Posted on: March 24, 2010 11:31 am
Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel confirmed Wednesday that freshman point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin is leaving school after one season to pursue a professional career.
"Tommy visited with his family over spring break last week, and he informed me that he is going to pursue a professional basketball career," Capel said. I thank him for his contributions this season and wish him success."
Mason-Griffin averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 assists in 35.7 minutes per game this season. He's projected as a second-round pick at best, and it's possible the Houston native could go undrafted. In another development, Capel said sophomore Ray Willis is transferring out of the program and that it remains unclear whether sophomore Willie Warren will enter the NBA Draft, though many expect Warren to test the waters and leave school if he's a projected first-round pick. Meantime, most believe Keith "Tiny" Gallon will also enter the NBA Draft, but the freshman forward has not announced those plans yet.
Posted on: March 2, 2010 4:46 pm
Oklahoma's Willie Warren will have arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle Wednesday.
The sophomore guard will not return this season.
Warren is averaging 16.3 points per game, but he's been dreadful in a leadership role and clashed with coach Jeff Capel in a pretty public way. Most believe Warren will now enter the NBA Draft, for better or worse, just to get out of college. He was a projected lottery pick last season, and he's still projected as a first-round pick despite injuries and supposed attitude problems.
Oklahoma is 13-16 overall, 4-11 in the Big 12.
The Sooners play Texas A&M on Saturday in the regular-season finale.
Posted on: October 8, 2009 4:47 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2009 2:16 pm
The Big 12 released its official preseason honors Thursday, and the first thing I noticed was that Texas' Avery Bradley won Freshman of the Year instead of Kansas' Xavier Henry. Truth be told, that's how I'd vote, too (as my All-America teams show). But I wasn't sure if the league's coaches would see things similarly. So I found that interesting.
Anyway, that's the first thing I noticed.
But the next thing I noticed was insane: Cole Aldrich and Willie Warren were not consensus All-Big 12.
Is it as silly as the Tim Tebow snub by Steve Spurrier?
But I'd love to hear somebody explain how Aldrich and Warren -- both of whom are CBSSports.com First Team All-Americans -- don't belong on the All-Big 12 team, because there is at least one coach who voted that way. Meantime, Sherron Collins and Craig Brackins were unanimous selections, and I'm OK with that. But not voting for Aldrich and Warren is inexplicable, I think.
Here's how the All-Big 12 team should look:
Posted on: April 16, 2009 3:33 pm
Freshman Willie Warren will pass on the opportunity to be a lottery pick and return to Oklahoma to give Jeff Capel an experienced and dynamic scorer with which he can surround a heralded recruiting class, multiple sources have confirmed to CBSSports.com.
It's a develop that should put the Sooners in the updated version of the preseason Top 25 (and one) .
Warren averaged 14.6 points and 3.1 assists per game as Blake Griffin's sidekick this season, but he showed a unique ability to score when Griffin went down with a concussion in February. Griffin missed most of the Texas game and all of the Kansas game, clearing the way for Warren to get 27 and 23 points in his absence. It's likely those numbers will appear more regularly next season, and Warren should be under consideration for All-America honors.
Posted on: December 16, 2008 2:14 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2008 3:49 pm
Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: So now that you've admitted your impact freshmen list was a little off, how would you rework it based on the early season? Has Greg Monroe begun to make good on his elite prospect status?
You know, I think I'm a Greg Monroe fan. He's not Michael Beasley or Kevin Durant or anything like that, but I've seen him three or four times this season, and he's pretty damn impressive. Plus, he just looks like an NBA player, perhaps more so than any other freshman. So while I stand by my comment that he's never blown me away like a typical top prospect usually does, I freely admit that I think more of him than I thought I would, because he's definitely one of the top freshmen in America.
As for re-ranking the freshmen, my new top five would probably look like this:
1. Samardo Samuels (Louisville)
Two other guys worth watching, for different reasons are Arkansas' Courtney Fortson and Xavier's Terrell Holloway.
Because he's averaging 15.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds for the 6-1 Hogs, though it remains to be seen how much of those statistics are just a byproduct of Arkansas not having many good options and/or Arkansas playing a weak non-league schedule.
Because I'm a big fan of freshmen who contribute for good teams, and Holloway is contributing for a top 10 team. His statistics (6.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game) don't jump off the page. But he's an important part of a likely league champion, and I tend to find that more impressive than a freshmen on a bad team posting huge numbers.
Posted on: September 11, 2008 4:42 pm
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Posted on: September 11, 2008 4:42 pm
One of the things Willie Warren said in our conversation the other day is that he committed to Oklahoma, at least in part, because he wanted to play with Blake Griffin, which makes sense. I mean, a good guard always benefits from a dominant post presence, Mike Conley and his million-dollar contract being a solid recent example. So Warren saw Griffin at OU and committed to OU. But as last season progressed and Griffin showed his ability on a national stage it became apparent he was a guaranteed lottery pick, and that's when Warren figured Griffin would be gone before he ever arrived on campus.
"I expected him to leave," Warren said. "I actually think he's crazy for not leaving."
For the record, so do I. In fact, that's what I wrote three months ago (I actually used that same word, crazy, in a column). But that's neither here nor there anymore. As it stands, Griffin is back and Warren is with him, and those two could form the nation's best inside-outside duo.
"Oh yeah," Warren said. "I think we will."
Posted on: September 10, 2008 12:14 am