When Blake Griffin went out, Willie Warren’s game went up. In OU’s two back-to-back losses, the stock of Warren rose much higher than the stock of the Sooners fell.
Warren’s two-game line against Texas and Kansas: 50 points, 18-of-36 shooting, 9-of-18 on 3-pointers and nine assists. That’s big-time basketball, especially since the majority of Warren’s shots were contested drives or deep 3-pointers. And it raises the question of just how much more time in college Warren needs before he’s NBA-ready. If Warren wants to return to OU because he wants to make another NCAA Tournament run, or he wants to be the team leader after Griffin’s departure, or he simply likes the campus life, then by all means Warren should stay a Sooner. But if he’s trying to improve his pro potential, I don’t see how another year of college helps. If a player has the skill and the talent — if he can run and jump and shoot, which Warren obviously can — and is going to be a first-round draft choice, then clearly the best way to improve is to get to the NBA just as quickly as you can.