Rodney Carney

Rodney Carney profile
Drafted #16 in the 2006 NBA Draft by the 76ers
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
Weight: 204 lbs (93 kg)
Age: 36
Position: SF
Jerseys: #35, #10, #0, #25
Relatives: half brother of Ron Slay
High School: Northwest High School (Indiana)
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Agent: Jamie Knox
College: Memphis
Current Team: Mayaguez
Win - Loss: 17 - 18


NBA Scouting Reports: Filling in the Blanks- Small Forwards (Part Two)

Matt Kamalsky
Matt Kamalsky
Nov 17, 2009, 05:53 pm
Overview: An athletic wing who has had a hard time translating his awesome physical tools into a niche in the NBA. One of the most impressive leapers in the NBA. Elite run-jump athlete. Has very good size and length. Mother was an elite sprinter and half brother, Ron Slay, is also a professional basketball player. Has always been lauded for his athleticism, but is prone to taking too many jump shots. Improved consistently throughout his four year career at Memphis. Was named the Conference USA Player of the Year as a senior. Garnered a selection in the middle of the first round. Saw a decent amount of playing time as a rookie in Philadelphia, but has been unable to take the next step in his career thus far. Returned to the 76ers and played one year with the Timberwolves. Has been able to make some plays with his athleticism, but still has yet to reach his potential, due to his underdeveloped basketball IQ.

Offense: An inefficient offensive player who has the tools to be far more effective. Gets about half of his offensive opportunities in spot up situations with another quarter coming in transition. Excels in open space. Has solid form on his shot, which features excellent elevation. A solid set shooter whose efficiency plummets when he puts the ball on the floor. Will fade away a bit when he has a hand in his face. Has never been much of a ball handler, and still struggles to put the ball on the floor. Weak handle, limited feel and poor pull up jumper make it tough for him to take advantage of his absolutely outstanding first step. Proves to be a very capable finisher at the rim when he can get there. Explosive leaping ability makes it easy for him to out jump his defender to finisher. Will get in a bit of a rush in traffic. Doesn’t get to the line at all for a player that has the athleticism to get to the rim consistently. Takes a lot of jump shots considering how effective he is at the rim. Doesn’t turn the ball over too much, but doesn’t make his teammates better either. Not a terribly versatile offensive player, but has some tools that could serve him extremely well if he improved some parts of his game.

Defense: A solid defender when he wants to be. Doesn’t rebound the ball at a good rate or force many turnovers. Displays excellent lateral quickness at times when defending the ball, but doesn’t always get in a good stance. Does a solid job denying penetration when he commits to it. Able to defend multiple positions due to his foot speed. Doesn’t play a terribly aggressive brand of defense, but is prone to selling out to block shots when closing out. Has average fundamentals at best, maneuvering himself out of position when playing off the ball. Has his moments, but has the physical tools to be a real stopper. Feel for the game must improve to reach his potential.

Rodney Carney NBA Draft Scouting Report

Apr 17, 2006, 12:50 am
In terms of physical attributes, few can match those of Carney’s in this draft. He has prototypical size and length for a modern day NBA swingman, with a solid frame to boot. What makes him most intriguing, though, is his incredible athletic ability. Carney has an outstanding combination of amazing quickness in the open floor, a fantastic first step, and possibly the best vertical leap in college basketball. He simply explodes off the ground from unheard of distances and glides his way to the basket for extremely creative dunks.

Carney has athleticism in his genes, as his mother DeAndra Ware held the world record in the Indoor 60 yard dash, and also was an Indiana state champion in the 100 and 200 meter dash. Carney himself was the Indiana state champion as a high school senior in the high jump, with a personal-best jump of 6-11. He also excelled in the 400 meter dash.

Offensively, Carney is not “just an athlete;” showing the ability to score in many ways.

His perimeter shooting stroke is a thing of beauty, elevating high off the ground to get his shot off almost whenever he pleases, and showing deep range and picture perfect mechanics releasing the ball. Carney can heat up in a hurry from behind the arc, but can be fairly streaky as well at times. He shows flashes of being able to use his phenomenal quickness to just explode past his man and elevate instantaneously off the dribble from mid-range as well.

In terms of slashing to the basket, when Carney puts his mind to it there are few that can stay in front of him at the NCAA level. His first step is incredibly explosive and he shows some flashy, although not always highly effective, spin moves and floaters to get his shot off once inside the paint.

Defensively, Carney has improved significantly this year and features all the tools in the world needed to be a lock down defender, particularly his size, length and superb quickness. He’ll usually get in the passing lanes about once a game and entrench himself in that night’s Sportscenter Top 10 highlight reel with the ensuing dunk.

