Freshman guard Miles Latimer goes around a guard in a game against Molloy College on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Latimer is currently the third-leading scorer on the team. PHOTO COURTESY OF JIM HARRISON/STONY BROOK ATHLETICS

Since the first time he stepped on the floor as a member of Stony Brook Men’s Basketball, freshman guard Miles Latimer’s presence has been felt.

The freshman is currently the fourth-leading scorer on the team with 56 points through his first five games as a Seawolf, including playing against power conference teams in George Washington and South Carolina. Latimer scored 15 points against George Washington in his debut. The team headed into the locker room at halftime down 34-24. Latimer proceeded to score 10 of the team’s 39 points in the second half, including four points in 30 seconds to close the George Washington lead to 8.

“It means a lot to finally been here,” Latimer said. “[Stony Brook] has recruited me hard since the summer going into junior year. They didn’t sugarcoat anything, they told me what it’s going to be like going in and what I’m expected to do. Now to finally be here, I feel like I can build up from where I was.”

Head coach Jeff Boals believes this newcomer has the potential to bring something very special to Stony Brook.

“I think Miles [Latimer] is scratching the surface,” Boals said. “He is going to have a phenomenal career here at Stony Brook. For him to come in from day one and do what he has done is very impressive.”

Latimer comes from Paul VI, a high school in Fairfax, Virginia. He was coached by Glenn Farello, who is currently in his 12th season as head coach of the Paul VI varsity basketball team. Latimer was surrounded by an abundance of talent throughout his basketball career. Brandon Slater, who is in the same class as Latimer, was ranked the third-best high school player in the state of Virginia, according to ESPN 100. The 6-foot-5-inch small forward committed to Villanova after receiving offers from the University of Miami, University of South Carolina, Louisville, Maryland, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.

Latimer was apart of the Paul VI squad that ranked second in the state of Virginia. The team finished the season off with a 33-4 overall record as well as a perfect 18-0 record in regional play.

“He is a great teammate,” Farello said. “He knows he is apart of something bigger than himself and he just wants to contribute. He is a hardworking, coachable player.”

The experience of playing around high-level competition helped shape Latimer into the player he is. Boals believes the level of competition the freshman faced in his high school career gave him a head start at the Division I level.

“I told him after our first practice he should call his high school coach and thank him,” Boals said. “[Miles] comes from a phenomenal high school down in Fairfax, Paul VI, had a great coach in Glenn Farello who taught him great defensive principles. He was way ahead of the curve as soon as he got here.”

Farello sees Latimer as someone who never folded under pressure while coaching him at Paul VI.

“On the court he plays with a fast motor,” Farello said. “He was always a great shooter for us and made plays. [Miles] is a winner and played with and against a lot of high level players. He never shied away from the big moments. Those things he did against G.W. and South Carolina he has done that for us plenty of times.”

Since joining the Seawolves, Latimer has progressed from his position as a role player and grown as an attacker thanks to his coaches.

“Miles has always been sort of a role player in high school,” Boals said. “He played with high level players in high school and on AAU. When he came here we told him ‘Hey, you have to change your mentality. We need you to go out there and score and be aggressive.’ It’s not always easy to do, but for a freshman he’s been impressive so far.”

Latimer credits the veteran players of the team for making him, as well as the other freshmen, feel welcomed.

“I feel like the older guys on this team look at the freshmen as people that can help, and not just any other freshmen,” Latimer said. “They try their best to make every newcomer better. Everyone has an input.”

Latimer’s next trip to his home state will take place in less than two weeks as the Seawolves take on Norfolk State at Norfolk, Virginia on Tuesday, Nov. 27.