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 STRUGGLESJunior 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. On Monday vs. UTEP, Davis’ shot didn’t showed up for its encore. He made his first attempt of the game to put the Sooners up 3-2 but missed his last five shots, including four treys. "He allowed that to affect his focus,” Capel said. "Not that he didn’t play hard, but he didn’t play smart.” After playing all 40 minutes on Saturday, Capel benched Davis, who played 25 minutes on Monday, in the first half in favor of freshman Steven Pledger.
GALLON TAKES ON CARACTERFreshman forward Tiny Gallon doesn’t encounter too many big men who can match his 6-foot-9, 290-pound frame, but UTEP’s Derrick Caracter fits the description. Caracter, a 6-9, 275-pound transfer from Louisville, showed his range early, knocking down a 3-pointer to finish scoring the Miners’ first seven points. He finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Gallon showed off a few impressive post moves as part of his 13-point, eight-rebound night. "I thought he played well in the second half, which was a plus for us,” Capel said of Gallon. "It’s something to build on.” Gallon stepped out and hit a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game with 12:50 to play in the first half.
QUOTABLE"When you’re not making shots, it’s very deflating. We were stuck on 20 and couldn’t make a shot. We got deflated.” Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel, on UTEP’s 14-0 run in the first half to open up a 15-point lead.