Willie Warren’s return to OU: Is it in the numbers?

Oklahoman Published: April 15, 2009
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Willie Warren is considering his preferences for jersey numbers next season — at Oklahoma.

Warren, contemplating a decision to stay in school or turn pro, keeps indicating that he’ll be back for a second season with the Sooners. And weighing a number change could be the latest example of which way he’s leaning.


No. 23 has been vacated by Blake Griffin, but likely isn’t available out of reverence to Griffin and Wayman Tisdale. Warren wore No. 32 as a prep star, and Taylor Griffin’s graduation puts it in play.

"He actually wants to keep 13,” OU coach Jeff Capel said Tuesday. "I thought he would want 32, because that’s the number he’s worn and that’s the number his mother wore. But I think he wants to keep 13.”

And, Capel believes, Warren still wants to be a Sooner, although many NBA mock drafts project him as a lottery pick.

"I sense that he wants to come back,” Capel said. "Every time I’ve talked to him, and I talk to him pretty often, he’s expressed that he wants to come back. But it’s just a situation where if it’s something that’s too good to pass up, you have to look at that. But he says he’s going to come back.

"He’s doing well in his classes. We started individual (workouts) and he was there; he’s doing those. He’s talked to me about doing different things with trying to help us, assisting us in recruiting. I think he’s going to be back. At the end of the day, I think he’s going to be back.”

BY JOHN HELSLEY