By Kevin Sweeney
After an outstanding 4 year career at Stony Brook, power forward/center Jameel Warney is looking to make the next step in his basketball career in the NBA. Here’s how I grade his various attributes:
Inside Game: B
Outside Game: D-
Warney is a hard-working kid with a high motor, a great feel for the game, and a well-developed post game. The 3-time America East Player of the Year continued to improve his numbers each season despite facing constant double and triple teams. He was one of the best shot-blockers in the nation this season, swatting more than 3 shots per contest. He is already strong enough to fight with NBA bigs in the post. With Warney, a team receives a guy who will come in right away and compete while constantly looking to improve his game.
Unfortunately for Warney, you can’t teach height. His 6-8 frame is very undersized for a guy who does most of his damage in the low post. For him to flourish in the NBA, he will need to develop better touch from mid-range. NBA centers would eat Warney alive due to his height, and power forwards would likely be much more athletic. He’s a classic “tweener”, making his path to an NBA roster a difficult one.
NBA Comparisons: Quincy Acy/Tyler Hansbrough/Zach Randolph
Warney compares favorably to each of these players. Acy, who is just 6-7, has developed a reputation around the league for his toughness. Hansbrough, the former North Carolina star, is also undersized, and has been unable to develop the outside stroke that would allow him to become a starting caliber player in the NBA. For Warney to reach the level of Randolph, it would take a ton of work and the right coaching staff. Randolph has developed his outside shot, and has become on of the better players in the league.
While I don’t anticipate Warney being drafted, I expect that he will receive invitations from multiple organizations to play for their summer league team. A strong performance there would likely earn him a training camp invite. The road to an NBA roster will be a long one, but I think Warney has a chance to work his way to the NBA or earn a great living playing in Europe.