Warren Starting to Soar

The recent solid play from freshman guard Willie Warren is really something the Sooners can be excited about down the stretch.

First, he scorched the Texas Longhorns for 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting, including 6-for-12 shooting from behind the arc.

Then, he followed up with another 50 percent performance from the field, hitting eight of his 16 shots, including 3-for-6 from three point land, in the Sooners' 87-78 Big Monday loss to the Kansas Jayhawks.

In fact, Kansas head coach Bill Self couldn't help but mention the pound-for-pound battle between his junior point guard Sherron Collins and the Sooners' Warren .

"I hated seeing it at the time, but how much fun was that watching [Sherron Collins] and Willie go at each other for a stretch," Self said.

That is clearly part of Warren 's personality on the court; he takes every match-up personally and did in the closing minutes of the Monday contest.

"I mean just down the stretch it all came down to who was making the plays," Warren said. "And, you know, I was just trying to make plays to put my team in a position to win the game, and Sherron was trying to make plays to keep his team ahead, and, you know, he obviously made more plays because his team came out with a win."

While Warren closed with 23 points, Collins narrowly edged him in the scoring column with 26 points.

Collins had nothing but praise for the young Sooner.

Warren was, indeed, the sparkplug behind OU jumping out to an early 14-point lead in the first 10 minutes of the contest.

"I think halfway through the first half, when we started coming back, that's when we started guarding their perimeter guys," Collins said. "And Willie Warren, we let him get going real early. He played terrific. I tip my hat to him. He's tough, a tough young fellow. And I had to switch off on him and guard him a little bit, and he was still a tough assignment, and I think I just slowed him up a little bit there in the first half."

Warren has clearly grown up in the last two games, averaging 25 points in the two contests over three days without sophomore forward Blake Griffin.

Perhaps his one weakness was in the turnover category, where he lost it four times, compared to only three assists.

But overall, the play has been encouraging from Warren as of late.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories