Projected by most draft gurus to be selected at either #9 by the Golden State Warriors or #15 by the New Jersey Nets, Warrick watch nervously as he was bypassed in favor of Ike Diogu (GS) and Antoine Wright (NJ). For a time, it looked as though Warrick would fall to Denver at #20 to be reunited with former teammate Carmelo Anthony, but Memphis GM Jerry West swooped in just before the Nuggets' pick to nab the high-flying Warrick. Now he will be teamed with exciting (and sometimes erratic) point guard Jason Williams. And images of alley-oops danced in my head...
Warrick finished his Syracuse career with 2,073 points and 1,024 rebounds, placing him at #4 overall in both categories. He turned in a dominant senior season, winning the 2005 Big East Player of the Year award while also hauling in 2nd team All-American status. The "Condor" saved his best for last, with two unforgettable performances in his final games in the Carrier Dome (35 and 36 pts!). He was also named Most Outstanding Player of the Big East Tournament after leading the 'Cuse to its first title since 1992. During his last 6 Big East games, Warrick dominated to the tune of 27.5 ppg, 9.7 reb, 52% fg, and 76.5% ft.
Unfortunately, his individual excellence was not enough to propel Syracuse deep into the NCAA tourney, as the Orangemen lost a shocker to Vermont in the first round. Warrick gave everything he had, turning in 20 points and 10 boards while leading a spirited comeback to force overtime. Still, Hakim will be best remembered for his incredible block of Michael Lee's three-point attempt in the waning seconds of the 2003 National Championship game. This indelible image is worth a thousand T.J. Sorrentine jumpers any day of the week.
Tonight's selection strengthens an already proud tradition of Syracuse players being drafted by the NBA. Twelve former SU players have been taken in the last 15 years, five of which have come since 2000. Warrick is the 7th SU player taken in within the first 20 picks since 1986. A recap of the SU players chosen over the last 20 years of the draft is shown below:
|2005||Hakim Warrick||Memphis Grizzlies||1 (19)|
|2003||Carmelo Anthony||Denver Nuggets||1 (3)|
|2001||Damone Brown||Philadelphia 76ers||2 (42)|
|2000||Etan Thomas||Dallas Mavericks||1 (12)|
|2000||Jason Hart||Milwaukee Bucks||2 (49)|
|1996||John Wallace||New York Knicks||1 (18)|
|1995||Lawrence Moten||Vancouver Grizzlies||2 (36)|
|1993||Conrad McRae||Washington Bullets||2 (38)|
|1992||Dave Johnson||Portland Trailblazers||1 (26)|
|1991||Billy Owens||Sacramento Kings||1 (3)|
|1991||LeRon Ellis||Los Angeles Clippers||1 (22)|
|1990||Derrick Coleman||New Jersey Nets||1 (1)|
|1989||Sherman Douglas||Miami Heat||2 (28)|
|1988||Rony Seikaly||Miami Heat||1 (9)|
|1987||Howard Triche||New York Knicks||6 (117)|
|1986||Pearl Washington||New Jersey Nets||1 (13)|
|1986||Rafael Addison||Phoenix Suns||2 (39)|
|1986||Wendell Alexis||Golden State Warriors||3 (59)|