Those that wish to recruit Willie Warren, here is a little tip. Be at main gym at Westfield High School at 9:15 on Saturday morning during the Kingwood Classic. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard from North Crowley (Texas) High School will be waiting.
The five-star prospect is one of the most sought after players in the nation and the always candid Texan said he is hoping to find different ways to see who is really serious.
"That will show me who wants me and how bad they want me if they show up for an early game on a Saturday," Warren said. "That will say a lot."
Always cognizant of who is in the picture and who is not, Warren said he is paying even closer attention to who is standing on the sidelines and sitting in the bleachers.
"If a recruit tells you that they don't pay attention to who is watching, then that is a bunch of crap," Warren said. "You have to pay attention. Some coaches say, 'We want you real bad.' But they are also saying that to another kid who is a potential McDonald's All-American kid. The only way you can see how bad a coach wants you is if he comes to every game."
There will certainly be a big following. Warren said he recently "re-opened" his recruitment despite not being a committed prospect.
"A lot of schools stopped recruiting me because they thought I had closed it off and was only considering a couple of schools. So (my mother and I) decided to re-open it because of the coaching changes. We'll see how that goes," Warren said.
"I've had some new schools come on since I said that. They are coming pretty hard. It's going to be tough because I was getting ready to get it over with but now me and my mom are going to take our time and make sure we make the right decision so I won't get to a school where the coach leaves and I will be stuck after my freshman year and be stuck with a new coach that brings a new offense and what not.
"When I talked to coach (Bill) Self, I told him that I didn't want to end up like Keith Langford. He went to my same school (North Crowley) and he was recruited by Roy Williams. When coach Self came in, it was a different situation that what Keith had thought about with Kansas. I told coach Self that I didn't want to make my decision and coach leaves and it's a whole different program. That might hurt my chances of making it to the NBA. That's huge, that's really huge. That can kill a player right there."
Warren says Kentucky, Kansas and Texas "are the main three that are coming real hard since day one." Without calling the trio of programs his leaders, Warren said the schools are high on his list.
Maryland, Indiana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Marquette and "a whole bunch of other schools," Warren says, are also in the picture.
Warren, underclassmen co-MVP of the Nike All-America camp last year, is one of the top scoring guards in the country. He's off to a hot start this year on the grassroots trail for Team Texas. His scholarship offer list is long and filled with high-majors. Trying to find the right situation will be a difficult process, he said, but he does have a set of internal questions that he tries to answer with each school.
"If they come to every game; do they see you? Do you see them? Do they write or text message you to see what's up? Do they call you when they know you have bad weather in your area and see if everything is okay? Do they talk to you about other things than just basketball? That's how it works, at least for me," Warren said.
"I want the coaches to be real. I don't want the coaches to be telling me one thing right now and then when I get there it's a different thing. I'm trying to talk to the coaches as much as possible to figure them out and see what coaches are real."
Warren will certainly be watching those that watch him this weekend at the Kingwood. But that isn't his top priority, he said. Winning the colossal tournament is. After a strong showing at the Las Vegas Easter Classic, where Warren poured in 30 points against the Southern California All-Stars, the tournament victors.
"I feel pretty good about Vegas because looking back, we beat the number one team in the country and the number one seed in the Kingwood Classic," Warren said. "That's pretty good. I feel pretty good about that."
He is also looking forward to proving himself against the best of the best and start the early process of becoming a 2008 McDonald's All-American.
"This is a big summer for me because I can get my name out there some more than it is. I've been feeling that I can play with the best," Warren said. "I've played with Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans. I can play at that level. I want to go after everybody, I want them all."