Saturday, November 14, 2015

Carson Puriefoy embracing playing off ball for Stony Brook

The point guard on Stony Brook's last three postseason teams, Carson Puriefoy is now freed up to play off ball with Seawolves' depth. (Photo courtesy of Newsday)

Stony Brook's last three teams have had two constants surrounding them: The NBA-caliber interior presence of Jameel Warney and the steady ball handling of Carson Puriefoy.

This season, however, while Warney remains a force to be reckoned with down low, Puriefoy no longer needs to be as much of a facilitator, as the arrival of Lucas Woodhouse and Ahmad Walker have helped him become more of a scoring option, not that he was not already for Steve Pikiell's Seawolves.

"It takes a bunch of pressure off," Puriefoy said after his 19 points led six Seawolves in double figures during a season-opening 103-32 victory over Division III Merchant Marine at Island Federal Credit Union Arena. "Having two other point guards in the lineup next to me, I'm really thankful for them. They can attack, they can pass, they can shoot, they can do a lot of different things. It really opens up the court for everybody, especially me and Jameel."

The senior from New Jersey may now be more of an explosive backcourt option with Woodhouse, a gifted passer who averaged nearly seven assists per game for Longwood before transferring back home to his native Long Island, now in the fold, but it has not stopped him from looking to create not just opportunities for himself and his teammates, but also havoc in transition. In 21 minutes, Puriefoy complemented his offensive output with three assists and three steals, committing zero turnovers in the process.

"Those two guys, Ahmad and Lucas, they're really good passers, so they free him (Puriefoy) up to score a little bit more," Pikiell imparted. "And he can shoot the ball, he's really worked on it. I thought he made some plays for some people today too, so it's contagious. Once other guys are finding you open, you find them open."

Puriefoy echoed his coach's sentiment with regard to his shooting, a skill that was visibly bolstered in his 6-of-11 effort from the field.

"This offseason, I definitely worked on my jump shot because it was a weakness of mine last year," he said. "I was real inconsistent, so having them definitely opens up a bunch of different avenues for myself. I'm looking to get them involved too, because they can shoot as well, but I'm looking for my offense."

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