifth player in school history to reach 2,000 points in his career, reaching the mark on Saturday against Stony Brook. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

UMass Lowell senior Akeem Williams became just the fifth player in school history to reach 2,000 points in his career, reaching the mark on Saturday against Stony Brook. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

With 1:40 left in regulation, UMass Lowell senior Akeem Williams stood at the top of the key, yoking the ball back and fourth, one point way from the 2,000 point plateau for his career.

Standing across from him, Stony Brook senior Dave Coley stepped into a defensive crouch, straddling the 3-point line. The America East’s leading scorer and arguably the league’s best on-ball backcourt defender faced off, mano y mano under the jumbotron of the state of the art Tsongas Arena, like two ancient gladiators in a Roman Coliseum.

Five years ago, they were supposed to be teammates. A year ago, conventional wisdom was that Williams didn’t “belong” on the same court as Coley. And now, here they stood, staring each other down.

Neither blinked.

Williams jab-stepped right; Coley was right there with him. Williams crossed over and cut back left; Coley stuck to him like glue. Williams up-faked; Coley didn’t bite and closed out with a hand in Williams’ face.

Williams, who at somewhere in the neighborhood of five-feet-nine inches and 215 pounds of muscle on top of muscle is the personification of a bowling ball, had fought for every single inch of hardwood and every second of playing time of his career. And he was not going to be denied in his moment.

With Coley’s hand in his face, Williams let fly, and his shot found the bottom of the net. Coley’s shoulders slumped for an instant, before he snapped back to attention, slapping his right thigh in frustration and sprinting back down the court.

Sitting halfway up the stadium seats in section 117, Williams parents, Shirly and Orson, along with his sister – all three mainstays in the stands of Costello Gymnasium and the Tsongas Arena throughout Williams’ career – lept to their feet in applause. Williams raised his right hand to his brow, shooting a salute to the crowd, before breaking in to a shy – almost sheepish – grin and retreating back down the court.

2,000 points – 2,002 to be exact — is a remarkable accomplishment at any level. That Williams, who became just the fifth player in school history to accomplish the feat, broke the 2k barrier as a Division I athlete made it all the more amazing.

“It feels really good – it feels amazing. I’ve been here for a while, all I can really do is thank god. All the hard work I’ve put in I think is kind of paying off for me,” said Williams after the game.

Achieving the milestone against Stony Brook made it that much sweeter.

“Added meaning – a little bit,” conceded Williams of reaching the mark against the team that had first recruit and then discarded him, adding “It feels good,” with a smile. (more…)

UNH slays the giant, beats Stony Brook 73-69

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

(Stony Brook, N.Y.) — It was the classic David vs. Goliath story when New Hampshire took the floor against Stony Brook on Saturday. In walked the Wildcats, the team nowhere near the top of the America East that has suffered double-digit losses to the likes of UMBC and Binghamton. Across the court was the Seawolves, the team tied for first in the conference that has looked like a giant when it plays at Pritchard Gymnasium; they entered the game riding a 23-game home winning streak in America East play.

And in true giant-slaying fashion, it was New Hampshire (6-17, 4-6) that pulled off the upset and emerged from the slugfest with a 73-69 win. The Wildcats made 14 three-pointers, each of which felt like a stone launched from a slingshot connecting across Stony Brook’s jaw.

“You’re talking about a team that has been one of the dominant teams in this conference for the last three or four years, not many people, especially in our league, have come into this gym and won,” New Hampshire coach Bill Herrion said. “What I’m really proud of is we made plays down the stretch. I think to beat a team, the caliber of these guys, you have to make plays and you have to make shots.”

The last five minutes of the game saw the teams trading blows like a boxing fight, both of them throwing haymaker punches and refusing to go down. There were seven lead changes in the closing minutes.

Daniel Dion gave New Hampshire a 63-62 lead on a three-pointer. Carson Puriefoy knocked down two free throws for Stony Brook, but Jaleen Smith hit a triple to give the Wildcats a one-point advantage. Out of a timeout, Dave Coley drained a wide open three-pointer to put the Seawolves in front, but Chris Pelcher put answered with a jump-hook in the paint with 41 seconds left. Puriefoy then drove the ball hard to the rim for a layup to give Stony Brook a 69-68 lead.

New Hampshire called timeout to draw up a play, and Dion’s number was dialed. The freshman buried a deep three-pointer from the left wing to give UNH the lead for good at 71-69 with 15 seconds left. The Seawolves called a play for Puriefoy to drive to the rim and either tie the game or draw a foul, but Smith and Pelcher met him at the rim and tied up the ball to force a turnover. Jordon Bronner then made two free throws to ice the game.

