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Stony Brook's Jameel Warney named America East player of the year

Stony Brook's Jameel Warney dunks the ball against

Stony Brook's Jameel Warney dunks the ball against UMass-Lowell during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Lowell, Mass. Credit: AP / Greg M. Cooper

ALBANY - On the eve of their America East Tournament opener against Maine at 6 p.m. Saturday at SEFCU Arena, five Stony Brook players received all-conference recognition Friday, including player of the year Jameel Warney.

Sophomore guard Carson Puriefoy III was named to the second team, senior guards Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley earned third-team honors and Ahmad Walker made the all-rookie team. Coley also made the all-defensive team.

Warney won the top honor as a sophomore despite playing the second half of the season with torn ligaments in the thumb on his left (non-shooting) hand. He led the Seawolves (21-9, 13-3 America East) to the second seed in the conference, averaging 14.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in all games, and his 62.9 percent field-goal shooting ranks third in the NCAA.

Joining Warney on the first team were Hartford's Mark Nwakamma and Vermont's Brian Voelkel, Sandro Carissimo and Clancy Rugg.

Warney was the league's most efficient player, commanding double- and triple-team coverage. "If Jameel plays like he did at Detroit, we'll all be very happy," said Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, referring to an early-season tournament in which Warney averaged 24.0 points and 14.3 rebounds while playing three games in three nights. "He's capable of doing that."

Puriefoy, who averaged 12.7 points, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals, started only eight games but emerged as a weapon because of his speed and ability to attack the basket. He is shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent at the foul line.

Jackson averaged 12.9 points and 2.4 assists and hit a league-leading 93.3 percent of his free throws. Coley averaged 10.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists and earned all-defense honors a second straight year. Redshirt freshman Walker averaged 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Pikiell emphasized defense for the Seawolves' opener against Maine (6-22, 4-12), the highest-scoring America East team. "I feel real good, but I've gone up there feeling great about my team and we haven't won," Pikiell said, referring to the nagging failure to earn the program's first NCAA Tournament bid.

"We couldn't be any better than we were last year, and it didn't matter. I like the fact we've beaten every team at least once, and I like the fact our guys have been through it a little bit. We've shown signs of being real good defensively."

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