Tony Wroten Declares for NBA

 

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.

 

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Terrence Ross going Pro.

Washington guard Terrence Ross has decided to enter the NBA draft.

Ross averaged a team-high 16.4 points this season as Washington won the Pac-12 regular-season title and made it to the NIT semifinals. The 6-foot-6 Ross was the only player on the team to reach 30 points, accomplishing the feat twice, and had nine games of 20-plus points.

“I think I’m ready for this,” Ross said Sunday. “I’ve matured in the last two years just being in college. I’ve got a good supporting group around me with my family and close friends so I think I’m ready for this.”

Ross conferred with his family before making the decision to turn pro. He said they had a family meeting to make sure Ross was thinking of every possible angle before making his decision.

“My family was really supportive,” Ross said.

Ross averaged 25 points in four games in the NIT before a 68-67 overtime loss to Minnesota ended the Huskies’ season. He still has time to pull his name out of the draft, but he sounded as if he had made his choice.

“I’m all in right now,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything that can make me change my decision. I’ve thought about this really hard, took a lot of time, sat down with my family, talked to them about it so I’ve made my decision and I’m not going to change it.”

Washington said on its men’s basketball Twitter feed that Ross plans to hire an agent.

Huskies lose a tough one

Still alive in late March, Minnesota is finally learning to win the close ones.

The short-handed Golden Gophers improved to 3-3 in overtime games this season, beating Washington 68-67 on Tuesday night in the NIT semifinals behind 20 points from freshman Andre Hollins.

Hollins scored five of Minnesota’s seven points in the extra period. With the shot clock winding down and the Gophers clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute, he banked in an off-balance shot to put Minnesota up 68-65.

”We had to gut it out in overtime,” Hollins said.

The sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (23-14) will face No. 3 seed Stanford in Thursday night’s championship game at Madison Square Garden. The Cardinal beat Massachusetts 74-64 in the first semifinal.

The top-seeded Huskies (24-11), who trailed by 15 late in the first half, sent the game to overtime when C.J. Wilcox stole the ball in the backcourt and hit the tying layup with 16.3 seconds left.

Wilcox had a good look at a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of overtime, but the ball bounced off the rim. Darnell Gant put back the miss to pull Washington within a point, but after Julian Welch missed two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining, Abdul Gaddy’s desperation shot from beyond midcourt fell well short.

”Any time you’re fighting back, it’s always tough,” Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. ”But in the second half, I thought we were a team.”

Huskies get #1 Seed….in N.I.T

 

Lorenzo Romar knew what the outcome was probably going to be to the point of being bluntly realistic with those around him following Washington’s stunning loss to Oregon State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Conference tournament.

”I’ve been accused of being a pessimist more these last three days than I have in the last 10 years,” Romar said.

Romar’s growing fear became truth on Sunday when Washington, the regular-season champions of the Pac-12, was left out of the 68-team field for the NCAA tournament, making the Huskies a rare footnote and trivia fact in the annals of tournament selections.

It’s the first time a regular-season champion of a traditional power-six conference – SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, ACC, Pac-12 – was not selected for the tournament, and the first time an outright regular-season champion or co-champion of the Pac-12, Pac-10, Pac-8 or Pacific Coast Conference failed to be chosen for the tournament since the 1950s.

”We had control of the situation and we lost it,” Romar said on a teleconference Sunday afternoon.

Washington will enter the NIT as one of four No. 1 seeds and will host Texas-Arlington in the opening round on Tuesday night with the winner facing either Northwestern or Akron in the second round. The Huskies’ bracket includes rival Oregon and the NIT field has four Pac-12 schools.

Huskies bust Trojans open 80-58

Terrence Ross scored 18 points and Washington defeated Southern California 80-58 Thursday night to clinch at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title.

The Huskies can win the conference title outright for just the second time since 1953 if they beat UCLA on Saturday and complete a sweep of the Los Angeles schools for only the third time since 1979. Washington (21-8, 14-3) has won 10 of 11 and six of its last seven on the road. It last won the league title outright in 2009.