“I was struggling shooting from the floor in the beginning of the game and the coaching staff really helped me out just telling me to keep shooting,” Dion said. “The teammates were always behind my back, Chris set a great screen off a flare. I just shot it and it went in.”

For Stony Brook (17-8, 9-2), Puriefoy had a game-high 18 points in his return after missing the previous three games with a groin injury. Jackson added 12 points and Warney had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Seawolves left points on the floor, shooting 11-for-20 from the foul line. (more…)

Hartford battles hard but falls to Stony Brook, 56-52

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Hartford entered Pritchard Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon with revenge on its mind. After suffering a 20-point loss to Stony Brook on their home floor, the Hawks looked to take advantage of a shorthanded Seawolves squad and upset the top team in the America East.

But Stony Brook proved just why it sits atop the conference with some veteran plays in the final minutes to earn a hard-fought 56-52 win and improve to 16-7 overall and 8-1 in the America East. Hartford fell to 11-14 and 4-5.

For most of the game the Seawolves, playing without their third-leading scorer and conference sixth man of the year candidate Carson Puriefoy, struggled to score on Hartford’s matchup zone. The Hawks clogged to passing lanes and did not allow Stony Brook big man Jameel Warney to get good position in the low-post.

Playing without leading-scorer Mark Nwakamma, who missed his second straight game with a knee injury, Hartford shot the lights out from three-point land in the second half. Stony Brook opened with a 7-0 run to take a 32-24 lead, but the Hawks went on a 14-0 run of its own that included four triples. A three-pointer from Taylor Dyson gave the Hawks their biggest lead at 41-34 with 10:36 remaining.

After Anthony Jackson hit a jumper to cut the lead to five, Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell did something he probably never did before. The Seawolves usually like to pound the ball inside with Warney and Eric McAlister, but Hartford’s zone did a great job denying the ball from reaching the post. So Pikiell put four guards on the floor and played a small lineup with either Warney or McAlister in the middle.

The small-ball group did a good job penetrating the zone and that led to a 9-0 run capped by a left-handed layup to give the Seawolves a 43-41 lead.

But the Hawks wouldn’t go down easily as Corban Wroe knocked down his third three-pointer of the day to give them a 49-48 lead with 3:05 left. That’s when Stony Brook started making the types of plays needed to win this slugfest of a game. (more…)

Defense, rebounding lead Stony Brook to 67-47 win over Binghamton

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

(Stony Brook, N.Y.) – After going 1-2 on its most recent road trip, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team was eager for some home cooking. Playing in Pritchard Gymnasium for the first time in over three weeks, the Seawolves put on a dominant performance for their home crowd on their way to a 67-37 victory over Binghamton.

Stony Brook (11-6, 3-0) outmuscled the young Binghamton team on the defensive end and on the glass, holding the Bearcats to 31.8% percent from the field on 14-for-44 shooting and outrebounding them 38-20.

Senior Dave Coley scored 20 points for the second straight game and had another great all-around performance with six rebounds and four assists. Playing without his backcourt partner Anthony Jackson, who is serving a three-game suspension for a “violation of team rules,” Coley has stepped up as Stony Brook’s top player over the last two games.

“He’s doing a little bit of everything for us,” Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said. “He’s poised, he’s a leader, he’s more vocal, and he guards the best player on the other team. I like the groove he has right now. He’s playing like a senior on a mission.”

Senior Eric McAlister added 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks and sophomore Jameel Warney had 13 points and nine rebounds.

For Binghamton (4-14, 1-3), Yosef Yacob was the only player in double figures with 14 points. Sophomore Jordan Reed, who came into the game as the third-leading scorer in the America East, was held scoreless and did not play in the second half.

“He just didn’t get off to a good start,” Binghamton coach Tommy Dempsey said. “I made a decision to play the guys I felt were playing with the best energy. I thought we played very well for stretches in the first half without him and I just tried to play the guys I thought were playing hard.” (more…)

Weathering the storm: Stony Brook survives opening onslaught, trounces Hartford 73-50

Monday, January 13th, 2014
Stony Brook center Jameel Warney goes to work on Hartford power forward Mark Nwakamma in the first half of the Seawolves' 73-50 win over the host Hawks. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

Stony Brook center Jameel Warney goes to work on Hartford power forward Mark Nwakamma in the first half of the Seawolves’ 73-50 win over the host Hawks. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

(West Hartford, Conn) — The last time the Stony Brook Seawolves traveled to West Hartford, it turned into a polar trek through a blinding blizzard worthy of the likes of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

By the time the weather-worn and road weary Seawolves arrived in Chase Family Arena last Feb. after being stranded along a back road thanks to a broken down bus in the middle of whiteout conditions, they barely had the legs to stand for 40 minutes, let alone play a basketball game, and fell 60-55 to the host Hawks.

