ALBANY, N.Y. -- For the first time in America East Conference history, a school has swept the conference’s major awards as Stony Brook took home all four 2013 honors Friday, highlighted by Tommy Brenton being named the Kevin Roberson Player of the Year. Brenton, also the Defensive Player of the Year, headlined the annual award winners, which were announced along with the all-conference teams, at the league’s annual awards reception at the University at Albany, which is hosting the America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship presented by SEFCU this weekend.
Brenton, just the second player to earn Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season, was joined as a major award winner by teammate Jameel Warney, who became the first Stony Brook player to ever be named Rookie of the Year. Their head coach, Steve Pikiell was named Coach of the Year after leading the Seawolves to a Division I-program record 23 wins and their third America East regular-season title in the last four years. The winners were all chosen in a vote by the league’s head coaches.
One of the most unique and versatile players in all of college basketball, Brenton is the second Seawolf in the last four years (Muhammad El-Amin) to earn Player of the Year honors. The senior forward from Columbia, Md. ranks third among America East leaders in rebounding (8.7 rpg), second in assists (4.9 apg), fourth in steals (1.6 spg) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3-to-1), while averaging a career-high 8.9 points per game. Just the second repeat Defensive Player of the Year, Brenton has been the catalyst for a defense that ranks 14th nationally in scoring defense and fifth in field goal percentage defense. Brenton, also a first-team all-conference selection for the second-straight year, is up to fourth on the league’s all-time rebound list with 1,089 and also has over 950 points, nearly 400 assists and over 200 steals. He was twice named America East Player of the Week this season.
Warney, a freshman big man, had a major impact on Stony Brook’s success during the regular season en route to earning Rookie of the Year accolades. The 6-foot-8 forward is one of just four America East players to rank in the league’s top 10 in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.2 points per game (10th) and 7.3 rebounds per game (6th). Warney, whose eight Rookie of the Week honors are the second-most in league history, also leads the league in field goal percentage, hitting 62.4 percent of his attempts. He also earned second-team all-conference honors, All-Rookie accolades and was the league’s first freshman to be named to the All-Defensive team, ranking second in the league in blocks (1.6 bpg).
Pikiell, who’s in his eighth season at Stony Brook, led the Seawolves to their best regular season as a Division I program as he earned his third Coach of the Year trophy in the last four years. Pikiell’s squad, which leads the conference in both scoring and scoring defense, has already set a new Division I standard with 23 wins and won the America East regular-season crown for the third time in four seasons in 2013. In his last four seasons, the Seawolves have won 91 games, captured three America East regular-season titles and appeared in consecutive league championship games.
Brenton is joined on the first team by Albany’s Mike Black, Boston University’s D.J. Irving, Hartford’s Mark Nwakamma and Vermont’s Brian Voelkel. Black, a senior guard, ranks third among league leaders (15.1 ppg) and tied for the league lead with nine 20-point games this season. Irving, a junior guard is sixth in scoring (14.3 ppg) and fifth in assists (3.6), while Nwakamma, a sophomore forward, led America East in scoring during conference play (16.5 ppg) and also has nine 20-point efforts. Voelkel, a junior forward, ranks in the top three in both rebounding (2nd - 8.9 rpg) and assists 3rd (4.9 apg) and is also an All-Defensive choice for the second-consecutive season.
Accompanying Warney on the second team is Maine’s tandem of Justin Edwards and Alasdair Fraser, UMBC’s Ryan Cook and Vermont’s Clancy Rugg. Edwards leads the league in scoring (16.7 ppg) while Fraser is in the top 10 in both scoring (7th - 13.7 ppg) and rebounding (4th - 8.2 rpg). Cook is one of just four players to average 15 points per game, while Rugg leads Vermont in scoring (11.5 ppg) and ranks 13th in both scoring and rebounding.
Two rookies, Binghamton’s Jordan Reed (16.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and the Terriers’ Maurice Watson, Jr. (11.1 ppg, 5.4 apg) lead the third team and are joined by Boston U.’s Dom Morris (11.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg), the Seawolves’ Dave Coley (10.6 ppg), also an All-Defensive honoree, and the Catamounts’ Sandro Carissimo (10.0 ppg)
In addition to Warney, Reed and Watson, Jr., Albany’s Peter Hooley (8.0 ppg, 3.1 apg) and Boston University’s John Papale (64 three pointers;.423) make up the All-Rookie team.
Brenton, Coley, Voelkel and Warney are joined on the All-Defensive squad by Maine’s Mike Allison, a repeat selection who leads the league in blocks (1.7 bpg).
Carissimo earned All-Academic recognition for the second-straight year in addition to his all-conference nod. Vermont’s Luke Apfeld, a repeat selection, and Albany’s Jacob Iati, who was recognized two years ago, both also received Capital One Academic All-District honors this year. Albany’s Sam Rowley and New Hampshire’s Scott Morris round out the team. Those selections were chosen by a committee made up of America East sports information directors, academic advisors and faculty athletic representatives.
The 2013 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship presented by SEFCU gets underway Saturday with quarterfinal action at University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena.