Countdown to 2015–16: Jameel Warney is Alley Whoops’ pick for America East Conference Player of the Year

Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Athletics

Height: 6–8
Weight: 260 pounds
2014–15 stats: 16.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2.1 assists, 54% FG, led Division I in double-doubles (24) and total rebounds (409).

If it happens, he’ll have made history.

Jameel Warney is the two-time defending America East Player of the Year, and one of the most dominant players in college basketball. Should he make it three POTY’s in a row, when votes are cast next spring, he’ll become just the third player in conference history to achieve that feat.

There’s ample reason to believe it will happen. Warney will be the centerpiece for what is arguably Stony Brook’s most talented team, ever. With hopes for punching the first NCAA tournament bid in program history, the timing of Warney’s senior year is quite poignant. What better way to put the definitive stamp on an historic career than by doing the unforgettable?

Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Athletics

Two impact arrivals become eligible for the SeaWolves in ‘15–16. Lucas Woodhouse, a 6–3 point guard who finished fifth in DI in assists for Longwood in ‘13–14 before transferring to Stony Brook, joins Ahmad Walker, who returns to the program as a junior after spending the past season at Barton Community College. He was named conference MVP.

Add in the likes of 6–0 senior Carson Puriefoy, named first team all-conference in 2014–15 and there’s a palpable sense that, after so many close misses in recent seasons, Stony Brook will finally go dancing.

It is with this sense of history firmly in mind that we return to Warney. His numbers may go down, thanks to the increased talent around him, but he will still be the team’s most important player.

When Warney is asked to list his best attributes, he doesn’t mention scoring. Instead, he offers “rebounding” and “passing.”

Coincidentally, these were two areas that Warney’s hero, Kevin Garnett, has excelled at during his illustrious professional career. Warner, who’s a big Celtics fan, watched the way that Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce checked their egos ahead of that 2007–08 NBA championship season.

As Warney’s coach Steve Pikiell puts it, “A lot of bigs can’t pass — Jameel wants to pass.”

Warney has proven himself throughout his collegiate career, posting double-doubles while being double- and triple-teamed. Now, he knows the next test is taking Stony Brook where it’s never gone before.

Best player on the best team is an oft-used criterion for Player of the Year awards. Should he put Stony Brook in position for that elusive NCAA bid, there’s every reason to believe Warney will make it three times in a row.

Game of life, with a twist—and shout. Twitter: @alleywhoops

Game of life, with a twist—and shout. Twitter: @alleywhoops