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The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

April 3, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Should Tony Wroten stay at UW or turn pro?

The Huskies are waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.
On Sunday, sophomore guard Terrence Ross put an end to his two-year Washington career and announced plans to enter the NBA draft.
Is freshman guard Tony Wroten Jr. next?
Opinion is split on his pro prospects.
ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks Wroten 19th on his top 100 draft prospects list. Draft Express projects he’ll be the 20th pick in the draft. ESPN him at 23 on its mock draft while NBAdraft.net thinks he’ll be taken at 26.
Tim Kawakami at the Mercury News believes Wroten is the most likely to bust among the projected top 20 picks. Kawakami writes: “Just too shaky on the jump shot and too sloppy. NBA comparable: Terrence Williams.”
Here’s the good and bad with Wroten.


PROS:
— Aggressive personality, which belies his age. He’s shown that he’s not intimidated to make plays in big games.
— At 6-5 and 205 pounds, he’s bigger and stronger than most guards. He has an explosive first step and he’s amazing in transition. He can change speeds to get into the lane or simply lower his shoulder and muscle his way to the rim.
— His ability to create a shot when nothing is there is comparable to many NBA players.
— His big frame allows him to absorb punishment. Wroten took 264 free throws, which is the most since at least the 2001-02 season and is quite possibly a UW record.
— Phenomenal offensive rebounder. He has a gift for getting the ball on the glass, tracking it and getting the putback, which is as good as anyone in college basketball.
— His vision is uncanny. He sees the floor and understands the physics of basketball.
— When focused, he is an outstanding defender. His game-saving block at the rim at Arizona is proof Wroten can defend when he’s properly engaged and motivated. He also has quick hands and good anticipation, which allows him to get steals and force turnovers.
— He had the finest freshman season than anyone ever had at Washington. He had more points, assists and steals than any UW frosh. Also won the Pac-12 Freshman of the year award.
CONS:
— Overly dependent on his left hand. His inability to dribble and shoot with his right hand is almost inexcusable for an elite college basketball player.
— He’s dreadful shooting outside the lane. It would be interesting to track his shooting percentages at different spots on the floor. Wroten converted 9 of 56 three-pointers (16.1 percent), but he also didn’t make very many mid-range jumpers.
— He shot 58.3 percent at the free throw line, which is below average. His mechanics appear to be sound, but he often rushes the shot.
— Despite good quickness and an ability to move laterally, he has difficulty keeping his man out of the lane. His propensity to gamble for steals often leads to defensive breakdowns. Washington tracks charges and it would interesting to discover how many Wroten has taken this season. He’s likely not among the team leaders.
— Wroten averaged more turnovers (3.8 per game) than assists (3.7), which is never good for a point guard. He’s repeatedly made poor decisions and has been careless with the ball on many occasions. His 132 turnovers are the most in UW history.
FINAL ANALYSIS:
If Wroten remains with the Huskies he’s delaying and possibly passing up a chance to play in the NBA. Nothing is guaranteed and no one knows that better than Wroten. He’s been durable on the basketball court, but he did miss his junior year at Garfield High after suffering a knee injury in football.
While 19 underclassmen have declared for the draft, the class appears to be weak at the point guard position highlighted by North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall and Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor. If Weber State’s Damian Lilliard and Kentucky’s Marquis Teague enter the draft, then things become a little more competitive, but Wroten would arguably still be considered among the top three PGs if he were to submit his name for the draft.
If Wroten stays in school he’ll have a chance to lead a team that competes to repeat as Pac-12 regular-season champions and challenge for a NCAA tournament berth. A few other positive incentives include:
— Being one of the marquee stars in the conference as it begins a new TV deal with ESPN and Fox. Every game is televised.
— He would be among the favorites to win the league’s Player of the Year award and possibly push for other national postseason honors.
— He’d have a chance to improve his draft position. According to many mock drafts, he’s a mid-to-late first round pick. If Wroten were to improve marginally, he could move into the lottery and possibly the top 10.
That’s a lot to think about.
Cavaliers rookie Tristan Thompson’s advice for those considering turning pro: “Wait until the last day when the deadline is and so you know who’s going in and who’s not.”
Here’s a look at the early entry list.
The NCAA has moved up its early-entry withdrawal deadline from May 8 to April 10, which doesn’t allow players to work out for NBA teams. However, the NBA deadline is still April 29.
NCAA president Mark Emmert and NBA commissioner David Stern are seemingly in agreement about wanting to get rid of one-and-dones, however, they disagree on who should do it. Emmert believes the NBA could simply raise its 19-year-old-age-limit, while Stern jabbed at the NCAA and said it should mandate players go to school.
It appears as if Emmett isn’t going to spend a lot of capital trying to require student-athletes to stay in school longer than a year. In an interview last week, he said: “I don’t think we should blow the one-and-done out of proportion and suggest that’s somehow undermining all of academics and the NCAA. It’s 15 kids. They have a chance to go play professionally because that’s what the rules allow and they all want to pursue it. So that’s fine.”
Critics like to pin this problem on Kentucky, but you got to love coach John Calipari’s response: “I don’t apologize — it’s not my rule. I don’t like the rule. … There’s only two solutions to it: Either I can recruit players who are not as good as the players I’m recruiting, or I can try to convince guys that should leave [for the NBA] to stay for me.”
At any rate, the clock is ticking for Wroten. He has a week until the NCAA deadline. Here’s where you get to chime in with two poll questions.

What should Tony Wroten do?

What will Tony Wroten do?

Comments | Topics: top 25

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