Byron Wesley scored a career-high 23 points and Garrett Jackson added 14 for the Trojans (6-24, 1-16), who lost their eighth in a row and fell to 4-12 at home with one game left before next week’s league tournament.

A Washington loss to UCLA could allow California to share the regular-season title if the Golden Bears win at Stanford on Sunday. Cal would earn the top seed because it beat the Huskies.

Huskies smack Cougars

Tony Wroten scored 21 points and went 9 of 12 from the free throw line as he led Washington over Washington State in true comeback fashion 59-55.

Washington (20-8, 13-3) erased a 45-32 deficit with 11 minutes left in the game to win.

Ultimately, the game came down to free throws. WSU (14-14, 6-10) went 11 of 12 to keep the game tied at 28-all despite shooting 27 percent in the first half.

In the second half, the Cougars shot 6 of 20 from the free throw line, while the Huskies, who only went 2 of 5 in the first half, finished 17 of 24.

The Cougars out-rebounded the Huskies 42-35.

CJ Wilcox finished with 16 points for Washington while Abdul Gaddy finished with 10.

Brock Motum led the Cougars with 17 points and Marcus Capers added 14.

Huskies Smack Wildcats ….Saturday

 

Terrence Ross made sure on a day to honor Washington’s seniors that his sophomore season at home finished with an exclamation.

Ross scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half, Tony Wroten added 22 and Washington pulled away in the final five minutes for a 79-70 win over Arizona on Saturday to cling to a share of first place in the Pac-12.

For the first time in their last four meetings, the Wildcats and Huskies didn’t decide the outcome on the final possession. That was just fine by the Huskies (19-8, 12-3 Pac-12), who close the regular season with three straight road games.

Ross was nearly perfect inside the 3-point line, hitting 10 of the 11 shots he took inside the arc. He was 11 of 19 shooting overall, shaking off a sore shoulder and sore ankle.

Nick Johnson led Arizona (19-9, 10-5) with 20 points, but the Wildcats saw their five-game win streak snapped.

Pac-12 Chances for Making the Tournament

Right now, the Pac-12 could use a preseason do-over.

Its teams are playing better, and some have noticed. The Sagarin rating system, which is perhaps the most reliable indicator of a team’s relative strength, has league co-leader California at No. 20 and Arizona at No. 41, both high enough for NCAA Tournament inclusion. None of the human polls are as considerate, with Cal topping out at No. 33.…

because of its early-season struggles, the Pac-12 is ranked No. 8 by Sagarin, behind the Mountain West and Atlantic-10, conferences that will be battling with the Pac-12 for extra at-large teams. Washington is No. 65 in the Sagarin rankings. Like Colorado (78) and Oregon (84), the Huskies probably will have to win the regular season title or conference tournament to make the NCAA field, although with three weeks remaining in the conference schedule, things could change. …With so much weight placed on the non-conference season, the RPI of a league or its teams cannot climb once conference play begins, either, because victories against lower-ranked teams do not carry as much weight. The Big Ten has four – Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin – of Sagarin’s nine highest-rated teams, so even a loss to a loss against a team like that is not so damaging.

Top 7 Pac-12 Teams

1. California (20-6, 10-3, plus 3). By sweeping in LA last weekend the Bears recorded their first UCLA/USC season sweep since 1958-59

2. Washington (17-9, 10-3, plus 3). Terrence Ross has scored in double digits in 23 of the Huskies’ 25 games this year

3. Oregon (18-7, 9-4, plus 2). E.J. Singler, 17.1 points/7.3 rebounds a game in the last six, is 13 points short of 1,000

4. Arizona (18-8, 9-4, plus 2). With three decisive “3s” against Utah, guard Brendon Lavender is at 51.5 percent from distance this year

5. Colorado (17-8, 9-4, plus 2). Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker, averaging 20 points a game, are the top freshman scoring duo

6. UCLA (14-11, 7-6, plus 1). Loss to Cal in a must-win game broke a 12-game conference home winning streak.

7. Stanford (17-8, 7-6, plus 1). Opponents are sagging on post player Josh Owens, and the Cardinal has not found other scorers.

 

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