BY SPNW Staff 03:49PM 02/14/2012

Should Ross, Wroten stay Huskies, Or Go Pro?

With both projected as 2012 NBA first-round draft choices, Washington sophomore Terrence Ross and freshman Tony Wroten soon will have difficult decisions to make.

Washington sophomore Terrence Ross has been projected as a first-round NBA draft pick, perhaps a lottery pick. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Every out-of-market TV broadcast team that has worked University of Washington basketball this season has spent some air time — and in some instances a lot — opining for viewers its belief that sophomore Terrence Ross and freshman Tony Wroten possess ample skills to “succeed at the next level.”

The debate over both concerns their  NBA readiness, and whether they might be better served by remaining at Washington for at least one year, in Ross’s case, or two, in Wroten’s.

There is little argument over what will likely happen after the Huskies’ season ends,  should one or both declare for the NBA draft.

We looked at eight web sites that analyze potential 2012 NBA draft picks, and the consensus was that Ross and Wroten would be selected relatively high in the first round. Most of the web sites projected Ross as a lottery pick.

NBADraft.net, for example, has Ross going as high as 12th overall and pegs Wroten at No. 18. Walterfootball.com slots Ross a bit higher, at No. 11, and Wroten a lot higher, at No. 13. In the worst-case scenario, presented by mynbadraft.com, Ross would become the 16th player taken with Wroten the 20th.

This is a consensus scouting report on Ross: “He’s dangerous from outside, where he sports a clean release and sweet rhythm in catch-and-shoot opportunities. A smooth wing with NBA athleticism, Ross does an excellent job at stretching the floor by recognizing and occupying open space.

“He moves well without the ball and shows deceptive quickness with it, allowing him to get to the rim despite a shaky handle. Though Ross has been overshadowed by teammates at times, he’s the most NBA-ready player on a talented Husky team.”

And this is the consensus thinking about Wroten: “Coach Lorenzo Romar is reluctant to give underclassmen large responsibilities, which makes his decision to hand Wroten the keys to the offense all the more impressive. Wroten is a flashy player with tremendous passing and ballhandling abilities who can create for others.

“But he still has some major holes to his game. While he scores at a good rate and really puts pressure on the defense attacking the basket, he needs to become a more consistent outside shooter and cut down on his turnovers. He would be best served with a second year in school, but some scouts feel he’s Washington’s top prospect right now. He’s being projected as a first rounder based on his upside.”

Neither player has given any indication which way he is leaning: stay at Washington or take the NBA’s money. Asked last weekend what he might do, Wroten diplomatically volunteered that he won’t even entertain the matter until Washington’s season is in the books.

Neither will have long to ponder. Under current rules, players have until April 29 to notify the NBA that they are making themselves available for the draft. They until May 8 to withdraw from the draft and maintain college eligibility.

Ross and Wroten have to determine whether their short-term interests outweigh their long-term ones. While both clearly have NBA talent, neither is NBA ready and would benefit by remaining in school. In fact, some believe if they left UW after this season it would take them anywhere from two to four years before they made an impact in the NBA.

Klay Thompson provides a useful example. The 21-year-old guard played three years at Washington State, leaving after his junior year when he averaged 21.6 points per game. The Golden State Warriors selected Thompson with the 11th overall pick in last spring’s draft. In his rookie season, he averages about 16 minutes and 7.6 points per game.

Thompson had considerably more collegiate experience than Ross or Wroten. On the other hand, Ross and Wroten would become millionaires if they opted for the NBA and the guaranteed contracts that go to first-round picks  (but not second-round picks). Under rookie salary cap rules, Ross, rated the third-best shooting guard and eighth-best sophomore among players likely to be picked, would receive a first-year salary of approximately $1.786 million, and slightly more than that his second (both sums guaranteed) based on his projected draft placement.

Wroten, currently rated the fourth-best point guard and eighth-best freshman, would receive approximately $1.242 million next year, and slightly more in his second season (also guaranteed), based on where he is projected to be taken.

