Stony Brook University announced the hiring of former GW associate head coach Steve Pikiell on Wednesday at a press conference held in the school’s sports complex. Pikiell is the 10th head coach in Stony Brook’s history and takes the reins from former coach Nick Macarchuk.
Pikiell has been a member of GW head coach Karl Hobbs’ staff at GW for the past four years and was named associate head coach after last season. Before GW, Pikiell spent five years as an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State University, three years at Yale University and one under Jim Calhoun at his alma mater, Connecticut.
“Coach Pikiell obviously is a great loss,” Hobbs said. “But it’s a great gain for Stony Brook. He’s a first class person and a best friend.”
Hobbs added that Pikiell is a “brilliant basketball mind” and expects that the Stony Brook will not have to wait long for success.
“It’s a sign of success of our program,” Hobbs said. “I’ve always said I have the best coaching staff in the country. But it’s every coach’s dream to be a head coach.”
Lucas to transfer
Sophomore Ricky Lucas will transfer at the end of the semester. The shooting guard spent two years at GW, averaging 4.2 points per game. Lucas said he does not know where he will be next year.
“He’s a great person and I’ve enjoyed coaching him,” Hobbs said. “I understand his circumstances. He wants to be able to play more and I respect that. It shows how quick and fast our program has grown. Playing time has become a thing here.”
Lucas said a lack of playing time (13.1 minutes per game) did not contribute to his departure.
“Me and my family just talked about it and talked to Coach Hobbs and we decided it was the best thing for me to do,” Lucas said.
Lucas said he is currently “testing waters” with other schools and added that his relationship with the program is still intact and the coaching staff respects his decision.
“We just thought, I had a good time here, but it’s time to move on,” Lucas said of his family’s decision.
With Lucas leaving and the possibility of juniors Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Mike Hall entering the NBA Draft, planning recruiting will become a bit more difficult.
“It puts a little bit of stress on the recruiting to some degree because we have to predict the future sometimes,” Hobbs said.
-Alan Siegel and Michael Barnett contributed to this report.