Little Rock Central guard Bryson Warren is the first sophomore to be named Arkansas Basketball Coaches Association Overall Boys Player of the Year in the organization's eight-year history.
Warren, 6-2, 160 pounds, led the Tigers to a 23-5 record and to the Class 6A state title game by averaging 24.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 steals a game
His shooting percentages were exceptional for a high-level scorer. Warren hit 57.5% of his two-point shots, 43.6% from the three-point line and 76.6% from the free throw line.
"You just look at the numbers more than anything," said Jonesboro Coach Wes Swift, whose Hurricane lost to the Tigers 65-55 in December. "I know numbers don't tell all of the story. I know I played against him and he was a handful."
Warren and the Tigers played a rigorous scheduled that included going 2-1 against 6A state champion North Little Rock, 1-1 versus For Smith Northside, 2-0 against Bryant and Bentonville.
"Just go down the line, and I don't know if he every had a poor game in a so-called big game," said Swift, who led Jonesboro to the Class 5A state title. "He obviously plays older than a sophomore. His maturity on the court is really good. What I mean by that is he puts up numbers but they're very efficient numbers. It doesn't take him 25 shots to get 25 points."
"He wants the ball in his hands late. So I think he checks all of the boxes of an MVP-type player."
Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson saw Warren average 23 points and 4.5 rebounds in the two games against the Hornets.
"Great scorer, tough-shot maker," Abrahamson said. "Like many great scorers, he has great body control. He always seems under control and balanced."
Warren has 18 scholarship offers, including from the University Arkansas, Auburn, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Maryland and others.
He attributes his progression as a prospect to playing against older, bigger players which he also believes helped him earn the player of the year award.
"For a long time I've been working out with older guys, pro dudes. overseas pros and DI college players so my game has always been maturing and it just keeps maturing," Warren said.
He was the lone sophomore on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's All-Arkansas Preps first team while also being named the Underclassman of the Year.
Warren has continued his strong play for the Kansas based 16-under Mokan Elite. He was recently named the MVP of the The Circuit League I first session on April 23-25.
He led Mokan to a 4-0 record while scoring in double figures in all four contests. Warren had 17 points and 5 assists against highly regarded Drive Nation and 19 points and 5 assists against MEBO Team Hood.
He's been communicating with numerous schools like Arkansas, Auburn, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Maryland, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt.
"I've been talking to them weekly, sometimes every two weeks," he said.
Warren added his Missouri and Tennessee offers last week.
"It's definitely a blessing," Warren said. "I've dreamed of this. It just shows I've been working hard since I was 11 years old. Getting up in he morning at 6:30 a.m., and its definitely showing now."
E-mail Richard Davenport at [email protected]
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