From Inside the Red Raiders by Joe Yeager
Sixes are wild in Texas Tech basketball. With the signature of Hampton graduate transfer Davion Warren, the current Tech roster now boasts five players who stand 6-foot-6. In addition to Warren, those players are presumed returnees Kevin McCullar and Terrence Shannon, and fellow recruits KJ Allen and Adonis Arms. This curious fact may be slightly coincidental, but it is not accidental. New head coach Mark Adams is deeply enamored with rangy players who can switch one through four, and preferably one through five. And 6-foot-6 may be, all other things being equal, the most switchable size.
Players of that height—provided that they are not barrel-chested interior bruisers—are the classic swingmen. They are neither true guards nor certified forwards. They occupy that limbo land that exists between the interior and the perimeter. They are quick enough to bother most guards, and their length makes them particularly pesky on the perimeter. But they are also big enough to be able to hold their position in the paint and bother shots from post-up players. And it looks very much like this is Adams’ ideal type of player.
In his senior season at Hampton, Warren averaged 21.3 points per game, 13th most in college basketball. He was an All-District and All-Big South player, and by sundry outlets was tabbed Big South Player of the Year and HBCU Co-Player of the Year.
Obviously, Warren brings scoring punch to Lubbock, although he ran the point at Hampton a great deal and is a good passer from the top of the key. Warren, who has legitimate Big XII athleticism, is a threat in transition, and in half-court sets plays through contact extremely well. In fact, Warren’s defining characteristic as an offensive player is the way he uses his size to his advantage. He’s a three-level scorer, but does a great deal of damage in the paint where he shoots accurately over smaller players who are nevertheless strongly contesting his shots. Hands in the face and body contact don’t affect Warren when he’s within 10 feet of the basket.
As a driver, Warren is crafty and unorthodox. He uses pass fakes to create separation, and when that separation doesn’t come, still manages to knock down awkward looking shots.
Less is known about Warren as a defender, but he did average over two steals per game as a senior.
Warren is also a player who has improved steadily and dramatically over the course of his career. Coming out of high school in Buffalo, his only offers were Olney Central College and Daemon College. He went the JUCO route at Olney and improved to the point that he received several mid-major offers including Hampton. While at Hampton, Warren continued to improve. As a junior he was a key role player, and as a senior blossomed into arguably the best player in the Big South conference. Clearly, Warren’s trajectory is upward, and the curve has become much steeper of late.
Warren will be Texas Tech’s third player from the city of Buffalo. The first was Mike Russell, who starred at Tech in the mid-seventies and is the school’s 14th leading scorer. The second was JD Sanders, who had a solid two-year stint in Lubbock in the late-eighties. And, like Warren, both Russell and Sanders matriculated through the JUCO ranks, Russell through New Mexico Junior College, and Sanders through Western Nebraska Community College.