Stony Brook’s Mike Almonacy attempts a free throw against UMBC at Island Federal Credit Union Arena in Stony Brook on Jan. 25, 2017. Photo Credit: Steven Ryan
Tyrell during workout in photo above.
Perhaps Tyrell Sturdivant is biased.
He has not seen any America East players other than his Stony Brook teammates since the 2016-17 season ended, but he was willing to make a bold proclamation about former Brentwood star Mike Almonacy.
“The jump from his freshman year to his sophomore year is going to be huge,” Sturdivant, a senior, said Monday after practice. “He’s probably going to be the most improved player in the conference by far.”
Even if that statement proves hyperbolic, the Seawolves are excited about Almonacy’s progression. A year learning from point guard and former Harborfields star Lucas Woodhouse appears to have prepared him to compete for the vacant starting role.
“We had a practice a couple of weeks ago and he was the best player on the floor,” coach Jeff Boals said. “Now it’s just going to be a consistent matter, you know, can he do it on a daily basis?”
“Everyone’s going to have to step their game up,” Boals said. “There’s not going to be one person. I think it’ll be a collective effort.”
But Almonacy hopes to receive the majority of available minutes.
“My role is hopefully a starter because that’s the type of competitor I am,” Almonacy said. “Luke was a fifth-year guy. He was going to get the job. He was more experienced. This year I have more experience under my belt, and it’s just getting in the gym, getting shots up, being more consistent, which I have been lately.”
Boals has noted Almonacy’s work ethic and desire to learn, saying the three-time Newsday All-Long Island first teamer visited the coach’s office multiple times during the season and asked what he could do to learn and play more. He has recently taken the initiative to wake up for 7 a.m. daily shooting sessions, and said he has added 16 pounds of muscle to weigh in at 174 pounds.
“He didn’t play a lot, and to his credit, his attitude was great,” Boals said.
Even in limited action, Almonacy flashed signs of potential.
He shot 7-for-12 from the field for 15 points to go with three assists and three rebounds in 24 minutes of Stony Brook’s blowout loss to Hofstra.
Stony Brook’s Mike Almonacy guarding young star & fellow iLuvBBall Alumni Justin Wright-Foreman (above)
In his second college game, he had four points, two assists and zero turnovers in a close loss to Boston College of the ACC.
Well that is no surprise to us at iLuvBBall as we’ve been following Mr. Almonacy from the start and Long island is behind their neighborhood hero and wish him, Coach Boals, and the incoming Seawolves the best in their 2017-18 NCAA campaign.