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April 6, 2012

Grading the Huskies: Tony Wroten

Editor's note:Tim Keeney of UDubNation.com is giving out his postseason grades for members of the Washington Huskies' men's basketball team in a daily series. Today's focus: Tony Wroten.

It's quite possible you've had enough of Tony Wroten and his up-and-down, erratic play and it's probably just as possible you're happy that he's leaving for the NBA.

But that's not fair to Wroten, who statistically had one of the best freshman seasons in Washington history.

When it comes down to it, the Huskies would have been terrible without Wroten. You may not like how he plays the game, but he made this team much better than it would have been.

Let's start with the positives.

The 6-foot-5 point guard averaged 16 points, five rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Those numbers would be gaudy for just about anyone, but the fact he compiled them as a true freshman makes it that much more special.

Wroten was named a finalist for National Freshman of the Year along with just four other candidates.

He set UW freshman records in scoring, assists, and steals.

But his worth goes way beyond stats. Wroten was consistently the best player on the court and he knew it. Some probably call him overly cocky or overly confident, but when Wroten got fired up he would go on ferocious runs all by himself.

And you can't argue with the results.

If motivated, Wroten would lock up his defender, pick his pocket, and go coast-to-coast for a dunk. Wroten would take his man one-on-one and get to the hoop with relative ease, no matter who was guarding him or how far they were playing off. He would pull off a stunning pass no one in the building, except for him, thought was possible.

With the exception of Terrence Ross, who had the propensity to disappear at times, Wroten was the only player on this team that could take over every aspect of the game all by himself.

If the Huskies were down by 10 late in a game, Wroten would find a way to take over and will his team back into it. Simply put, Wroten was head and shoulders above anyone else in this league both athletically and skillfully.

Now the negatives.

Wroten was dreadful both taking care of the ball and shooting the ball. He turned it over 3.8 times per game and shot just 44 percent from the field. He also shot a pathetic 16 percent from 3-point range and 58 percent from the free-throw line.

Basically, if Wroten was taking a jump shot, you pretty much knew it wasn't going to fall through the net.

His focus on the game was also questionable. Yes, he had the ability to take over any game when he wanted to, but that was also part of the problem. There were times when he didn't want to. That led to a lack of defensive intensity and an unwillingness to take care of the basketball.

In a sense, Wroten symbolized what this team was. An enigma. At times he would make you think he was the best player in the country and as a result would have Washington playing like a Top 10 team. At other times, however, he would have you begging Romar to take him off the court.

It doesn't get more Jekyll and Hyde than that. B+

Up next: Terrence Ross


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