Despite being a senior, the overall impression of Carney is that he still has a massive upside to continue to improve, particularly if he can be coached into understanding the little nuances of the game that he’s missing right now.

While Carney has a legit case to be considered the most athletic wing player in this draft, he really doesn’t take advantage of his athleticism as much as you would hope.

The biggest issue here is the fact that he seems to lack the ball-handling skills and possibly the motivation to actually take his man off the dribble and create high percentage shots for himself. A player with his first step should take the ball to the basket strong to the hoop and either finish or get fouled a dozen times per game at the Conference USA level. Instead, Carney settles for too many mid-range or long range jump-shots, attempting twice as many 3-pointers as he did free throws (7 per game as opposed to 3.5 free throws), attempting more 3-pointers than 2-pointers, and only shooting 43% from the field. His shot-selection can be very shaky at times, as he generally appears to lack the type of feel for the game and understanding of situations you would hope for from a player with his physical tools. Making freshman mistakes were not out of the question for the senior Carney this year. His free throw shooting could also stand to improve at just 71%.

You have to wonder what he is lacking in his game right now that prevents him from going all the way to the basket and just exploding off the ground for an athletic finish. Theories include strength, mental toughness, body control and physical toughness. These same all apply to his rebounding ability at the small forward position, where his natural physical tools should allow him to average more than just a paltry 4.3 rebounds per game. The other parts of the game that make up the boxscore, including his assists, steals and blocks are also not all that impressive, although much of this has to do with the fact that he doesn’t get as many minutes as most top 20 pick draft candidates.

Even though he’s a senior, you still never quite know what you are going to get when Carney hits the floor each night. One game he’ll explode for 37 points and 10 rebounds as he did against Louisiana Tech, and in the Elite Eight he’ll shoot 2/12 from the field for 5 total points. If he misses his first couple of jump-shots, he’ll often just disappear from the game for the rest of the night, looking tentative and awkward out on the floor and not quite knowing how to get himself back on track.

While Carney has improved his defense in his senior year, it still tends to waver depending on how he is doing on the offensive end that night. Coach Calipari did not hesitate to bring him off the bench early on in the season to try and motivate him to play harder. Memphis was one of the deeper teams in the country this year, and they only relied on Carney to play about 27 minutes per contest.

Carney was not considered a highly touted recruit in high school, partially due to the fact that he did not play AAU basketball in the summer (the story says his coach thought it was bad for his fundamentals), but mainly because of the fact that he eventually improved greatly in each of his four years at Memphis.

Memphis was an especially strong team this year, being ranked in the top 10 for most of the season and eventually making the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. They played in a Conference USA that became very watered down after the departure of all of its top programs to the Big East besides Memphis, but scheduled the toughest out of conference schedule in the entire NCAA, with games against highly seeded NCAA tournament teams such as Duke, Gonzaga, Texas, Tennessee and UCLA, amongst others.

Carney’s numbers improved significantly in each of his four seasons at Memphis.

Carney is exactly the type of player whose stock likely skyrockets as reports begin to filter out about his exploits at private NBA workouts, which are tailor made for him to show off his extremely impressive strengths. He will test out athletically extremely well, show outstanding defensive potential in the 2 on 2 scrimmages, and likely shoot the ball at a great clip from NBA 3-point range in the drills. That, combined with his prototypical physical attributes, his solid college numbers and the fact that he clearly has plenty of upside to continue to improve will likely convince someone to draft him in the mid to late part of the lottery. He would be best suited playing for a team with a good point guard that likes to get up and down the floor and won’t rely too heavily on him to create offense off the dribble.

Brother Ron Slay was an All-SEC player at Tennessee a few years back, and finished up this past season in Israel.

NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Elite Eight, Saturday Games)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Mar 26, 2006, 12:19 am
In his last college game, Carney struggled like he has in many games throughout his college career. He couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end of the ball throughout the game, and his frustration got him in foul trouble on the defensive end. In games where Carney can’t get into the offensive flow in the first few minutes, he usually struggles, and this was no exception. Against UCLA, he kept taking the ball to the hoop, but shied away from contact near the rim, and didn’t finish inside. His three point shot never went down until the points were meaningless, and Carney’s only real contribution came on a 12 foot turnaround within the first 10 minutes of play.

