Sometimes you start running — you have no clue why.
Maybe it’s from your past, maybe it’s towards your future…or just maybe, you don’t know what else to do.
Mid-major basketball can be cruel — win your conference tournament, or remain irrelevant.
The game ain’t always fair and that’s the thing though
You can play your heart out, everybody don’t get a ring though – Drake, Made
Stony Brook had never danced, the DJ cut the music every time they were about to hit the floor. From 2011-2015 they lost four out of five America East Championship games. Two of those four at home, as the higher seed.
Heartbreak became standard — A top two regular season, just enough to make their fans believe, before being dumped by Albany or Vermont.
Jameel Warney had offers from larger schools in larger conferences, in the end he stuck with Stony Brook. The university on Long Island gave him a place to play ball close to home, a place to find out how good he could be.
As a freshman during the 2012-13 season, he would start all of Stony Brook’s 33 games. Leading the team in points, field goal percentage and blocks.
Stony Brook gave him a place where he could get on the floor and contribute immediately.
Warney credits fellow forward and New Jersey native Eric McAlister for easing his transition into college ball, someone who was able to show him the way things worked both on and off the court.
Coach Jay Young — who Warney states has kicked him out of at least 10 practices during his time at Stony Brook, gets the credit for his early development.
Sitting across from him, it’s hard to imagine him getting kicked out of a practice at this point.
He’s self aware, a loyal soldier, who has nothing but praise for the staff that worked with him at Stony Brook, and now has mostly followed head coach Steve Pikiell to Rutgers and the Big Ten.
His fifth game freshman year is when he says he finally felt comfortable, an 18 point, 7 rebound effort in a win against Canisius. Warney follows it up with an 8 point, 11 rebound performance at UConn.
Jim Calhoun lets Warney know he “has a chance to be a special player” — that gets his attention.
Next comes his first double-double, a 17-point, 11-rebound effort at Cornell. Four games later he goes for 17 points at Maryland.
Jameel Warney is rolling, and so are the Seawolves, entering conference play at 9-4.
Stony Brook finishes the America East season 14-2, earning them the top seed in the conference tournament. A loss at Vermont and a loss at Hartford the only two blemishes.
The final game of the regular season, on senior night, Stony Brook defeats Albany by 5 at home to secure the regular season title.
They’ll meet the Great Danes for a third time this season — in the semifinals of the America East Tournament.
Albany leads by nine with just over two minutes remaining. Stony Brook fights back late, tying it with 14.3 seconds left — Carson Puriefoy, a fellow freshman, hits a couple of big three pointers during the run.
Albany has the final possession, they choose not to call a timeout. Mike Black takes Carson Puriefoy off the dribble and hits a layup with 2.4 seconds left, ending any chance Stony Brook has of dancing.
Jameel Warney, who over the final minute was being subbed in for offensive possessions and out for defensive possessions, isn’t on the floor for the final play.
Their tourney hopes die with a two point loss to Albany in the semifinals of the conference tournament — a team they had beaten twice during the regular season, including a 16-point win in Albany.
Albany 1, Jameel Warney and Stony Brook 0
Stony Brook plays in the NIT, Warney goes for 16 points in a win at UMass and 17 points in a loss at Iowa.
A successful Freshman season is cut short, there’s still work to be done. Warney knows he must bulk up to deal with a physical Albany front court. Other America East teams fronted him, attempting to deny him the ball — Albany played behind him, without added strength and post moves the results wouldn’t change.
Three years left, one goal — bring Stony Brook to their first ever NCAA Tournament.
Warney finishes the season averaging 12.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 27.2 minutes.
It’s Jameel Warney’s sophomore year. He goes for 23 points and 19 rebounds in a win against FAU on November 25th, the following day he goes for 32 points and 21 rebounds in a triple overtime win at Detroit.
I ask if this was the best two game stretch of his career.
Warney laughs — he’d rather talk about coach Pikiell chewing him out for his lack of defense and rebounding in a 105-99 loss the game before against Toledo.
I want to talk about his first America East POY award, apparently I’ve jumped the gun.
He wants to talk about being immature and selfish at points that season.
People took notice after the FAU and Detroit box scores, scouts started to come around. The 19-point, seven-rebound effort at Indiana before the Toledo game didn’t hurt either.
A five-point, five-rebound effort in a loss to St. Francis (NY) follows the Detroit game, 3 games later there’s a four-point, six-rebound effort in the conference opener at New Hampshire.
It’s basketball, there’s never enough shots to go around.
Three wins are followed by two road losses — an 18 point loss at VCU, and a 5 point loss at Columbia.
Stony Brook starts conference play 7-0, they then lose by 10 at Albany on January 29th. Warney goes for 21 on 10-15 shooting, with four rebounds in the loss.
The Seawolves win back to back games before a bad home loss to New Hampshire, a team KenPom had ranked 329th in the country at the time.
Three more wins are followed by a 16 point road loss to Vermont. Jameel Warney has seven points and one rebound in 26 minutes. The regular season ends with a five-point home win over Albany.
Since his outburst against Detroit, Jameel Warney records only four double-doubles in 23 games to close the regular season.
An injured hand prevents a good season from becoming a great one.
The Seawolves finish conference play 13-3, good for second place in the America East.
Stony Brook hosts Albany (who has taken out top seed Vermont) in the America East Championship game. The Seawolves start the game on a 9-0 run, Albany answers with a 10-0 run and takes a 34-31 lead into halftime.
With 7:02 remaining in the game Stony Brook goes up six on an Eric McAlister free throw, by the 4:17 mark the game is tied. Carson Puriefoy hits a jumper with 1:30 remaining to bring Stony Brook within two.
Peter Hooley hits a step back three with 1:04 remaining to bring the Albany lead back to five, Albany cruises to a 9 point victory from there.
Jameel Warney finishes with 12 points on 3-8 shooting and nine rebounds.
Albany 2, Jameel Warney and Stony Brook 0
A nine-point loss at Siena in the CBI follows.
Warney finishes the season averaging 14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 29.7 minutes per game. He wins his first America East POY award.
Stony Brook has gone 48-19 since Jameel Warney has stepped on campus — 44-15 in the regular season, good for a 74.5 win percentage.
The university still hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament, regular season America East dominance hasn’t translated to the conference tournament. The upperclassmen are gone, this team now belongs to Jameel Warney, Carson Puriefoy and Rayshaun McGrew.
Stony Brook will play in their newly refurbished IFCU arena. A bit of a change from Pritchard Gymnasium, where Stony Brook played during the remodel of IFCU. Their new home seats close to 4,200 fans, a step up from the 1,700 that fit into Pritchard.
There’s buzz around the program, they have a state of the art facility, Jameel Warney is the reigning America East POY, joined by America East second teamer Carson Puerifoy. The pieces are in place for Stony Brook to earn their first NCAA Tournament bid.
The season opens with a come from behind win against Columbia — a game Stony Brook trails 28-12 with 5:29 remaining in the first half. Stony Brook closes the gap to 6 by halftime, an attempt to salvage the first game played at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.
With 1:27 remaining in the contest Stony Brook trails by five. With 1:18 left. Bryan Sekunda hits a three, the Columbia lead is now down to two. There are now 20 seconds left when the Seawolves get the ball back. Rayshaun McGrew is fouled and heads to the line for two shots, a chance to tie the game with 13 seconds left.
He hits the first, misses the second. Warney gets the rebound and his fouled. He heads to the line to shoot two — down one with 12 seconds left. The first is off, the second is off. He gets another offensive rebound, the putback is missed.
Rayshaun McGrew grabs a third offensive rebound for Stony Brook, his layup with 7 seconds left is good. A missed Columbia three point attempt with three seconds left gives the Seawolves the victory, the missed free throws don’t come back to bite them.
Stony Brook loses the next two games, both on the road — a 10-point loss at Georgia followed by a one-point loss to their Long Island rival Hofstra.
Jameel Warney has 26 points on 11-14 shooting against Hofstra, the rest of the team goes 16-37, including 4-18 from three.
Four wins, including two against Non-Division I opponents are followed by four losses. Losing to Cincinnati and Providence is tolerable, losing by double digits to Princeton and in overtime to Canisius by not as much.
The coaching staff is fed up, Coach Pikiell and his assistants are all over the team. The pieces are in place for a special season, the team is still too inconsistent.
Jameel Warney is posting big time stats anyway — 14 points and 10 rebounds at Cincinnati, 17 and 15 against Western Kentucky, and 18 and nine versus LIU Brooklyn. Numbers that don’t mean much without victories.
Post Christmas, Stony Brook travels to Washington, who is 11-0 entering the matchup — already with wins over Oklahoma and San Diego St. The team features some big time players, including 7-0 sophomore Robert Upshaw — who Warney hits a floater over to give Stony Brook its first lead of the game with 30 seconds remaining. Stony Brook overcomes a 16 point deficit with 13:43 left to play on their way to a 62-57 victory.
Warney credits the three point shooting of his teammates for the comeback — Kameron Mitchell gets hot and goes 4-5 from deep in the second half, the team a total 7-9 during the final 20 minutes. Warney himself finishes the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The team is hyped, there’s talk of a possible undefeated conference season. Looking back he views the win as a blessing and a curse. I get the feeling he believes the team started to feel themselves a bit too much after the Washington win.
I might be too strung out on compliments,
overdosed on confidence – Drake, Headlines
The calendar flips and on January 3rd, Stony Brook opens conference play with a 10-point home win over New Hampshire. They follow it with another (non-conference) win over Columbia, this time on the road by nine.
Warney has 22 points and 10 rebounds against UNH, 25 and 13 at Columbia. Next up is a trip to Vermont; a place Jameel Warney still hasn’t won.
Personally, he posts good numbers. Jameel finishes with 26 points on 10-14 shooting, 10 rebounds and two blocks. For the team it’s a bad 14-point loss in which they shoot 19-51 from the floor. Vermont shoots 53% from the field, including 43% from deep.
The thoughts of an undefeated conference season have vanished after just two games.
Stony Brook wins their next two games, including an 82-39 destruction of Maine on the road. For the first time, the Seawolves will host Albany at IFCU — a rivalry game that is always circled on the calendar of their fans.
News starts to leak prior to tip-off that Albany will be without star player Peter Hooley. Hooley has returned home to Australia to be with his mother, who has battled colon cancer for the past four years.
Warney tells me the opponent he’s closest with from his time at Stony Brook is Peter Hooley — their stories intertwined.
Albany plays inspired basketball, defeating Stony Brook 64-47. The Seawolves go just 4-22 from deep. Warney finishes with 16 points and 7 rebounds, Rayshaun McGrew is the only other Stony Brook player with double digit points.
I ask Jameel Warney the games he got up for the most, who were their biggest rivals?
I assume Hofstra and Albany. He quickly lets me know it’s Vermont and Albany.
Stony Brook is now 3-2 in conference, 0-2 against Vermont and Albany. The thoughts of an undefeated conference season are long gone, the chances of finishing first in the conference are now slim.
A 15-point road loss at New Hampshire followed by a nine point road loss to Vermont seels their fate. To reach the NCAA Tournament they’ll have to beat both Vermont and Albany on the road.
At 6-4, after the second Vermont loss, they’re now fighting for third in the America East.
Stony Brook finishes their America East conference slate on a six-game winning streak — which includes a 3 point victory at previously undefeated Albany, the eventual America East regular season champion at 15-1.
The America East has changed their format for the 2014-15 postseason. Previously there would be a main tournament site for each round leading up to the finals — now the higher seeds would play host to their opponents.
Stony Brook has finished conference play in third — ensuring that if Albany and Vermont keep advancing, they’ll only host one game, their quarterfinal matchup.
That game ends up being against Binghamton — a team Warney remembers as dangerous despite their record. Stony Brook wins by five, despite trailing by three early in the second half.
Albany and Vermont advance, Stony Brook will head to Vermont — a place Jameel Warney reminds me he has never won, and a team Stony Brook has lost twice to this season.
Vermont lights them up early, after starting the game on a 10-0 run they lead by 16 with 1:25 left in the first half.
Stony Brook punches back early in the second half, the game is tied less than five minutes into the half after a Carson Puriefoy three. Less than a minute later Stony Brook has their first lead, at the 11:31 mark they’re up 10 — a 23-point swing from halftime.
Vermont doesn’t go away, they tie the game with 3:09 remaining.
Jameel Warney breaks the tie with just over two minutes remaining, Carson Puriefoy goes 2-4 from the free throw line over the final 13 seconds, just enough to squeeze out a two-point Stony Brook victory.
Warney makes sure to let me know that Deshaun Thrower was as big of a reason for this comeback victory as anyone else on the team — calling it one of, if not his best game in a Stony Brook uniform. Thrower went for 16 points in the second half, shooting a perfect 3-3 from deep.
Jameel Warney had finally won in Burlington. One rival down, one to go.
The Seawolves were headed to Albany, once again they were one win away from the NCAA Tournament.
An early 11 am start time led to a sloppy start — 10 minutes in Albany leads 6-4. 11 ½ minutes in, Stony Brook still has only four points. By half, Stony Brook leads 20-16, thanks to a Carson Puriefoy three pointer with 12 seconds remaining.
Albany shoots 20.7 percent in the first half, Stony Brook manages to do a little better at 32 percent. The Great Danes are 0-4 from three, Stony Brook is just 2-8.
It’s been a defensive battle, Jameel Warney is carrying the offensive load for Stony Brook. He hits the locker room at halftime with 12 of his team’s 20 points, nine of their 23 rebounds. His two blocks are more than the one Albany has as a team.
The game has been an ugly, physical, grind it out contest — an Albany style game, still Stony Brook leads.
Warney scores the first two baskets of the second half for Stony Brook, recording 6 of their first 10 points. The team’s trade baskets early, Stony Brook stretches their lead to six, Albany cuts it back down to two.
Stony Brook goes on a run, after two Warney free throws they lead by seven with 13:08 left. Their lead remains in the 5-7 point range until a Carson Puriefoy three pointer with 6:16 remaining puts the Seawolves up eight. Puriefoy hits another three with 2:54 remaining to put Stony Brook up seven.
After Albany hits two free throws, Puriefoy hits two himself to once again give Stony Brook a seven-point advantage with just 1:57 on the clock.
Evan Singletary hits a jumper for Albany, Warney misses two free throws. With 35 seconds left Sam Rowley misses two layups, his brother Mike Rowley grabs the offensive board off of the second miss and is fouled by Warney.
Mike Rowley hits both free throws, Stony Brook now leads by one as they take a timeout with 20 seconds left. Carson Puriefoy is fouled with 14 seconds on the clock and heads to the free throw line. He hits the first and misses the second.
Albany is out of timeouts, there’s 14 seconds left on the clock and the Great Danes down two. Their offense stalls, they settle for an attempted layup by Ray Sanders with six seconds left.
The shot banks high off the backboard, in Jameel Warney’s direction. He’s surrounded by the Rowley brothers, there’s no option but to try and tip the ball out towards the perimeter.
If Mike Rowley gets his hand on the ball instead of Warney, Stony Brook dances…
Instead Warney tips the ball to the top of the key, right into the waiting arms of Peter Hooley.
Hooley hits the first and only made three pointer of the game for Albany with 1.6 seconds left, trailing by one, Stony Brook never gets off a final shot.
Albany 3, Jameel Warney and Stony Brook 0
Draw a straight line to the stands from Warney who is standing at mid-court. That’s me in the purple plaid button down and backwards hat — pumping my fist, celebrating next to my clapping father. That’s how sports work, one man’s pain is another man’s pleasure.
Coming out of the game, after watching Albany cut down the net, I was sure of two things — Peter Hooley’s three would become a national story, and Jameel Warney could ball.
I’ve watched my fair share of Big East, AAC and Big Ten action up close at Rutgers, some of the nation’s most elite big men have have stepped on the floor at the RAC as an opponent throughout the years.
Jameel Warney was good enough to hang with any of them.
During our interview Warney reminds me Stony Brook’s season would end on another buzzer beater — a 72-70 loss to Mercer, the game winning shot hit with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.
Warney finishes the season averaging 16.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 33.0 minutes per game. He wins his second America East POY award and leads the nation in double-doubles with 24.
Three years down, and three America East Tournament losses — two in the final seconds, with Stony Brook’s first chance to play in the NCAA Tournament on the line. Stony Brook is 39-9 (81.2%) in the America East regular season since Jameel Warney has put on their uniform.
The Peter Hooley buzzer beater hurts — there’s no way around it.
A whole season erased by an errant tip, combined with a right place right time three pointer. It takes Jameel Warney a bit to get over what transpired that Saturday morning in Albany.
Stony Brook isn’t just a small conference team — they’re a small conference team that can’t even win their conference tournament. The team is being overlooked, and so is Jameel Warney.
Win or remain irrelevant.
After every season the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association votes on their men’s basketball player of the year. The Haggerty Award is given to the All-Met NY Division I player of the year — a who’s-who of NYC area college players are finalists.
Following his junior season Jameel Warney loses out to Sir’Dominic Pointer for the award– Warney posts better stats than Pointer, the writers go with the player putting up his stats in the Big East.
