Tony Wroten, the stud out of Garfield High, joins Spencer Hawes (2007) as the only University of Washington freshmen named conference player of the week.
The Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Conference has been handing out basketball Player of the Week awards since the 1983-84 season. A University of Washington player has received the accolade on 44 occasions, but only twice has a Husky freshman been designated the league’s top player over a seven-day span.
The first was Dec. 26, 2006, when freshman center Spencer Hawes, now of the Philadelphia 76ers, won after averaging 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in a pair of victories.
Hawes opened that week with his first career double-double in registering career-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds in an 88-72 win over 12th-ranked LSU. Hawes shot 10-for-16 from the field.
The 7-foot freshman capped the week by matching his career high with 23 points and nine rebounds in an 80-51 win over Weber State. For the week, Hawes shot 20-for-30 (.667) from the field, 6-for-7 (.857) from the free throw line, and averaged 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocked shots.
The second time was Monday, when Tony Wroten received the award after averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 points and 4.5 assists in a sweep over over Oregon State and Oregon in Washington’s first two conference games.
Wroten led Washington with 26 points and career-high nine rebounds in a 95-80 victory over Oregon State Thursday. He went 10-for-16 (.625) from the field, 5-for-7 from the free throw line and also had four assists, a steal, plus a season-low-equaling two turnovers.
In the Huskies’ 76-60 win over Oregon on New Year’s Eve, Wroten had17 points, five assists, four rebounds, blocked a shot, had a steal and, again, had two turnovers (after averaging five turnovers a game through Washington’s non-conference schedule).
Wroten ranks second in the conference in scoring at 16.8 ppg and is fourth in steals per game at 1.6. He also leads all Pac-12 freshmen in both categories.
In Wroten’s past five games, he has scored 27 points (career high) against UC Santa Barbara, 23 (South Dakota State), 12 (Cal State Northridge), 26 (Oregon State) and 17 (Oregon).
Wroten’s 27 points against UC Santa Barbara equaled a UW freshman scoring record set by Andra Griffin in 1978 and matched by Paul Fortier (a UW assistant coach) in 1983, Mark Sanford in 1995 and Isaiah Thomas in 2008.
Wroten’s award is the first by any Husky player since Feb. 14, when guard Isaiah Thomas averaged 22.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and shot 56.5 percent from the field (13-for-23), including 10-for-18 from beyond the 3-point line (55.6 percent in a sweep of the Bay Area schools that snapped a season-high three-game losing streak.
In Washington’s 109-77 win over Cal, Thomas had 23 points, nine assists and four rebounds in just 26 minutes. In an 87-76 win over Stanford, Thomas ended up with 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
That marked Thomas’ third Pac-10 Player of the Week award for the season, and made him the seventh Husky to receive the award multiple times in one season.
Quincy Pondexter (2007-10) holds the school record (and also the conference mark) with five Player of the Week awards in one season. UW players with multiple conference awards in one season:
The Huskies (8-5), winners of three in a row following an embarrassing home loss to South Dakota State, play at Colorado Thursday (6 p.m. tip) and at Utah Saturday (11 a.m. tip) before returning to Alaska Airlines Arena on Jan. 10 to face Seattle University.