Carney’s last college game proved why his draft stock is hard to gauge. After having a great game against Bradley, he was nowhere to be found. For a senior player especially it might be hard for NBA teams to invest a top 10 pick in a player who has been so up and down with their game throughout his career. There is no doubt that Rodney Carney will impress the scouts with his physical abilities and perimeter shooting at the workouts and in the combine, but their will always be some doubt about how ready and able he is to contribute over a grueling 82 game season until he actually goes out and does it.

NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Sweet Sixteen, Thursday games)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Mar 24, 2006, 04:15 am
Rodney Carney finally had his breakout game in the NCAA tournament against Bradley, displaying the plethora of skills that he possesses on the offensive end combined with his game-changing athletic ability.

Though he didn’t score a point in the first 7 minutes and 26 seconds of the game, Carney came to life with a thunderous dunk at the 12:34 mark in the first half. From there, he mixed things up impressively with a display of three point shooting and athletic ability. After sinking a three, Carney used the threat of the three point shot on the next possession to get his defender in the air and take the ball hard to the hoop where he was fouled. He continued to use his explosiveness both in transition and in half courts set to get to the line 8 times, where he converted all but one of his free throws. A few of Carney’s dunks left the crowd awe-struck at how far away from the hoop he took off. This certainly would have been a memorable game for Rodney at any point in his college career, but it makes it even more impressive that he did it in the NCAA tournament.

If Rodney Carney performed every night like he did against Bradley, we would probably be talking about a player who would get consideration for being the top overall pick. In the past, Carney has struggled at times when things haven’t gone his way early in the game, and though he missed his first two shots, he still kept his composure. Though he has been criticized for his defense in the past, Rodney played above average defense against the Braves. He is a potentially great defender due to his physical gifts, and will likely continue his improvement in this area at the next level. In the past, Carney has sometimes had the reputation of killing the flow of the offense, especially on his off nights, but tonight all of his shots were perfectly in rhythm with the team, and he didn’t take even one bad shot. If Carney can reproduce this performance in the next round of the NCAA tournament and help Memphis reach the final four, he will probably make a lot of NBA teams in the top 10 think long and hard about passing on him.

NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (round of 32, Sunday games)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Jonathan Watters
Jonathan Watters
Mar 20, 2006, 02:55 am
Despite Memphis blowing out Bucknell, Rodney Carney didn’t have very much to do with it. He was invisible for most of the game, aside from a highlight reel dunk or two he had in transition. For the entire first half, Carney just hung around the perimeter, not looking to go to the hole at all. He made more attempts to go to the basket in the second half, though still played primarily passive offense, and even when he didn’t, he was turning it over or taking a bad shot. To his credit, he ran the floor well and had some baskets and drawn fouls in transition, but in the half-court, he was a complete non-factor.

On the defensive end, Carney was much more aggressive, especially in the later stages of the game. He still had a fair share of plays where he wasn’t sticking his man, playing the lackluster D that got him in trouble earlier in the season. But for the most part, Carney was aggressive on the defensive end, using his length to disrupt in the passing lanes, starting a few fast-break opportunities because of it. This, in turn, led to some gambles where he lost his man, but at least he was putting in effort on this end of the floor.

Carney’s problems with consistency, focus, and shot selection have been a recurring issue in his four years at Memphis, not showing many signs of going away. He could help his draft stock by increasing his focus and aggressiveness for the rest of the tournament, though he’ll likely be a lottery pick regardless based on his upside and the way we expect him to perform in workouts.

NCAA Tournament: Oakland Bracket NBA Draft Prospects

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Jonathan Watters
Jonathan Watters
Landry Fields
Landry Fields
Mar 16, 2006, 02:48 am
One of the premier athletes in all of college basketball, Rodney Carney is having his best season of his career as a senior. In the past, Carney struggled with consistency issues, but he’s improved greatly in this area and has been the #1 option offensively on a very talented and athletic team. He also has career highs in field goal and three point percentage, though his free throw percentage is down from last season. Most of the current questions revolving around Carney’s NBA potential deal with his poor shot selection and inability to create consistent offense beyond his somewhat streaky 3-point shot and highlight reel dunks. His in-between game is still not there, but NBA scouts generally recognize that Carney still has a massive upside to continue to improve if the lightbulb comes on for him in the pros.

For Memphis to make a run at the final four, Rodney Carney will need to carry the team on offense at times, and continue to play good defense. Somebody with all of the physical tools that Carney has should be a very good defender and rebounder, but is at times lacking in those two areas. His performance in the NCAA tournament will be very important to his draft position in June. If Carney can improve his shot selection, show better focus on both ends of the floor and look to his teammates more, he could see himself in the top 10 when it’s all said and done.

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