Used to being overlooked, Warney remembers this as one of those “oh, really” moments. We’ve all had them– a time when you’re not getting the respect you feel you deserve.
Who cares about the best player in a one bid league… on a team who’s never won their conference tournament?
If the local writers weren’t showing love, the national writers sure weren’t going to take notice.
The 2015-16 season opens up with a demolition of Division III US Merchant Marine, a 103-32 win for Stony Brook. Jameel Warney goes for 16 points and 14 rebounds (nine offensive) in 22 minutes of action.
The Seawolves and Warney visit Vanderbilt five days later — a team ranked 18th in the preseason AP Top 25 poll and 20th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Stony Brook shoots poorly from deep in the contest, hitting only 23.5% (4-17) of their threes. Rebounding keeps the Seawolves in the game– they lead Vanderbilt 62-56 with 3:17 left.
Vanderbilt hits back to back threes, the second tying the game at 62 with 2:17 remaining. Two free throws later the Commodores lead for the first time in the second half, 64-62. A Jameel Warney basket with 1:21 left ties the game at 64, Vanderbilt and Stony Brook trade baskets to end regulation– the game is headed to overtime tied at 66.
Vanderbilt takes an early lead in overtime and doesn’t look back. Stony Brook falls 79-72, a chance to take down a top 25 opponent early in the season slips through their hands.
Warney, who finishes with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, outperforms Vanderbilt’s seven-footers — including Damian Jones, who will be taken with the 30th pick of the first round in the 2016 NBA draft.
Two days later Stony Brook visits Western Kentucky, once again they shoot poorly from deep (5-23, 21.7%) in a 67-66 loss. The Seawolves out-rebound Western Kentucky 53-35, but can’t overcome their poor shooting (27-75, 36%).
Warney has 16 rebounds, but only 11 points on an off shooting night. Rayshaun McGrew carries the offense for the Seawolves with 18 points on 9-14 shooting.
Rayshaun Mcgrew gets the credit from Jameel Warney for being the emotional leader of the team– the guy, who would get in the face of teammates if they weren’t playing hard enough.
While Warney and Tre (Carson) Puriefoy would often get most of the press (rightfully so), anyone who watched close enough could see Rayshaun McGrew would be the guy who could make or break Stony Brook’s championship aspirations.
There needed to be an enforcer down low, a big man to compliment the game of Jameel Warney– one who could hit a jump shot here and there. Not only did Mcgrew fill this role, he became the emotional leader of a program fighting to overcome past postseason failure.
Stony Brook follows their back to back losses with a road win at Loyola (MD) — a game they lead the whole way. Warney scores 18 points on 8-9 shooting, he hauls in 13 rebounds and blocks four shots in the victory.
Following their three-game road trip, the Seawolves return home for a two game stretch. A 91-42 win over non-D1 Farmingdale State is followed up by a 14-point win over Princeton– a good home win over a team ranked 65th by KenPom.
Jameel Warney has a monster game against Princeton — he finishes with 26 points on 11-14 shooting, 15 rebounds, five assists and eight blocks. He gets support from Rayshaun McGrew (18 pts, 7 rebounds) and Roland Nyama (15 points in just 15 minutes).
Following Princeton the Seawolves head back on the road to South Bend, Indiana for a matchup with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish come into the contest at 5-2– their losses include a two-point neutral site loss to Monmouth and a one-point neutral site loss to Alabama.
Stony Brook takes a 1-0 lead to begin the contest, from that point on Notre Dame mostly controls the first half. The Seawolves are able to cut the Irish advantage to 1 with 7:21 left before the break; however, Notre Dame opens up their lead once again and takes an 8 point advantage into the break.
Jameel Warney finishes the first half with only three points (1-6 shooting) and three rebounds. Tre (Carson) Puriefoy paces the Stony Brook offense with 13 points and Rayshaun McGrew tallies eight to lead the Seawolf offense.
A Warney layup just under four minutes into the second half would bring Stony Brook within four, the closest they’d get in the final twenty minutes. Notre Dame would finish the contest with their largest lead of the game, a 25 point loss for the Seawolves.
While Jameel Warney struggled in the first half, he goes for 13 points (6-11 shooting), five rebounds and two blocks in the second half — unfortunately for Stony Brook he is the only Seawolf to score more than four points after the break.
Outside shooting continues to be a major issue for Stony Brook, they’re now 14-58 (24.1%) from deep in their three losses.
Four days later the Seawolves visit Northeastern, the Huskies lead the whole contest and defeat Stony Brook by 13. Jameel Warney finishes with 29 points (12-22 shooting), 11 rebounds and four blocks — the rest of the team scores 33 points on 7-26 (26.9%) shooting.
Stony Brook goes 4-18 (22.2%) from deep against Northeastern, they’re now 18-76 (23.7%) from three in their four losses on the season.
Jameel Warney, who is averaging 21.3 points and 12.3 rebounds, has begun the season with seven double-doubles in eight games, but the Seawolves are .500 with a 4-4 record– including two wins over Non-Division I opponents.
The team hits a bit of a rough patch in early December, something Warney and Stony Brook went through the previous year– during his Junior campaign. Jameel says the team was able to use the lessons learned from the previous season’s struggles to get back on track.
Stony Brook has five games remaining before America East play begins, each one a new opportunity to make adjustments before conference action.
They defeat American on the road by 18, the team shoots 7-13 (53.8%) from deep with Warney leading all players in scoring with 22 points.
The American victory is followed by a three-point win over Hofstra — a recently renewed rivalry game that probably means more to the fans than the players (don’t most?). Stony Brook shoots 9-19 (47.4%) from deep and holds Hofstra to 9-31 (29%) on two point field goals. Jameel Warney is the only Stony Brook player in double figures, scoring 22 points on 10-18 shooting.
The Hofstra win is big– it gives fans a bit of a distraction as they get bragging rights over their fellow Long Islanders, while Stony Brook is able to overcome a four-point halftime deficit and stay poised late in the second half of a back and forth affair.
The Seawolves have hit 16 three’s in their last two wins, only two less than the 18 total they’ve made in their four losses on the season.
A 13-point win at Lehigh follows– Jameel Warney has 22 points and 10 rebounds, Tre (Carson) Puriefoy leads all scorers with 25 points.
Puriefoy’s father Cal was a captain on the 1983-84 Bucknell Bison team (a team Jay Wright would captain the year prior) that went 24-5 and 14-2 in the East Coast Conference, I’m guessing it was a little special to watch his son go off against a former conference foe.
After the Lehigh win comes a 12-point victory at NJIT — Jameel Warney scores 20 points on 10-13 shooting in 27 minutes of action and has three blocks. He misses a double-double by one rebound.
Since a two game losing streak Stony Brook has now won four straight by an average of 14 points. The Seawolves have gotten steady production from Jameel Warney since their first game, now they’re hitting their three point attempts to compliment the inside play.
The final non-conference contest results in a nine-point victory over Columbia. The Seawolves struggle from deep (4-14, 28.6%), but hold Columbia to 11-30 (36.7%) on two point field goal attempts. Jameel Warney leads the way with 20 points (7-11 shooting), seven rebounds and five blocks in 28 minutes of action.
Stony Brook enters conference play at 9-4 and on a five-game winning streak.
The Seawolves are ranked as the 63rd team in the nation by kenpom.com– they have two top 100 wins over Hofstra and Princeton, while just missing a third over 31st-ranked Vanderbilt.
At 9-4 Monmouth is getting national press for their out of conference play and bench entertainment– the Hawks have defeated power programs UCLA, Notre Dame, and USC.
Despite having the same record, and being ranked only 10 spots lower by kenpom.com, no one is talking about the Stony Brook. A team with two Seniors who rank amongst the best in their program’s history, including one who is arguably the best in his conferences history, AND plays within the NYC media market is getting minimal attention.
Small school, small conference, overlooked star– win the big games or remain irrelevant.
Stony Brook begins conference play against Binghamton, they have a rough first half in which they only shoot 37%, including 30% (3-10) from deep. Warney goes 2-6 from the field and only scores 5 points, Puriefoy is 1-6 from the field for three points.
The Seawolves trail 43-41 with 9:14 left in the contest, the game is back and forth until Stony Brook puts it away late, winning by 10. Rayshaun McGrew leads the way with 10 second half points, Warney adds 8, while Puriefoy has seven.
The Binghamton win is followed by a 27 point victory over UMass-Lowell, a game in which Stony Brook leads the whole way. Next is a 12-point win over Maryland-Baltimore County, another game that Stony Brook never trails (UMBC cut the SB lead to three with 9:18 remaining before Stony Brook put them away for good).
The Seawolves follow the win over UMBC with a visit to Durham, New Hampshire to face New Hampshire. Stony Brook last trails (10-9) with 14:34 left in the first half, they lead by 19 at the break and win by 30 (80-50). Ahmad Walker leads the way for them with 19 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes.
The Seawolves score 80 points and win by 30 with Jameel Warney and Tre (Carson) Puriefoy only combining for 27 points, everyone is starting to contribute offensively as Stony Brook is streaking.
After a 34-point win over Hartford; a game in which they never trailed, Stony Brook sits at 5-0 in conference with a home contest against Albany up next.
Albany enters the matchup 4-1 in conference; as the team who has won the past three America East Conference Tournament’s– receiving the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The game which I attended, (sitting in the Albany section) had a great atmosphere. Stony Brook fans truly hate Albany, and I don’t blame them.
The contest is a usual Albany/Stony Brook affair, all knotted at 30 at the half. Jameel Warney, who got into early foul trouble, only plays seven minutes in the first half.
The second half remains a back and forth battle; Albany leads by 1 with just over one minute remaining. With 42 seconds on the clock Albany big man Greig Stire fouls out and sends Jameel Warney to the line for two shots– Warney hits both to give Stony Brook the 64-63 lead.
Albany misses on their next possession forcing them to foul, Ahmad Walker heads to the free throw line for two shots with the Seawolves leading by 1. Walker misses both, and just as Stony Brook fans prepare to have their hearts ripped out by Albany once again, Rayshaun McGrew snatches the offensive rebound.
McGrew puts the rebound back up and is fouled– his layup is good and he hits the free throw to complete the old fashioned three point play. Carson Puriefoy adds two free throws and Stony Brook goes on to a 69-63 victory.
Jameel Warney plays all 20 minutes in the second half, finishing the game with 17 points (7-9 shooting), 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The win is a huge one for Stony Brook; not only does it give them breathing room between themselves and Albany in the standings, but it’s a win over their bitter rival in which they’re able to close out with timely rebounding and free throw shooting.
The past is the past, this is their present.
Stony Brook wins their next six conference games by an average of 17.8 points:
- Maine (81-54)
- @ Vermont (72-61)
- Binghamton (76-51)
- @UMASS-Lowell (91-73)
- Hartford (85-72)
- @ UMBC (75-52)
During the run the Seawolves are only truly tested at Vermont and against Binghamton.
Vermont gets out to a seven-point lead with 8:45 remaining in the first half before Stony Brook is able to close the gap, the teams head to halftime tied up at 33.
Warney leads the Seawolves with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks at the break, he adds 15 points and 4 rebounds in the second half– scoring six of Stony Brook’s 14 second half field goals on just 7 attempts.
Stony Brook would take a two point lead two minutes into the second half; one they wouldn’t relinquish, although Vermont would hang around and make it a one possession game with 3:37 remaining.
Jameel Warney, who at one point had never won at Vermont, has now won back to back games in Burlington.
The following game against Binghamton Stony Brook trails 33-29 early in the second half before taking over the game. They outscore the Bearcats 47-18 over the final 18 1/2 minutes — eight players score for the Seawolves in the second half with none reaching double figures.
Jameel Warney records a career high with 37 points on February 8th against Hartford (on his bobblehead night), a game in which he also pulls down 13 rebounds, leading the Seawolves to their 16th win in a row.
After a victory over UMBC Stony Brook now holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 17 games, they’re starting to get some national attention. At 12-0 in conference only 4 games stand between them and an undefeated America East campaign.
While Jameel Warney says the team was just having fun, and didn’t notice the streak for the majority of it, he’s willing to admit they may have lost some hunger along the way. It’s tough for anyone to stay focused when things start coming easy.
Over the first 17 games of their winning streak Stony Brook won 14 by double figures, one of the three single digit wins was a nine-point victory over Columbia. Every conference win minus the Albany game was by double-digits to this point.
On Valentine’s Day New Hampshire visits Stony Brook, it’s a low scoring first half and Stony Brook leads 25-23 at the break. Jameel Warney and Tre (Carson) Puriefoy have combined for just 11 points on 4-14 shooting (Warney is 2-8 on his own).
New Hampshire star Tanner Leissner leads the game in scoring with 12 after the first 20 minutes, outscoring the two Seawolves stars combined.
Rayshaun McGrew has kept the Seawolves in the game offensively, tallying 9 points on an efficient 4-6 shooting in the first half.
In the second half Warney and Puriefoy combine to score nine of Stony Brook’s 13 field goals, tallying 21 of the Seawolves 34 points.
With 3:27 remaining in the contest Stony Brook takes a 59-56 lead thanks to a basket by Jameel Warney. Two Tanner Leissner free throw’s later and Stony Brook only leads by one with 2:43 on the clock.
With 16 seconds left no one has scored since the Leissner free throws for New Hampshire, Stony Brook still leads by 1. After a timeout with 7 seconds remaining UNH runs their final play, it results in an attempt by Jaleen Smith…that is blocked by Jameel Warney.
Stony Brook escapes with the one-point victory, their winning streak now sits at 18 games and they are a perfect 13-0 in conference. A close win is still a win, Stony Brook heads to Albany three days later for their final regular season meeting with the Great Danes.
Albany smothers Jameel Warney early and holds him to two points on just three shot attempts in the first 20 minutes. Rayshaun McGrew takes advantage of all the attention Warney is receiving and goes for 13 points on 5-9 shooting before halftime.
The Great Danes lead the Seawolves by seven at the half, Stony Brook is held to 30 points on 42.9% shooting including 14.3% (1-7) from three before the break.
The second half doesn’t go much better for Stony Brook as Albany opens up a 15 point lead with 8:44 left on their way to a 12-point win.
During the contest, Jameel Warney becomes Stony Brook’s all time leading scorer, regardless of division.
The Stony Brook winning streak is over, after two months worth of victories they’ll need to regroup– two games remain before the conference tournament begins. More important than the loss to Albany is a season ending knee injury to Bryan Sekunda. The Seawolves will have to continue on without one of their perimeter threats.
They bounce back nicely with a 19-point win at Maine, Jameel Warney scores 20 points and pulls down 9 rebounds in a game which Stony Brook leads the whole way.
The regular season will end against Vermont, at home on Senior night. It’s an emotional day for Jameel Warney and his fellow seniors — it shows as Vermont jumps all over them in the first half and takes a 39-29 lead into the break.
The second half doesn’t fair much better for the Seawolves, Vermont outscores them by four and ruins the night with a 14 point win.
Stony Brook finishes America East conference play in first place at 14-2, they run up an 18 game winning streak on their way to a 23-6 regular season record. None of it matters; they’d trade all 23 November, December, January and February wins for three in March.
Jameel Warney says the late Albany and Vermont losses were a wake up call, the team has one goal and if they don’t lock in they’ll fall short once again.
Warney has won 88 regular season games in his 4 year career at Stony Brook. He is now the school’s all time leader in games, wins, points, rebounds and blocks. He is already a legend, three wins separate him from immortality.
Stony Brook hosts UMBC in their America East Quarterfinals matchup. They trail by 8 (43-35) with just over six minutes remaining in the first half. They close out the half on a 9-0 run and take a 44-43 lead into the break.
Jameel Warney has 15 points and 13 rebounds at the half, Will Darley has led the way for UMBC with 24 first-half points.
With 12:24 remaining in the game UMBC has a three-point lead, by the 8:35 mark Stony Brook has taken the lead for good. The closest UMBC would come down the stretch is a Will Darley three which cuts the Stony Brook lead to one with 3:49 remaining.
The basket is followed by two Jameel Warney field goals for Stony Brook, the Seawolves close out the contest from there from the free throw line.
Warney finishes the game with 27 points and 23 rebounds, Stony Brook has advanced to the semifinals with a 86-76 win.
One win down, two to go.
The Stony Brook players, coaches and fans get word that No. 2 seed Albany has lost to seventh-seeded Hartford. A third meeting with Albany isn’t in the cards — with the America East reseeding throughout the playoffs, No. 1 seed Stony Brook will now host No. 7 seed Hartford.
Hartford hangs with Stony Brook through the first 16 minutes, the Seawolves only lead by one with 3:58 remaining before closing out the first half on a 7-3 run.
Jameel Warney has seven points and seven rebounds at the break, he’s only attempted 5 of Stony Brook’s 32 field goals (two trips to the free throw line excluded).
The Seawolves get Warney early touches in the second half– he hits one of two free throws to give them a six-point lead, and follows it with a bucket at the 18:35 mark to stretch the lead to eight.
By the 12:09 mark Stony Brook leads Hartford by 15 points after a Tre (Carson) Puriefoy three pointer. Hartford cuts the lead to single digits with 6:53 remaining; however, this is as close as the Hawks would come.
Jameel Warney finishes with 21 points and 13 rebounds (including 7 offensive) in 37 minutes of action. Tre (Carson) Puriefoy leads all scorers with 22 points and plays all 40 minutes for the Seawolves in their 16 point victory.
Stony Brook has again advanced to the America East Conference Finals. They’ll host 3 seed Vermont, the same team who beat them by 14 points on their home floor on Senior Night.
Two wins down, one to go.
History has a way of repeating itself, Stony Brook fans knew their own too well. Zero NCAA Tournament appearances — Four America East Tournament Final losses in the past 5 seasons.
2011 – lost in finals by two
2012 – lost in finals by eight
2013 – lost in semifinals by two
2014 – lost in finals by nine
2015 – lost in finals by one
I’m not sure I can explain to someone who doesn’t follow the America East how starved Stony Brook was for their first tournament championship. The easy way out is equating them to the Boston Red Sox pre-2004.
This isn’t just a team that had lost big games, they found the most excruciatingly painful ways possible to lose them. Conversations about big regular season wins would always be followed with “but they haven’t done it in the postseason”.
It’s gameday, Jameel Warney goes through his regular pregame routine. With an 11am tip he gets to the arena around seven, he says the day feels different, something special is about to happen. By tip time IFCU is packed, the fans are rowdy.
Vermont enters the contest on a seven-game winning streak– they’re young, but hot and led by Senior Ethan O’Day.
After the team’s trade misses O’Day opens up the scoring with a deep two point jumper over Warney, just inside the top of the key at the 19:08 mark of the first half. Rayshaun McGrew answers for Stony Brook with a deep baseline jumper to tie the game 2 ½ minutes in.
Jameel Warney gets his first touch on offense at the 16:34 mark, he’s fouled and heads to the line with Stony Brook trailing 4-2. Warney misses the first and hits the second, the Seawolves trail 4-3.
After a Vermont basket Warney gets another touch on the following Stony Brook possession, he crashes the basket and banks a shot off the backboard to once again bring Stony Brook within a point.
At the under 16 media timeout of the first half the Seawolves trail 6-5, it’s been a slow start offensively for both teams. Jameel Warney pulls down an offensive rebound and lays it back in to give Stony Brook a 7-6 advantage with 15:02 left in the first half.
Warney scores the game’s next basket at the 14:09 mark. He’s now scored the game’s last six points and Stony Brook leads by 3, 9-6. After Vermont commits an offensive foul with 13:55 remaining in the half Jameel Warney is subbed out.
A Dre Wills basket cuts the Stony Brook lead to 1; Warney subs back in with 13:01 left in the half. Wills hits another basket, this time a turn around right handed hook shot to regain the lead for Vermont– 10-9 at the 12:49 mark of the first half.
Tre (Carson) Puriefoy has a three point attempt blocked by Wills; Warney follows it with a block of his own on Dre Wills and the game hits the under-12 media timeout of the first half with Vermont leading 10-9.
Vermont switches to a zone, but it doesn’t matter. Jameel Warney gets his next touch at the 10:54 mark, making a tough catch and layup in traffic. Stony Brook retakes the lead 11-10, Warney has scored their last eight points and has nine total.
Tre (Carson) Puriefoy hits a three, Jameel Warney misses a layup, gets the offensive rebound and hits one of two free throws — Stony Brook leads 15-10 with 9:14 left in the first half.
Warney subs out and Ethan O’Day immediately takes advantage on a post up, cutting the Stony Brook lead to three. At the next break Warney subs back in, his breaks have been quick, just enough time to catch his breath.
Ernie Duncan, a standout Freshman for Vermont hits a three to tie the game at 15 with 8:25 left in the half. Jameel Warney answers with a dunk 11 seconds later.
Stony Brook leads 17-15 at the under-eight media timeout, Warney has 12 of their 17 points.
Out of the media timeout Jameel Warney blocks a Cam Ward layup attempt, on the following possession he mishandles a pass from Lucas Woodhouse turning the ball back over to Vermont.
Vermont ties the game and then takes the lead on a Darren Payne and-one layup following an offensive rebound with 7:11 remaining in the half. Tre (Carson) Puriefoy ties the game at 18 after going 1-2 from the free throw line.
Over the next 1:38 Vermont scores six straight points until a Jameel Warney spinning left handed hook shot against a double team stops the bleeding.
Ernie Duncan hits a tough deep two point step back jumper before Tre (Carson) Puriefoy answers with a three. Vermont leads 26-23 with 4:35 left in the half. A Vermont turnover later; Stony Brook goes back to Jameel Warney, who banks in a layup to cut the deficit to one.
With 3:07 remaining Warney misses his last field goal attempt of the half. Besides two free throws with 1:42 remaining, the first half ends much like it started — with Jameel Warney not getting enough touches.
Stony Brook gets sloppy over the final minutes, they turn the ball over twice as Vermont goes on a 6-0 run to take a 36-27 lead into the break.
Jameel Warney has 18 points and five rebounds at halftime. He’s made seven of Stony Brook’s 10 field goals on the way to scoring 18 of their 27 first half points.
Rayshaun McGrew gets in Warney’s ear in the locker room, letting him know he’s going to have to score 40 for the Seawolves to pull this one out.
McGrew opens up the second half scoring himself– he puts back an offensive rebound. Vermont answers on a Trae Bell-Haynes floater, their lead back up to nine. With 18:36 left in the contest Jameel Warney is fouled and hits both of his free throw attempts, Bell-Haynes punches back with a layup.
After Warney misses a bank attempt Ethan O’Day gets out ahead of the pack and lays it in. Vermont has stretched their lead to 11 with 17:43 remaining.
A Bell-Haynes floater puts Vermont up by 13, Stony Brook is forced to call a timeout which turns into the under-16 media timeout.
The crowd at IFCU seems to have lost its life — the fear of past on court tournament failures repeating is slowly becoming a reality. By the time a deep Darren Payne jumper puts Vermont up 15, the only cheering that can be heard is coming from Vermont fans.
Jameel Warney spins out of a double team and banks one in to make it 48-35. On the next Stony Brook possession Warney spins to his left away from the double team and hits a jumper– the Vermont lead is cut to 11.
Thirty seconds later Jameel Warney lays in a pass from Tre (Carson) Puriefoy, and there’s life from the crowd. Warney has scored six straight points to cut the Vermont lead to nine.
After a Vermont timeout they push the lead back to 11 from two free throws by Cam Ward. Tre (Carson) Puriefoy drills a three to cut the Stony Brook deficit to eight. Trae Bell-Haynes answers with a three of his own…then another, the Vermont lead is now 14 with 12:26 remaining.
Tre (Carson) Puriefoy punches back with another three 15 seconds later, Jameel Warney then slams home a dunk to make it a nine-point game. A Vermont turnover sends the game to the under-12 media timeout.
At the 10:30 mark Warney spins off the pick and roll, laying the ball in with his right hand– the Vermont lead is down to seven.
Warney subs out for 13 seconds — he doesn’t miss an offensive possession. Ahmad Walker gets to the free throw line and hits one of two, Stony Brook is within 6. Vermont answers on a Trae Bell-Haynes spinning floater in the paint, before Puriefoy hits another three to make it a five-point game.
Vermont turns the ball over and Ahmad Walker is fouled on the break, the Catamounts are hit with an intentional foul on the play. Walker makes both free throws, but Stony Brook comes out of the extra possession empty handed and still trail by 3 with 8:40 to play.
A Lucas Woodhouse floater makes it a 1 point game, but Vermont answers with an old fashioned three point play by Drew Urquhart.
Jameel Warney responds with a layup, he then blocks a Dre Wills attempt which is followed by a Rayshaun McGrew jumper.
Stony Brook has fought all the way back, the game is now tied at 61 with 6:29 left. Warney gets fouled on the next Stony Brook possession and hits one of two free throws, the Seawolves lead 62-61.
With 5:20 remaining Ethan O’Day fouls out. Vermont responds by hitting their second straight three, after two free throws by Cam Ward they hold a four-point lead with 4:22 remaining.
Stony Brook goes back to their big man; Jameel Warney slips a screen and banks a floater over two defenders to make it a two-point game. The next Seawolf possession Warney drops in a left handed layup to tie the game at 68 with 3 ½ minutes left on the clock.
Over the next couple of possessions the teams trade free throws with Stony Brook going 2-3 from the line, while Vermont makes both of their attempts. Stony Brook holds a 71-70 lead with 2:18 between them and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Jameel Warney hits another layup to give Stony Brook a three-point advantage, Dre Wills makes it a 1 point game once again after hitting two free throws.
With just over a minute left Lucas Woodhouse misses a corner three, Jameel Warney grabs the offensive rebound with one hand and in the same motion flips it back in. The Stony Brook lead is back up to 3 with 1:15 remaining.
Warney swears to this day he was fouled on the play, and it’s hard to argue with him…it sure looks like his left arm is being held down as he completes the play with just his right free.
Two Tre (Carson) Puriefoy free throws are countered by a Darren Payne dunk, Stony Brook leads by three with possession of the ball and only 34 seconds on the clock.
Rather than run the clock down (there was a four-second difference between the game and shot clock) the Seawolves get a quick shot from Ahmad Walker who misses a layup with 20 seconds left.
Jameel Warney has lost enough in the postseason, it’s his time now– Warney grabs the offensive rebound and lays it back in, Stony brook takes a five-point lead.
Vermont rushes down court, eventually throwing the ball away with 11 seconds left. As Tre (Carson) Puriefoy is fouled, Jameel Warney slaps the floor in pure joy.
The final Vermont shot bangs off the rim and lands in the hands of Jameel Warney, giving him 10 rebounds to complete another double-double performance.
He takes off running towards his bench…
Sometimes you start running — you have no clue why.
Maybe it’s from your past, maybe it’s towards your future…or just maybe, you don’t know what else to do.
After coming up short three years in a row it’s Jameel Warney’s turn to dance. He finishes with a career high and America East record-tying 43 points on 18-22 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and four blocks in 38 minutes for good measure.
The hours and days after the win are crazy. Jameel Warney says he barely slept, maybe an hour or so. That night he’s in a car on his way to get some food when someone furiously starts banging on the car window congratulating him.
Stony Brook makes an appearance as a team on Inside College Basketball on CBS Sports. The kid and team who were once overlooked are now getting the attention they felt they’ve always deserved.
Mark Morrison of Return of the Mack fame DMs Jameel Warney after the game.
It’s safe to say Warney and Stony Brook are no longer irrelevant.
Stony Brook falls to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Jameel Warney more than holds his own against the Kentucky big men as he finishes the game with 23 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks.
Warney finishes the season averaging 19.8 pts, 10.8 rebs, and 3.0 blks. He wins the America East POY award, the America East Defensive POY award and the America East Tournament MOP award. He finishes 11th in the nation with 21 double-doubles on the season.
Jameel Warney and Stony Brook 1.
Final Career Statistics
Points- 2,132 (First in Stony Brook history)
Rebounds- 1,275 (First in Stony Brook history)
Blocks- 275 (First in Stony Brook history)
FG%- .596 (First in Stony Brook Division I history)
Field Goals Made- 884 (First in Stony Brook history)
Photo courtesy of Flickr/John Feinberg