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OU basketball notebook: Sooners searching for a leader

BY DAVID UBBEN, Staff Writer, dubben@opubco.com Modified: December 22, 2009 at 12:19 am •  Published: December 22, 2009
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Sophomore guard Willie Warren already had his lip busted open in Monday’s 89-74 loss to UTEP in the All-College Classic at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

But after the loss, Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel took a shot at his swollen star, questioning Warren’s pride and status as the leader of the 8-4 Sooners.

"We have some guys who step up at times, but not a consistent voice, not a consistent leader,” Capel said. "You know who it is. Everyone in this room knows who it is.”

Capel complimented the play of Tony Crocker, who scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss, but the coach said the soft-spoken senior is more likely to help motivate his teammates with his play than his words.

"A leader is a guy that’s consistent. It doesn’t mean he necessarily plays well all the time, but they’re consistent,” Capel said. "Their voice is consistent. They’re positive when they get on guys, but you can only get on guys when you’re doing it yourself, when you’re giving good effort.”

Warren led the Sooners with 26 points, bouncing back from scoring just four points in Saturday’s win over Northern Colorado.

After Warren took just six shots and turned the ball over five times, in addition to playing poorly on the defensive end, Capel said he was "tired of trying to figure him out.”

DAVIS STRUGGLES
Junior guard Cade Davis scored 25 points in Saturday’s win over Northern Colorado, including a stretch of three consecutive 3-pointers to rescue the Sooners from an 11-point deficit.