Washington guard Tony Wroten announced Tuesday he will declare for the NBA draft and hire an agent, ending his collegiate career after one season during which he was the Pac-12 freshman of the year but could not help the Huskies reach the NCAA tournament.
Wroten made his announcement less than 48 hours after teammate Terrence Ross announced his intention to leave Washington following his sophomore season.
The Huskies will now go from having one of the most talented guard pairs in the country to needing to replace the top two scorers from a team that won the Pac-12 regular-season title. Washington was also the first team from one of the six major power conferences to win a regular-season crown and not make the NCAAs. The Huskies reached the semifinals of the NIT before losing to Minnesota.
”I have been talking with my friends and family and I just felt like this was the right time,” Wroten said in a statement. ”I love the University of Washington, but I just feel that it’s best for me to make the jump.”
Wroten was Washington’s leading scorer for most of the season, but was the subject of constant debate by fans who were thrilled by Wroten’s electric ability to create his own shot but were often left shaking their heads when he struggled to make a simple play. He set Washington freshman records for scoring, assists and steals, but also had more turnovers (132) than assists (130).
Wroten averaged 16 points per game for the season, just slightly behind Ross’ 16.4, but will need to develop an outside shot at the NBA level. Wroten shot 44 percent for the season, although most of that shooting came from inside 12 feet. Wroten was just 9 of 56 (16 percent) on 3-pointers and didn’t make one after Jan. 28 – a span of 14 games.
He’s just the second Washington freshman to declare for the draft, joining center Spencer Hawes, who left after his only season in 2007. Wroten said he consulted with a number of local NBA players, including Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas, who left Washington last year after his junior season and has twice been named Western Conference rookie of the month playing for the Sacramento Kings. Thomas was the final pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
”They all said the same thing, ‘Take your time and do what is best for you. This is a life-changer,”’ Wroten said.