By Matt Whitrock and Sam Perkins
(Stony Brook, NY) – Jameel Warney is a force in America East unlike anything we’ve seen in years.
After turning down scholarships from the likes of Iowa, Penn State and Charlotte, the 6’8” 250 pound bruiser from Plainfield, New Jersey had amassed a hype even larger than his massive frame.
“He’s the best big man that will ever play here, absolutely,” Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said at the time.
Over the course of his first season of college ball, Warney has not only lived up to the lofty expectations, but exceeded them.
Through 25 games, Warney currently ranks fifth in the conference in rebounding at 7.6 boards per game, 10th in scoring at 12 points per game, while leading the league in field goal percentage (62.4 percent) and blocked shots (1.6 per game). In conference play, Warney has been even better, averaging 12.6 points per game (8th), 8.3 rebounds (4th) and 1.6 blocks (1st), while shooting an insane 65.9 percent from the floor.
“It’s unbelievable; he has the best hands I’ve ever seen,” raved fifth-year senior Tommy Brenton, the team’s captain and emotional leader. “He makes me look good, honestly, I’ll just throw it up there sometimes [and] he catches it.”
His raw numbers become all the more impressive when considering the defensive attention already being paid to the Seawolves workhorse.
“In high school he would have five guys on him,” said Steve Pikiell following the Seawolves dominating 65-48 win over conference rival Vermont. Warney shrugged off double and triple teams to post 12 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting to go with 10 rebounds to help the Seawolves secure a resounding win and two game cushion in the conference standings.
Simply put, Warney is already the runaway Rookie of the Year. But he’s more – much more – and much better than his raw numbers. When looking at his advanced statistics, Warney is not only the most efficient offensive player in the conference, but the most impactful rookie to come through the America East in more than half a decade. (more…)