Deciding the grass is greener in his own backyard, former Harborfields point guard Lucas Woodhouse formally announced on Wednesday he is transferring from Longwood to Stony Brook. The Newsday player of the year after leading the Tornadoes to the 2012 New York State Class A title must sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules but has two years of eligibility starting in 2015-16.
“I just wanted to get closer to home and become part of a winning program,” Woodhouse said. “Stony Brook reached out, and I felt it was the right place for me. I want to help get them over the hump to make the NCAA Tournament.”
The 6-1, 165-pound Woodhouse, a Huntington native who grew up in Greenlawn, was a two-year starter at Longwood, but the Big South school was 16-49 in that time and losing took a toll. Known as a pass-first point guard, Woodhouse was fifth in Division I last season with 6.66 assists per game and scored 11.5 points per game. In just two seasons, Woodhouse became Longwood’s Division I leader in career assists (393), single-season assists (213) and single-game assists (13).
“We are excited and thrilled that Lucas has chosen to come home and play for our program,” Seawolves coach Steve Pikiell said. “Anytime you can add the nation’s fifth-leading assist man, you know you’ve improved your team.”
Stony Brook returns a scoring point guard in Carson Puriefoy III, who will be a junior next season, and adds another in incoming freshman Deshaun Thrower. Woodhouse said he will benefit from sitting out a year to learn the system and get bigger in the weight room.
“It’s going to be high-level competition,” Woodhouse said. “Practice will be good. I’ll get better every day.”
The best part about transferring for Woodhouse is the chance to play in front of family and friends in newly renovated 4,000-seat Stony Brook Arena. “Their facilities are awesome,” Woodhouse said. “Stony Brook is at a high level now. I love how they have a football team. We didn’t have that at Longwood. It’s exciting to be a part of the university.”