So the decision comes down to this: Would it better to continue to develop skills for a year or two at UW, which most scouts advise, or opt for guaranteed money – about $3.567 million in Ross’s case and $2.48 million in Wroten’s?

Let us know what you think.

[poll id="23"]


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    The only downside they’d have would be that they might get a career ending injury but they could easily get injured their rookie year also.  They’d have a better career if they stayed in school.  Brandon Roy did and before he got injured was having an All-Star career, possibly HOF.  Spencer Hawes has become a journeyman though.  And if it wasn’t for his height and work ethic might not even be in the league anymore.

  • jafabian

    The only downside they’d have would be that they might get a career ending injury but they could easily get injured their rookie year also.  They’d have a better career if they stayed in school.  Brandon Roy did and before he got injured was having an All-Star career, possibly HOF.  Spencer Hawes has become a journeyman though.  And if it wasn’t for his height and work ethic might not even be in the league anymore.

  • Anonymous

    No surprise at the poll results…I can’t imagine UW fans not thinking both these guys should stay another year.

    Ross is more NBA-ready than Wroten, but Tony has one-and-done written all over him.  He showed me by the way he transferred to Garfield and then handled his Spanish class as a senior that school is just an obstacle to making money playing basketball.  Nothing wrong with that, although why bother spending a winter not (officially) getting paid to play for a school he’ll never earn a degree from when he could’ve followed Brandon Jennings’ lead and gone to Italy for a year to play ball for six figures (with apartment, car and taxes paid for)? 

    The one-and-done rule is a joke.

    • jafabian

      Agreed.  The one-and-done rule is doing more harm than good.  Most kids aren’t ready for the NBA despite that one year and the college programs gets set back.  IMO, they should go back to the rule that you can’t join the league until your class graduates.  Won’t happen but both the NCAA and NBA would benefit from it.

  • Chevigny

    Possibly each should have a sit down with Brandon Roy in order to understand how much more prepared he was for the pros by staying in the program.
    Then they could look at the other UW players who left early and haven’t excelled.

  • RadioGuy

    No surprise at the poll results…I can’t imagine UW fans not thinking both these guys should stay another year.

    Ross is more NBA-ready than Wroten, but Tony has one-and-done written all over him.  He showed me by the way he transferred to Garfield and then handled his Spanish class as a senior that school is just an obstacle to making money playing basketball.  Nothing wrong with that if basketball is a viable career choice, although why bother spending a winter not (officially) getting paid to play for a school he’ll never earn a degree from when he could’ve followed Brandon Jennings’ lead and gone to Italy for a year to play ball for six figures (with apartment, car and taxes paid for)? 

    The one-and-done rule is a joke.

    • jafabian

      Agreed.  The one-and-done rule is doing more harm than good.  Most kids aren’t ready for the NBA despite that one year and the college programs gets set back.  IMO, they should go back to the rule that you can’t join the league until your class graduates.  Won’t happen but both the NCAA and NBA would benefit from it.

  • Chevigny

    Possibly each should have a sit down with Brandon Roy in order to understand how much more prepared he was for the pros by staying in the program.
    Then they could look at the other UW players who left early and haven’t excelled.

  • uwscal

    No argument about skill and potential. Considering Washington’s roller coaster ride this season, the one missing element is maturity. These young men have superstar potential but it can only come with high level competition. 1-2 more years as division 1 starters beats 3-4 years as the 7th or 8th man off the bench in the NBA.

  • uwscal

    No argument about skill and potential. Considering Washington’s roller coaster ride this season, the one missing element is maturity. These young men have superstar potential but it can only come with high level competition. 1-2 more years as division 1 starters beats 3-4 years as the 7th or 8th man off the bench in the NBA.

  • Puregasoline

    Grover, I’m not sure most Mariner fans agree with you on Safeco Field.  I love the ballpark the way it is.  All your points are rendered moot if the Mariners win.  We’re sick of losing and we’re sick of teams that aren’t even entertaining.   Fix that, problem solved.   Also, your examples of Husky Stadium and Qwest (Century Link) are off-base as well, since football can be played in any weather.  Baseball cannot, and the first three months of baseball season here happen to be the wettest of the year.  

