Stony Brook posted the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the America East last season and more help is on the way to make sure the Seawolves stay on top come the new season in November.
Stony Brook added Longwood transfer Lucas Woodhouse last spring, who ranked fifth in the nation with 6.7 assists per game as a sophomore. He will have two seasons of eligibility and, after averaging 11.5 ppg in his last full season, figures to give the Seawolves an immediate offensive boost.
“Lucas is the best passer I’ve ever coached, so they all are arguing to get him on their team,” head coach Steve Pikiell said. “One thing guys want is a guy that’s going to pass them the ball, so he only changes things and makes us better.”
The 6’2″ point guard figures to change the dynamic when he steps on the floor for Stony Brook. Woodhouse’s presence will help ease the pressure off of Carson Puriefoy at the guard spot as well as help freshman guards like Deshaun Thrower and Roland Nyama develop their games.
“Those two guys want to win and it will be good to have two ball handlers on the court for sure,” Pikiell said of Puriefoy and Woodhouse. “Lucas is just a terrific passer. I think Tre will score more with Lucas on the floor, so it’s going to be a great adjustment. They’re both excited about playing with each other.”
Puriefoy ranked second, behind America East Player of the Year Jameel Warney (16.4 ppg), in the scoring category (14.4 ppg). Woodhouse’s 367 points in his sophomore year at Longwood would have ranked third on the Seawolves this season.
Stony Brook lost sophomore Chris Braley and redshirt junior Scott King to transfer, but returns everyone else from a roster that finished tied for second in conference play last season. Pikiell said that they are looking at options about who to add to their roster, but it’s not necessary to add immediate help for the 2015-16 season.
“The good part is I’m very happy with my roster right now, so these are just bonuses right now,” Pikiell said of the two open scholarships. “We’re digging into every option right now and we don’t have to go in any way, shape or form. I mean we can take a transfer and sit them out, we could take a high school kid, we can go anywhere.”
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.