On their return to Chase on Sunday, the Seawolves had to survive a storm of a different kind: the swirling defense and opening avalanche of shots that Harford nearly buried them with out of the opening tip. Stony Brook fell behind 7-0 to start the game, 12-3 with 13:19 left in the first half and 20-10 with just over eight-minutes remaining in the opening period.

But the Seawolves weathered the storm and outscored Hartford 63-30 the rest of the way en route to a 73-50 romp to move to 2-0 in conference play.

“I thought we played well tonight – great energy,” said Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell.

“For this game, in general, you just gotta’ tip your hat to Stony Brook in the second half,” said Hartford head coach John Gallgher. “That was as good a second half as I’ve seen them play, so you just have to tip your hat to them.”

After a sluggish start, Stony Brook shot 69.2 percent in the second half (18-of-26) to finish at 57.1 percent on the night (28-of-49) and 41.7 percent from behind the arc (5-of-12). The Seawolves dominated the post, out-rebounding Hartford 33-18 and outscoring the Hawks 40-16 in the paint.

“I was us, really. Once we settled down and got a shot up we were fine,” said Pikiell. “I liked our energy, I liked our depth, we got the ball inside to Jameel when we wanted to, Dave [Coley] was great on both ends of the floor.”

The Seawolves seemingly accomplished the impossible, doubling Hartford power forward and leading scorer Mark Nwakamma on every touch, while also contesting virtually every Hawks’ perimeter shot. Nwakamma, who entered the averaging nearly 17 points per contest and shooting 54 percent from the floor, was held to just 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting and the Hawks shot just 29.6 percent from behind the arc (8-of-27).

Senior guard Dave Coley led the way for Stony Brook, scoring 15 of his game-high 20 points in the second half en route to an 8-of-13 night from the floor. With starting point guard Anthony Jackson suspended for the game for what was deemed a “violation of team rules,” Coley picked up the slack running the offense, dishing out a career-high seven assists, while also pulling down six rebounds and swiping two steals. (more…)

Challenge accepted: Dave Coley has reinvented himself at Stony Brook

Monday, January 13th, 2014

 

Stony Brook senior Dave Coley scored 20 points, dished out seven assists and ripped down six rebounds in the Seawolves' 73-50 win over Hartford. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

Stony Brook senior Dave Coley scored 20 points, dished out seven assists and ripped down six rebounds in the Seawolves’ 73-50 win over Hartford. OBW Photo / Sam Perkins

(West Hartford, Conn.) — Dave Coley only moved an hour away to attend college at Stony Brook, but Brooklyn native has traveled a enough to last a lifetime since setting foot on campus four years ago.

“I’ve come a really long way,” Said Coley with a smile following the Seawolves’ 73-50 road win at Hartford.

At some point during the final stretch of their last season of college ball, seniors who truly “get it,” take stock in their careers, looking back at the highs, lows and everyday in-betweens of four years of blood sweat and tears, over in an eye-blink.

Following a devastatingly dominant 20 point, seven assist, six rebound and two steal performance that served as the catalyst for Stony Brook’s win, Coley was introspective in talking about his personal journey, both on and off the court.

To say Coley was raw when he arrived at Stony Brook is a massive understatement. A four-year starter at Thomas Jefferson High, the 6’2” 190 pound guard was as quintessentially “New York street ball,” as it got – right down to the flashy crossover dribble. Coley was Incredibly talented, ultra-competitive, and capable of yo-yoing the ball in traffic with a flashy crossover and deft step-back jumper. He was also absolutely out of control with the ball in his hands and the words “defense,” “spacing,” and “selfless” did not exist in his hoops vernacular.

“Coming in as a freshman I had no idea how to play,” he said. “I came from a system where it was just up and down, run around, there were no timeouts or nothing,” he laughed.

Four years and an odyssey later and he’s completely reinvented himself on and off the court as perhaps the best backcourt defender in the league, a selfless distributor on offense and the true definition of a student-athlete.

“[He’s grown] As an academic student, as a basketball player, just his maturity – he’s a team guy – he just does a little bit of everything for us,” said Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell.

Coley’s first two years on Long Island were pockmarked by peaks and valleys as he adjusted to Division I college ball.

As a freshman, Coley buried the game-winning shot on a breathtaking drive with 1.2 seconds left at Holy Cross, scored a career-high 13 points at Boston University, and ignited the Seawolves with instant offense off the bench in the America East Championship Game at BU, propelling Stony Brook to the brink of the NCAA tournament, only to be lit up by John Holland in the game’s final 10 minutes of action as the Terriers went dancing. (more…)