Two seasons ago, Stony Brook graduate guard Elijah Olaniyi came into his own, solidifying himself as a star as a junior by putting up averages of 18.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The Seawolves finished 20-13 and in second place in the America East, but were bounced by Hartford in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Upon the resumption of play on Jan. 16 and 17, the Stony Brook men’s basketball team found its pre-stoppage momentum suddenly upended after getting swept at home by the New Hampshire Wildcats, falling to 6-6 (4-2 AE).
If last season was a transition year for head coach Geno Ford, this season looks to be a complete re-tooling. Stony Brook not only saw Olaniyi transfer out, but three other starters walked out alongside him — as well as some key bench players.
The plan was to ride a roster full of seniors to glory in what would have been the Stony Brook men’s basketball team’s best chance at reaching the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament since 2016.
Later on April 2, Mount St. Mary’s junior forward Omar Habwe also announced that he had committed to Stony Brook. Habwe had revealed on March 30 that he was planning to graduate transfer and play out his final season of eligibility with a new program.
The Stony Brook men’s basketball team had a quick turnaround after suffering a nationally-televised loss against Vermont on Thursday. Heading into the final games of the regular season, a win over one of the bottom teams in Division I was crucial to securing a top-2 seed and multiple home games in the conference playoffs.