UA back on Warren's Radar

Texas prep star Willie Warren was a little worried about the coaching change at Arkansas, but new Razorback bench boss John Pelphrey has reignited his interest in the school.

DUNCANVILLE, Texas - As of Wednesday, the University of Arkansas is back in play for shooting guard Willie Warren – one of the nation's best 2008 prospects.

That's when new Razorback head coach John Pelphrey talked to Warren and his mom and made sure that the 6-4 Crowley (Texas) High guard knew he was still an important UA target even with the recent coaching change.

"He said if I was thinking Arkansas was going to walk the ball up under him that I was all wrong," Warren said. "He said they wanted to score 85 to 90 points a game and that he was looking for a guard to get up and down the court and score a lot of points. That sounded great to me and I told him I could be that guy.

"So he offered me right then," Warren said. "My mom and I both thought he was really cool and he seems like a coach that really knows what he is doing."

Warren had 15 points Friday night while playing a little under a half in his Team Texas' rout of the Birmingham Bobcats in opening round play at the Next Level Ballers AAU tournament.

Arkansas is among a host of schools that have offered Warren already – who had cut his list down at one point.

"I had cut it down, but my mom and I thought I was moving things a little too fast and so I decided to open it back up and I am getting more offers now every day," Warren said. "It's crazy, but I am excited about all the attention and honored they think I can play."

Former Arkansas coach Stan Heath and his staff offered Warren, who had forged a strong bond with assistant Orande Taliaferro and took an unofficial visit to Fayetteville last September.

"I was a little shocked at everything and I didn't know if the new guy would even want me," Warren said. "But he really made it clear how much he does want me."

Warren will begin to narrow down his list at the end of the summer and decide where he will take his five official visits.

"The only one I definitely know of right now is that I am going to Kentucky for Midnight Madness on Oct. 13," Warren said. "I promised Coach (Billy) Gillispie today that I would do that.

"I'm definitely thinking I am going to come see Arkansas, too," Warren said. "It's a great place."

Warren and his teammates - which includes Oklahoma guard Rotnei Clarke - will be back in action Saturday morning as college coaches get to look on after being shutout on Friday night.

"It was good to get a easy win tonight and not have to play too much because these things can get long sometimes," Warren said. "We'll be much better since we got some rest tonight."


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