One face old, another new, Hofstra is set to unleash a double-barreled threat to run the point in 2017. In need of a point guard replacement following Deron Powers’ graduation in May, Joe Mihalich’s squad projects to have two capable options heading into the new season.
Redshirt sophomore Desure Buie is set to return after sustaining a season-ending knee injury just eight games into the 2016-17 schedule. Additionally, Hofstra has brought on former Siena guard Kenny Wormley to bolster the point.
“Hofstra had been on me all year,” said Wormley, who played last season at the JUCO level at Indian Hills Community College. “A lot of college coaches were calling me, but Hofstra was there from the beginning. I feel as though if they want you the most, you should go where you’re wanted the most.”
Wormley posted 8.8 points and 2.2 assists per game while with Indian Hills. The year prior, he averaged 4.6 points along with 1.8 assists while starting 28 games as a freshman at Siena.
“Kenny is the old pro,” Mihalich said of his new addition. “He’s a really good player. When you recruit a junior college player, they’re ready to play right away.”
Already highlighted on the schedule is Hofstra’s November 25 trip to Albany, where the Pride will take on Siena at the Times Union Center and Wormley will have the opportunity to go up against his old team.
“That’s my coming home game,” Wormley said of the contest. “Should be a good game, should be a fun game for me.”
Opening night against Army will mark Buie’s first official game since his season-ending injury at Columbia suffered just days after Thanksgiving. The good news for Pride fans is the Bronx native has improved with efficacy during his time off the court.
“You learn a lot from being a player and watching,” Buie said of his time on the sidelines. “Since I’ve been watching, I’ve seen so much and learned a lot. I’m like a coach off the floor. I see everything as a point guard off the floor that I don’t see on the court, so it’s helped me improve a lot.”
The sophomore has also noticeably bulked up over the offseason. The wispy freshman who enrolled in Hempstead two years ago has suddenly morphed into a sturdy athlete.
“I’ve been in the weight room since I’ve been hurt,” Buie added. “I’ve been in there more than I’ve ever been. I couldn’t do anything else, so I’ve been in there a lot.”
The duo has a tall task ahead in replacing Powers, who averaged a career-best 13.0 ppg to go along with 5.2 apg and a 1.98 assist to turnover ratio in his graduate season with the Pride.
Buie had built an average of 2.1 apg prior to his injury last year. Alongside Wormley and the rest of Hofstra’s dynamic backcourt including go-to scorers Justin Wright-Foreman and Eli Pemberton, Buie should be set for a leap forward.
“I feel like we’re always going to have a good point guard out there,” added Mihalich, who would not shy away from using both Buie and Wormley on the court at the same time. “They’re both good. They’re going to have a great battle.”
Vincent Simone covers the MAAC, Hofstra, and more for NYC Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone.