Jamual Warren Improving Offensively

Minutes after Jamual Warren put on an impressive offensive display in a losing effort and his Mike Albert Leasing team had been eliminated from the Deveroes League tournament, Bearcat Insider spoke with the Springfield, Massachusetts native about a number of topics.

The Deveroes Summer League won't often be confused with big time college basketball since many players more or less coach themselves and sometimes get goaded into taking silly shots by an overzealous announcer, but it can be used as a barometer for the offseason improvement in a player's game.  And in the case of Jamual Warren, Bearcat basketball fans have to be very happy with what they've seen this summer at Woodward High School's gym.


Warren came to the Cincinnati program as a 2nd team junior college All-American who averaged 22 points a game, but there's nothing "junior" about the Big East Conference and Division IA basketball, and the 23-year-old senior guard (he will be 24 on December 30th) quickly found that out.  After a handful of games as a Bearcat, the scoring guard averaged a paltry 3.6 points per contest and was held scoreless in games against Wofford and Central Michigan.  Jamual ended the season with an 8.2 point average shooting only 38% from the floor, 15% from behind the arc and 60% from the line.  Woeful numbers for a guy who's had titles like "Jayhawk Conference Freshman of the Year" and "Region XV Player of the Year" attached to his name.


On this opening night of the Deveroes League tournament, Jamual looked like the old Jamual by scoring 35 points in a variety of ways.  Warren was 12 for 22 from the floor and 6 of 10 from behind the arc.  He also pulled down 8 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in 30 minutes of ball.  Jamual searched for the right words to describe his feelings.  "I don't know.  I just want to go out there and try to win.  I want to get back to being used to winning and carry it over to the season so we'll have a good year this year."


In nine summer league games, Jamual has scored in double figures 7 times for a 19.4 average, but in the last four, Warren has averaged 28 points a contest.  He commented on the change.  "I think I have my game back now to where I want it to be.  I'm feeling more comfortable with my decision making.  It's coming along for me.  I've been trying to work hard inside and outside the gym.  That's all I've been trying to do-to get better."


Last year at this time, Jamual was one of the objects of intense interest for Bearcat basketball fans as a member of the Slats' team.  Now he's a veteran and sees the newbies getting much of the attention and hears fans anointing some of the youngsters as starters.  "It's not going to be easy, and we've got some gifted new players, and they're good guys, but we're (veterans) going to fight just like in the games last year.  We're going to bring that attitude to practice, and there are some things they (freshmen) don't know yet.  I don't think they know how hard it is.  We've already played in the Big East and got it handed to us so we know what it takes.  I think the new guys are a little cocky, but that's what we need on this Bearcat team."


When talking about the 2007 recruiting class, Alvin Mitchell's name is usually the first one mentioned by fans, and Jamual gives Alvin the highest of Bearcat praise.  "He's the real definition of a Bearcat at a young age.  That's what he is.  I tell everybody that.  Once he learns how to play uptempo defense, he'll be amazing to watch."


Even though Jamual struggled with his offense last season, the 6' 2" guard still contributed heavily on the defensive end and even won the squad's "Defensive Player of the Year" award.  He uses that award as motivation.  "I've got it hanging in my window.  I take a lot of pride in that.  It's what gets my offense going.  I can't be a scoring point guard any more.  I need to be a floor general and get others invloved, but I can still get points off steals.  That's what I look to do."


Jamual may not consider himself a scoring point guard anymore, but those that saw his performance on Tuesday night witnessed his ability to put the ball in the basket at an alarming rate.  Before Cincinnati fans start penciling in other names in that 2007 Bearcat starting line-up, they may want to be sure that can spell "Warren."  


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