The 2014-2015 Stony Brook men’s basketball season ended in heartbreak just moments before the Seawolves could make school history in the America East Tournament.

Before Albany’s then-junior Peter Hooley threw up and sank a three-point shot to put the Great Danes ahead in last season’s America East Championship game, it looked like the Seawolves would win the tournament and the accompanying NCAA Tournament berth for the first time. That day, it was not to be.

For the second year in a row, the head coaches of America East teams voted to proclaim Stony Brook the favorites, with seven of the nine naming the Seawolves at the top of the 2015-2016 men’s basketball Preseason Poll, the conference announced on Thursday.

Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll, and the only other team to garner votes for the top spot was Albany, with two.

The Seawolves, under head coach Steve Pikiell, will be looking to win 20 games for the sixth time in seven seasons.  All five starters from last year’s squad will be returning.

The team will be lead by two-time defending America East Player of the Year, senior Jameel Warney, who represents the Seawolves on the Preseason All-Conference team. Warney will look to become only the third player in conference history to win the player of the year award three times. He also will attempt to win the title of Defensive Player of the Year in the conference for the second year in a row.

Last season, he lead the league in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. Warney averaged 16.4 points per game, 11.7 boards per contest and 2.5 rejected shots a game.

Warney and fellow senior Carson Puriefoy landed on the 2014-2015 First-Team All-Conference, while senior Rayshaun McGrew earned a spot on the Third-Team All-Conference.  

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Stony Brook’s home opener is Nov. 14 against Division III’s U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Island Federal Credit Union Arena at 7 p.m.

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