At last weekend’s Kingwood Classic on the outskirts of Houston there were no shortage of eyes following the movement of Willie Warren. One of the top players in the class of 2008, the 6-4 guard has emerged as one of the most sought after scorers in the country. Not surprisingly, his game and willingness to talk about his recruitment has generated a lot of hype.
It isn’t just college coaches looking to get a hold of Warren, he’s also become very popular among those who cover recruiting and grassroots basketball. While he appreciates the attention and is always a good interview, he’s hoping that people don’t read too much into anything he says.
“It feels good, it lets me know that I’m doing good,” said Warren of all the attention he’s received from college coaches and scribes covering the recruiting game. “I don’t worry about it. Hopefully people won’t take stuff that I say too far or too personal so I don’t worry about stuff like that.”
After announcing various leaders and top five or top three lists -- the most recent usually including Kansas, Texas and Kentucky -- over the past few months, Warren was singing a new tune in Houston. When asked to name his favorites, the Texan indicated that there weren’t any.
“I don’t have a top five, 10 or 20 right now,” Warren told Phog.net. “I’m wide open. I’ve got a whole bunch of other schools looking at me now so I’m wide open.”
Up until recently, Warren had indicated that he was looking to make a decision sometime in the latter part of June. Like his now opened interest, the timeframe for a decision has changed too.
“Me and my mom, we are going to take it further than that,” said Warren of whether or not he’d still decide in late June. “Hopefully we can sit down and make my decision by the end of the summer. But, if that doesn’t work I’ll wait until the fall.”
According to Warren, the most important thing a school can do to stay in the race is to “keep showing me love”. One school that has consistently shown the love is Kansas where he took a late season unofficial.
So, the question is, where do Bill Self’s Jayhawks stand with him?
Heading into the Kingwood Classic, much was made over comments by Warren that he’d be paying close attention to who showed up to watch him in early games. So, when he took the court for a 9:10 in the morning tip on Saturday it wasn’t a surprise to see the gym loaded with high profile coaches.
However, Warren struggled with his shot and turnovers in that game and admits that he didn’t exactly have much time to check out who was watching.
“I really wasn’t looking at that,” said Warren. “I was focusing on how many turnovers I had so I didn’t really have time to look at who was over there. I did see Baylor, that’s the one school I did see.”
Now that he’s made it clear that he’s completely open, all that’s left for Warren to do is play out the spring and summer and make a decision. A reporter asked if he was worried about living up to all of the hype that his recruitment and game have generated, the 17 year old made it clear that while he feels he’s the best player in the country, he’s not worried about hype.
“I’m not worried about hype, I’m ranked all over the place,” said Warren of the frenzy. “I’m not worrying about hype or rankings, I’m just going to go out there, play my game and try to get the victory. I’m ranked 26 on one website and 13 on another. It’s so shaky, so I’m really not worried about that stuff. I just want to go out there and compete and I feel that I’m the best player in the country.”