Carson Puriefoy is a 23 year old 183cm point guard from Wenonah, NJ that is playing his second professional season and first with the MLP Academics Heidelberg. Last season he played briefly with Valmiera/ORDO (Latvia-LBL). He played at Stony Brook (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 128 NCAA games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 14.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.1apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 77.2%. In his senior year he hit Lehigh for 25 points and Vermont and Maine for 23 points each. He spoke to German Hoops after signing with the German team.
Hi Carson thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on signing with the MLP Academics Heidelberg. Do you have any idea what is significant about March 4, 2018? Well I clear you up. That is when you will reunite against ex teammate Roland Nymar. Are you making a special mark on that date?
I was unaware that, that was the exact date of our matchup, but now that you’ve told me I will most definitely keep it in the back of my mind. Can’t wait to get back on the court with my friend Roland!
Officially this is your second professional season, but doesn´t it really feel like your rookie year after playing only one game with Valmiera/ORDO (Latvia-LBL)?
Yeah it definitely still feels like I’m a rookie having only played two full games as a pro up to this point. I’m excited to see where this season takes me.
How hungry are you to get on the floor and show your abilities. Even though you haven´t really started your professional career yet are you playing with a little chip on your shoulder?
I always play with a chip on my shoulder regardless of the situation. I know how good I am and that I can help my team win.
You have arrived for the injured Jelani Hewitt. How blessed are you to be playing for the MLP Academics Heidelberg and what was the deciding factor that made you sign on the dotted line?
I’m very blessed to be able to have this opportunity to play here. It is very unfortunate for Jelani, but I was injured the same way and I know that he can come back better than ever. It was really a no-brainer to choose Heidelberg. A great city, team and atmosphere.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? What are you most excited about getting to know here?
I know that Germany has a very rich basketball history and that a lot of American players have done well here. I’m excited just to get back on the court and showcase my abilities as well as explore Germany as a country.
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a 183cm point guard that put up very good stats at Stony Brook. Would it be fair to say from just examining your stats that you’re a score first pass second type of point guard?
I would say that I can adapt my game to whatever my team needs from me at that point in time. At Stony Brook my coaches and team needed me to score at a good clip so that’s what I did. I’m sure I’ll find my niche here a couple games in and see where it takes me.
If you had to pick a point guard in the NBA that most resembles your game who would you pick and what NBA point guards do you study and respect?
I would say my game mostly resembles a younger Tony Parker. Very quick and fast, I can get to the rim or pull up for a quick jumper.
Your a player that can fill up the stat sheet with ease, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get recognized right away?
I would say that my defensive abilities sometimes go unnoticed and I have to make sure to make people see that I can defend very well too.
You were recently with Valmiera/ORDO (Latvia-LBL) as a rookie last season. Why was your stay so short and what did you learn from this experience?
My stay was short because I got injured in the second game of the season and decided to do my rehab at my college with the team doctors and trainers. My experience otherwise was great and am extremely thankful for it.
You had a stellar 4 year career at Stony Brook(NCAA) reaching the 2014 and 2015 AEC tournament final and finally winning it as a senior in 2016. What will always stand out most from this big achievement?
Definitely being the first team from my school to ever make it to the NCAA Tournament. No one can ever take that away from us and we will always be remembered as the firsts ones to do it.
You played 4 years with the highly talented Jameel Warney who made the Dallas Mavericks this season after a rookie season in the G-League. How did you experience his 4 year maturation at Stony Brook?
He was definitely a great player to be able to grow with and he’s definitely deserved all the attention from the NBA that he’s getting. He grew from a boy to a man in those four years and hopefully he continues to grow, which could blossom into a great NBA career.
How did head coach Steve Pikiell groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Pikiell was extremely instrumental in my maturation process. He never let me take a day off and always pushed me to be the best that I could be. I couldn’t have asked for a better college coach.
You obviously play against many talented guys but as a junior you beat Columbia twice and in the first game won 57-56 where you had 14 points and German Maodo Lo had 19 points who last summer teamed with Dennis Schroeder in the German national team back court and plays for Brose Bamberg the best team in Germany. Does a guy like him aspire you to keep working hard to make the next step to a higher league like the EasyCredit which is one above the pro A?
I definitely think that I can play in the top league eventually, I just have to prove that I am good enough. I have enough confidence in myself to feel that I can hold my own against anyone.
You ended your NCAA career reaching the NCAA tournament, but bowing out in the first game against Kentucky 85-57 against Kentucky where you faced a starting lineup of future NBA players like Jamaal Murray and Tyler Ulis and you held your own with 10 points. When you look back at that game did you take any things with you from that game that stayed in your mind to keep working on to reach the level of some of those guys or do you feel the talent level wasn´t so much better?
I felt as though we didn’t have the depth to compete for 40 minutes with a team like Kentucky. We held our own for a while and then they started making shots and we didn’t and pulled away. I didn’t think the talent level was that much different, but I see the kind of players that they are and took a little bit from each of them.
What is your fondest memory with Roland Nymar on and off the court at Stony Brook?
On the court he has the ability to light it up from long range and is extremely athletic attacking the rim. He had a couple games at Stony Brook where he was unstoppable. Off the court he’s a clown who just likes to joke around and have fun. Great person to be around.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
I would say my toughest matchup had to be Kevin Ferrell who went to Indiana and is now on the Dallas Mavericks.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Magic Johnson.
Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?
I fell that Lebron is the greatest all around basketball player of all time. Micheal Jordan is definitely the greatest winner, but I feel that there has never been a player like Lebron.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
No I don’t think that this is a fair assessment. I think that Russ goes out every night and tries to help his team win. It seemed that last year the best way to do that was to get triple-doubles.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I think this draft class is very good. Dennis Smith Jr. has a chance to be the next Russel Westbrook/Derrick Rose with his athletic ability.
Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?
I still think they won’t compete with the Warriors down the stretch of the season.
How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?
I feel like the Cavs got the better deal because they got multiple players for one leaving.
Where will the journey of the Oklahoma Thunder go this season with Westbrook, George and Anthony? Can they make a serious run in the west?
I feel as though they have the best chance, besides the Spurs, with competing against Golden’s State in the West.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was the latest Transformers movie.
Thanks Carson for the chat.