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April 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Tony Wroten: “I’ll miss the loud fans”

Tony Wroten Jr. spoke to the local media today during a teleconference and said his biggest regret about leaving Washington is not being able to play in a NCAA tournament.
He said he’ll miss the Husky fans, particularly the student section known as the Dawg Pack. He laments the chance to play with good friends Hikeem Stewart and Jernard Jarreau.
Wroten said the biggest reason he left was the feedback he heard from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which told him he could be a top five draft pick or fall as low as 25 in the first round.
Wroten admitted he talked about turning pro with Terrence Ross several times and had a good idea the sophomore guard was going to declare for the draft.
Wroten also said he expects Stewart will compete for a starting job next season and be among the team’s scoring leaders.
Here’s a full transcript of the interview.

(What did NBA Advisory Committee tell you on where you might be drafted) “They’ve been saying I’m in a wide range. I could go as high as top 5 or as low as 25. So there’s a lot of range. It depends on how I do in my workouts. So I’m happy about that.”
(What was the one factor the played a role in your decision?) “I just felt like it was the right time and I was ready. It was the best decision for me and my family. I just felt going now, after my freshman year, I felt like I accomplished a lot. I’m ready for the next step.”
(What age did you target the NBA?) “Everybody that takes basketball serious and wants to play basketball as a kid, definitely the goal is to make the NBA. As long as I can remember, whenever I started watching basketball I knew I definitely wanted to go to the NBA and I’m just fortunate and blessed that I’m able to make that a reality.”
(What do NBA teams not know about you and your game at this point?) “A great player. A great point guard that can play point guard. A combo guard. And can definitely shoot the ball. It just takes repetition and hopefully the GMs and the scouts will see that.”
(What did guys like Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford say when you told them you’re entering the draft?) “They were real happy for me. Going through this process, those were the main two I was talking to about (taking) the next step and they felt like I was ready. They told me it would be a good decision if I decided to go and it would be a good decision if I decided to stay. But they felt like I was ready now. I’m just happy they had my back and they were great to look up to.”
(Any regrets?) “I would have definitely wanted to win the NCAA tournament. Or just making the NCAA tournament I definitely wish I could have done that. You know at the end of the day I feel like everything happens for a reason. So it is what it is. I definitely would have loved to be in the NCAA tournament and help my team win a few more games, but I just got to move forward.”
(What will you remember about your UW career?) “Just the home games and the loud student section. Of course my two highlight dunks is going to be in there. Just being able to play in front of my family and my friends every home game is breathtaking. I wouldn’t trade that for nothing.”
(Did you shoot the ball as well as you wanted and it not, why?) “I don’t think I shot it as well as I wanted to, but I feel like it’s mental. It’s about just keep shooting. I didn’t really shoot a lot, but it’s nothing I can’t change. It’s about having confidence and shooting the ball. I’m definitely going to stay in the gym and keep working on my shot.”
(How do you think you’ll be remembered as a Husky?) “Hopefully as a good University of Washington player that was exciting to watch. A fan favorite. We have great fans so I hope they loved watching me play.”
(It is true you were thinking of leaving before entering UW?) “In high school and growing up in the Central District area, you community is behind you 100 percent and you hear them saying you’re a one-and-done type of player. I’ve never really paid (any) mind to it until after I got to college and started playing games.”
(What might have brought you back?) “Definitely the University of Washington in general. I love it here. Love the city of Seattle. And then the student section is crazy like I said. I definitely wanted to play more with my close friends Jernard Jarreau and Hikeem Stewart. I don’t get to play with them and it’s unfortunate. It was definitely a tough decision because there’s going to be nothing like the University of Washington and their fans.”
(How much did the idea that you can spend the next few months improving your game without having to go to school play a part in your decision?) “That wasn’t really a big deal. Now that I’m starting to go it just gives me more chances to work on my game and become a better player.”
(What will you miss most and what will you miss the least?) “I’ll miss the community and the loud fans. There’s nothing like it. The least I’ll miss is, I don’t know. There wasn’t too much bad things over at the University of Washington.”
(If you were selected in second round would you regret your decision?) “Yeah definitely. I definitely would regret my decision if I was drafted in the second round, but I feel like I’m blessed with at talent and put that with hard work, I feel like and I’m confident enough that I definitely will get drafted in the first round.”
(How surprised would you be if you fell to the second round?) “I would be super surprised because I feel like I’m capable of the lottery and first-round type of talent and would help a team a lot. It would be surprising. I just always got to keep my mind open and just worry about the good things.”
(Did you have to have a guarantee in order to make this decision?) “Yeah definitely. I talked to coach Romar and he asked me what was my deciding factor. Just being in the lottery or the early first round. I told him that if I wasn’t a first-rounder I was definitely coming back. So that was definitely a big factor.”
(Andrew Andrews seems to be your heir apparent, can you talk about him?) “Andrew is a good, good player and a good point guard. I’ve (known) that for a couple of years now. He’ll be able to play next year and he’ll be ready, but the one person you got to look our for is definitely Hikeem Stewart. I know how people talk about him, but he’s underrated. He’s going to have a monster season next year. He might be the most improved.”
(Terrence Ross’ decision to leave have an impact on your decision?) “Me and Terrence talk about this decision a long time. All the time we just talk about this decision. I pretty much knew he was going to the league. But my mom is important to me. Today is my mom’s birthday so I definitely wanted to make this decision on her birthday.”
(How will Washington fare next season?) “Washington will be great next season because they’re well coached, they got good players in C.J. Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy. Scott Suggs is coming back, Jernard, Andrew Andrews and Hikeem. They’re going to be good. It’s exciting to see them next year.”
(Who takes over scoring wise?) “Hikeem Stewart definitely. Working out with him for a long time, I know what he’s capable of. I feel like he will be fighting for a starting spot next year. I know he’s capable of doing great things. There’s a lot of good players on the team, but if I had to choose one he would definitely be one of them.”
(Why didn’t things work out as well as you guys had hoped?) “I think about it all the time. Seeing my close friends win the national championship makes you think man you never know what could happen if we would have been there. I think about it all the time, but like I said everything happens for a reason.”
(How much did Romar’s track record of getting guys to NBA play a role in your decision to choose Washington?) “That wasn’t a big factor. My thing was playing close to home. Playing for a good coaching staff. I knew that he’s a good, good, good coach and he knows what he’s doing.”
(What is the biggest challenge for a 19-year-old going into the pros?) “Just maturing fast. You’re up super fast. You’re not even going to be 21 yet and you’re pretty much on your own. You just got to be more mature and manage things the right way.”
(You had a historic regular season, but is there frustration the way it all ended?) “Definitely ending my season on losing effort. But my good outweighed the bad so I wouldn’t complain at all.”
(Do you think you need to change something mechanically to improve your shot?) “No. I feel like it’s mental and reps.”
(Then is it more about having confidence?) “Yeah definitely confidence is everything.”
(What is it about your game that makes you think you’re ready for the NBA?) “My athleticism, my court vision and my potential.”
(What’s next for you?) “To get better. Stay working out. That’s what I’m interested in right now.”
(You said it was your mom’s birthday. When you get your first contract, what do you plan to buy her?) “My mom, she loves cars. So the S-class Mercedes Benz.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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