Jerry Brewer wonders if sophomore Terrence Ross and freshman Tony Wroten Jr. will leave Washington early and declare for the NBA draft?
It’s a legitimate concern. Both are having breakout years and they’re Pac-12 Player of the Year candidates. They’ve garnered attention from NBA scouts and they’re being mentioned in the mock drafts.
During his weekly radio show, coach Lorenzo Romar said he believes Ross and Wroten would be taken in the first round of the draft this year if they decided to leave.
The transcript of Romar’s interview with Bob Rondeau is after today’s poll question. What do you think? Will Ross and/or Wroten return next season?
(Do you address the topic of Ross and Wroten leaving school early?) “There’s no secret both of those guys would have an opportunity if they choose to go on and play at the next level this year. The NBA people feel they have the potential to be successful in that league. It’s just going to be a matter if they decide to do it. I think they’ve been very good about not playing this year and approaching it with one foot in and one foot out. Both feet have been in with our program, which is very good. We talk from time to time, but the season is winding down and I know that these talks will increase as we begin to play our last games down the stretch here. Both of those will make the decisions that they think is best for their future.”
(Do you think they’ve already made their decisions?) “I don’t think they’re 100 percent sure, but again the research and the questions have not been totally asked as to where either one of them would go if they decided to go. I think they’ve done a pretty good job. They hear things. People come to them with different prospects for the draft. I don’t think they’ve just gone at it head on to really try to figure that out yet. We’re a little ways away from that.”
(How much can Ross and Wroten believe outside influences as it pertains to the draft?) “That’s one of the tricks. You have to make sure you watch who you believe one it comes time to people to advise you. You have to make sure of who your advisers are because sometimes some people don’t totally have your best interest on tap. And also there’s some others that just believe in you so much they just say ‘I just believe it. I just believe it.’ And it’s not necessarily reality. It’s very important they pick and choose who they try to listen to. Usually the NBA will be pretty honest with you if you just wait to consult them. Unfortunately too many kids they pick somebody off the street that’s trying to advise them and telling them what they want to hear. And because they’re telling them what they want to hear, it sounds good and they tend to believe that. That’s where a lot of kids get into trouble.”
(When you say the NBA will be honest with them, who in that case is doing the talking and how reliable is the information?) “There actually is a committee that answers that question for you. There’s about a 15-person panel on this committee and when you decide I want to take a look and see if I’m going to be drafted and where, they poll these different general managers and NBA types and they give you the feedback. There’s also the other part of it is, we know a lot of NBA people. They’re really, really good at telling us upfront ‘Hey this what we think is going to happen.’ They’ve been pretty accurate over the years. They’ve been really, really accurate. All you can do at that point is go to the student-athlete and say this is what’s going on. This is where you’re projected. And you go from there.”
(Do you have a rule of thumb on these matters?) “Each situation is it’s own unique situation. I always tell them we will be there for you to be as involved as you need us to be. Some take you up on it and say we want you there at every step of the way. Others say you know what my family and I have a pretty good feel for this we’ll be alright with it. Each situation is different. Usually we feel we have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen. It’s tricky because the ones that really feel they’re ready to go and maybe they’re not, as coaches if you tell them they’re not ready to go well you don’t know the things they begin to think. Maybe coach just cares about his team and his future so he’s not going to be upfront with me. And then coach for 2-3 years you’ve been telling me how I got to believe in myself and how much you believe in me and now you don’t believe in me anymore? So it’s a tough one. Like I said each player is different.”
(Is being NBA ready important?) “That’s where people get it twisted. Oh he can’t go because he’s not ready. Well that’s not why they’re drafting him. They’re drafting them a lot of times off of potential. If we get a commitment from a kid that’s a junior in high school, we feel he will eventually be ready. But could he play that night in the Pac-12? Probably not unless he’s a really, really dynamic basketball player. But probably not. We’re taking his commitment because we feel he’s projecting to where we feel he’s going to be a fine basketball player for us. So when you see some of these guys in college and you say he can’t do this or he can’t do that, that has absolutely nothing to do with why they draft him. If you look at some of the All-Stars in the NBA right now, they were in the same boat. They couldn’t do this or they couldn’t do that when it was time for them to get drafted. But the pros who are experts – they make mistakes, but they are experts – they saw the potential so they drafted them based on the potential.”
(Is that an ominous indicator for Ross and Wroten?) “I’ll just lay it out there, if they want to go someone will draft them. And I really believe someone will draft them in the first round. It’s going to be there decision if they choose to do so or not. Last year we had Harrison Barnes and (Tyler) Zeller from North Carolina, Jared Sullinger who people projected to be lottery picks and Terrence Jones. Those guys were going to be first-round picks. No doubt about it. They decided to stay. They knew they were going to get drafted, but they just had to make a decision if they wanted to leave or not and that’s quite frankly is what our guys are going to have to do.”