Stony Brook (15-6, 7-0) broke out to a double digit halftime lead thanks to Eric McAlister and Dave Coley. McAlister, a smart, heady 6-8 senior and Coley, the 6-2 senior point guard made play after play to gain the Stony Brook advantage.
McAlister, though thin at a listed 220, showed remarkable poise and as mentioned is a very smart player and good passer. He made all four of his first half shots showing a soft midrange touch. Coley is and wasa very good penetrator, able to set up teammates for good looks throughout the first stanza. Coley possesses a very quick first step, is an above average passer and has active, quick hands on the defensive end of the floor.
In the second half however, things got really interesting. Vermont kept within striking distance as senior leader Brian Voelkel contributed on both ends. Voelkel, is a 6-6 forward who plays bigger than his height suggests and does not yield an inch to bigger opponents. He is rugged, tough, built like a truck and is the Vermont glue guy. He can handle the ball, deal with the pressure, makes excellent decisions, never is rattled and does a lot of the intangibles for Vermont, from taking charges and claiming loose balls and rebounds to settling his team when Stony Brook responded to each Vermont rally. His one detraction however is that there are times he spends on offense just standing around waiting for the ball to come to him without any movement.
Finally Stony Brook sealed the deal behind the strong inside play of 6-8 sophomore Jameel Warney, definitely one to keep an eye on. He is a big body who lays claim in the post and is very hard to move. Warney used his frame well to seal his defender for position and he has good hands. He rose to the occasion late in the contest with defensive rebounds and a crucial blocked shot. Overall his long arms, aggressiveness on both the offensive and defensive glass were hard for Vermont to match. With a little more experience and a couple more post moves added to his arsenal, Warney will be a major factor the remainder of this season and the next two of his career at SBU.
Ken Eisenman is a Scout and Correspondent for NetScouts Basketball. Thanks to the America East for the Warney photo.