The Sporting News continues to show its utmost admiration for the Sooners basketball team, and Willie Warren in particular, by naming Warren the preseason National Player of the Year. There must be some editor, or editors, at that magazine that just love Willie Warren.
The 6 foot 4 inch 203 pound sophomore guard will be counted on by a young Sooners squad to help bridge the gap between Blake Griffin and the enormous amount of talent coming in on campus this year.
It should be noted that Sporting News isn't picking just anybody. Warren won Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors last season, and he was named to the national freshman All American squad. He set school freshman records for starts and three point baskets.
Only one player in OU history put the ball in the basket as much as Warren did as a freshman, and that was Wayman Tisdale back in 1982-1983. Against British Columbia, in an exhibition contest earlier this week, Warren poured in 23 points and dished out 5 assists in 28 minutes of action.
"I'm not going to lie, being named preseason player of the year is pretty cool," said Warren before OU's Friday afternoon practice. "I'm extremely honored by it. I'm just looking forward to a fun year with my teammates and coaches. We've got a lot of really talented players and we're going to have a great season."
Pretty cool indeed. More after the jump!
- Texas fans are already booking trips to Pasadena and in general seem pretty confident that it will be a cakewalk to a title.
- A good chunk of the country will be seeing the prime time ABC coverage of Oklahoma and Nebraska. Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham get the call in Lincoln.
- And finally, just a few thoughts of my own from having attended the exhibition: The team started slowly, but seemed to play more cohesively in the second half...Willie Warren was solid but quiet. I had no idea how many points he racked up until the end of the game...Tommy Mason-Griffin looks like he could be a stud. He has a nice outside shot. However, he forced too many passes...Tiny Gallon looks like he still needs to work on conditioning a bit as he was a bit slow to get up and down the floor...Speaking of getting up and down the floor, Andrew Fitzgerald shocked me with how fluid he was in the break for a PF. He definitely has some skills and I think he'll be a regular contributer as a freshman...Cade Davis can still knock down the threes, and his shot looks even better...Tony Crocker had two four-point-plays. Overall, though, he had one of those games where nothing he was throwing up was going in until the last 5-10 minutes...Steven Pledger - man can that guy play. He can shoot the lights out too. I was very impressed...Orlando Allen was in street clothes (injury?)...Ryan Wright didn't make too much noise for better or for worse.
- If I had to point to two major weaknesses it would be the frontcourt and then point guard depth. The frontcourt is a mix of experienced players who aren't stars, and raw talent that has the potential to blossom into a star(s). This will probably lead to some growing pains, and against a big bruiser (like Cole Aldrich) we will probably get dominated on the glass. As far as point guard depth goes, it looks like Willie takes over the point right now when TMG needs a rest. If one of them gets into foul trouble or injured, the other will get winded pretty fast. T.J. Franklin is on the bench, but Capel didn't play him much in a blowout on Tuesday. Hopefully TMG and Willie can stay healthy.