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Dazzling dunk highlights Sooner Willie Warren’s most complete game

By John Helsley Published: February 4, 2009
NORMAN – As a top national recruit, Willie Warren carried the equivalent of a video calling card, his spotlight dunk from the 2007 Nike Memorial Day Classic in Nashville.

Caught on camera, the moment became a YouTube hit, with views now numbering more than 484,000. Playback reveals Warren rising high for a power jam — over Putnam City’s Xavier Henry no less.

Yet at Oklahoma, Warren’s dunking reputation had taken somewhat of a hit among fun-loving teammates.

That is until Saturday.

With Iowa State on a 9-0 run, Warren drove the lane and climbed up, up and up over 6-11 Cyclones center Justin Hamilton for a demonstrative throwdown.

The dunk halted Iowa State’s momentum, silenced the Hilton Coliseum crowd and hinted at Warren’s acute sense of timing. While comfortable in his secondary role on this Blake Griffin-led Sooner squad, Warren has also shown an awareness of when his team needs him to do more.

Needed Saturday, Warren struck for 29 points, a career-high six rebounds and handed out four assists without a turnover to trigger No. 2-ranked OU’s ninth win in a row, a streak the Sooners will carry into tonight’s 8 p.m. clash with Texas A&M at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Probably his most complete game since he’s been here,” said OU coach Jeff Capel.

And that’s saying something, considering Warren is averaging 15.6 and 2.7 assists as a true freshman starter. Equally impressive, the rookie guard has shown an advanced maturity, rarely forcing things, yet regularly ready to push his production when the Sooners offense sputters.

"Those are the type of games I try to step up in and do a little bit outside of my role and make other plays and help Blake out,” Warren said.

No. 2 Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
When: 8 tonight

Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman

TV: KOCB-34 (Cox 11)

Radio: KOKC-AM 1520

Three things to know:

→After a 1-4 league start, including a 69-63 loss to OU in College Station, the Aggies have won two straight in the Big 12, beating Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

→The Aggies are 2-3 in true road games and 4-4 overall away from home, while OU is 12-0 at home this season and riding a 16-game home winning streak dating to last year.

→A&M is 0-10 all-time against teams ranked second or higher.

Starting Lineups

Texas A&M (17-5, 3-4)
Pos. Player Ht. Cl. Pts. Reb.
F Bryan Davis 6-9 Jr. 10.6 6.0
F Josh Carter 6-7 Sr. 12.9 4.2
C Chinemelu Elonu 6-10 Jr. 10.0 7.3
G Derrick Roland 6-4 Jr. 5.5 2.6
G Donald Sloan 6-3 Jr. 11.4 3.2*
Oklahoma (21-1, 7-0)
F Blake Griffin 6-10 So. 22.4 14.1
F Taylor Griffin 6-7 Sr. 8.9 6.3
G Tony Crocker 6-6 Jr. 10.2 3.5
G Willie Warren 6-4 Fr. 15.5 2.7*
G Austin Johnson 6-3 Sr. 8.6 4.5*
* assists


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