    • Jamo57

      I’m not a proponent of ‘bandbox’ ballparks by any stretch but the cool marine air makes Safeco play too big.   I think bringing in the fences 10 feet would help it play more fair.   I remember when the stadium was under construction and I heard the Ms brass speak of the Safe as having ‘fair’ dimensions compared to the Dome a number of times.   But they obviously didn’t factor in the humidity down on the waterfront.     But I agree with you on the ambiance of the stadium.   1st class and it still holds up very well 10+ years later.   Many in the national media also say its still in the top 5 ballparks in MLB.

    • Grover

      Well, you are completely wrong about the weather.  November, December, January and February are far wetter than April, May or June.  The six months of baseball season get only 25% of the yearly rainfall in Seattle.  The six months from October through March get 75% of Seattle’s yearly rainfall.  So, actually, Seattle is uniquely qualified to NOT need a roof on a baseball park.  Most of the MLB cities in the Midwest and East get more rainfall during baseball season than in the other six months of the year.

      The retractable roof on Safeco Field is an utter waste of money, and a hideously ugly eyesore.  And it made necessary the very high stadium wall beyond left field which is why nobody has ever hit a home run all the way out of Safeco Field — that huge structure which holds the rails for the roof is too high and too far from home plate for any home run to carry over.

      Safeco Field is just a really tragic wasted opportunity.  The M’s needed a ballpark which would draw fans even when the team stinks, which is most of their history.  Safeco Field is not that park.

  • Mearth

    Moving in the fences is a silly, desperate idea that should never happen. The M’s have had problems hitting home runs mostly due to the fact that the majority of the players they’ve had for the past decade have been capable of achieving only slightly above the lowest levels of suck. Its hard to build a serious team with an upper management philosophy of primarily signing players whose names can be turned into cute nicknames that end in a long “E” sound. The dimensions of the stadium are the reason it is such a pitcher-friendly park. You win with pitching, defense, and manufacturing runs. The problem is that for more than ten years the upper management has acquiesced to Ichiro at every opportunity, while meddling, tinkering, and manipulating their merry-go-round of general managers into signing and promoting position players that were not only not suited to the ballpark, but consisted of an acrid and bizarre mix of cantankerous has-beens in their last days and milquetoast Dudley Do-Rights that had no business being on a major league roster in the first place. It appears, for the most part, that Choward Lincstrong is stepping aside and letting Jack actually run the show now, all by himself. I have pretty much been ignoring the M’s since about 2003 (I refuse to passionately follow something that clearly has no hope) but this season has me more intrigued than any in a long, long time. Now, if Lincstrong can just stay out of the way….

  • Mearth

    Oh, and obviously, moving in the fences would affect the opposition equally. BOTH teams
    will just end up hitting more homers, but that won’t necessarily equate to more
    wins for the M’s.

  • Jamo57

    Thanks for the morning chuckles, always a good way to start the day.     Pre-draft press conferences are always good for blowing smoke and these two can blow smoke with the best of them. (Remember the twitter feeds with songs with hidden draft clues?)   I could see them trading down, picking up some picks and then drafting someone no one has ever heard of if they think the LBs or DEs are too risky at number 12.

    Or maybe they weren’t blowing smoke, just making everyone think they were blowing smoke.   

    Or maybe….

  • http://twitter.com/nandron Nick Andron

    Cute article. So as a recap, these are the reasons (for not drafting Tannehill) that you list:

    1. He started his college career as a wideout – Is there proof that converted players have a higher rate of failure in the NFL?
    2. He started only 19 games as a QB. Is there even a definitive link between college starts and NFL effectiveness? 
    3. Other QBs have busted past years when drafted in the first round.
    4. The Seahawks signed a free-agent QB that has started two NFL games. 

    Did reading any of the many scouting reports across the web cross your mind, perhaps? You know – things that actually provide a window into Ryan Tannehill the potential NFL QB?This article is quite surprising coming from you, Art, because it’s so, so poorly argued.

  • Rusty

    Loved the lead…I just about blew coffee all over my monitor.

  • Lover

    Poor argument, we have 2 serviceable qbs on the roster, tannehill would be 3rd string and wouldnt play this  year. Heck maybe Flynn turns out to be a good QB and tannehill sits for 4 years… Topple that with a good running game and solid defense, Seattle makes the most sense opposed to Cleveland, Miami, Indy, or Washington. oh and uh… face

  • Soggyblogger

    Fun story. I learned very little, but I am not complaining. Do what you do best, Art. Be funny. The world is full of serious writers, especially in the sports field. I couldn’t wade through all your serious stuff while you were in Tokyo. I might have missed a few laughs hidden in there somewhere, but you seemed infused with a Japanese seriousness while in Tokyo. 

    You have been ignoring the draft more than most sports writers, and I am hoping you will chime in with a Mock Draft. Or a Mock the draft story. Or maybe a sockem mockem draft story…..

  • Brad

    I don’t understand your argument here. You’re saying not to take a QB in the first round because they are usually failures. True enough, I guess, but some of them turn out to be great. 

    If anything I would say that, so far in PC’s tenure, this is the best year to risk a first round bust. Given the moves made in free agency to help fix some glaring needs on the roster, added with Schneider’s knack for finding talent in the later rounds and UDFAs, I don’t see a position where the Hawks NEED to go in round one.

    Also, can we please let the Whitehurst situation go. They went out and got a back up QB. It also turned out they ended up needing a decent(ish) backup QB that year. Did they pay too much for him, maybe. Did it do any long term damage to the club, no. Ask a Cardinals fans what paying too much for QB feels like. 

  • Hume Cory

    Seems like the Vikings at #3 could be pushing the QB Guru Holmgren has him  under consideration rumor. Trade down with the Dolphins? Qbs 123?

  • Boiseman24

    Grover – A great number of the fans travel up to 3 hours to see the Mariners, myself included.  Without that wonderful roof, many of the games would be postponed to another time in the year. Then what? Drive back to Idaho after seeing nothing but rain?  The roof has saved many a game.  And if you think the stadium is an “eyesore” and “hideously ugly” then just don’t go!  Most of the fans, including MLB players, think it’s one of the best.  So just stay in Fenway and try to fit your butt in one of those seats.  

  • Grover

    You are absolutely wrong about that.  The M’s would average only about 1 game per season which would be rained out.  There would be another half dozen games or so each year which would be delayed by rain, and another half dozen played partly or mostly in drizzle.  These are the actual statistics.

    Every MLB team has many fans who travel up to three hours to go to games.  Almost all MLB cities get far more rain during baseball season than Seattle gets.  Almost all MLB ballparks are open-air, without any roof over the field.  These parks are drawing much better than Safeco Field, despite the fact that those other parks do have rainouts, and Safeco Field never has rainouts.  A huge, ugly retractable roof does not help attendance one iota.

    Look at Minnesota, and New York City.  There are three new ballparks in those cities (one in Minneapolis and 2 in NYC), none of which have retractable roofs.  And Minneapolis and NYC both get far more rain in baseball season than Seattle, and both those cities average far more rainouts per season than Seattle would in an open-air park.

    Safeco Field was a huge mistake.  Just a tragic wasted opportunity.

    Remember, even the Kingdome had great attendance when the M’s were winning.  The key to a ballpark, is what is attendance when the team stinks?

  • sportspressnw

    @375d0564ec128112ead140094094c1d4:disqus , I think your last sentence could be said about most sports these days for fans.  This is a major reason why teams aren’t making as much money anymore and why television deals are becoming more lucrative.  I’m not saying I agree with you either way, as I love going to any baseball field, but would rather watch a football game on TV with friends and some good food.

    And like you, I forgot this was a story about Japan for a moment.

    -Tim

  • Lee

    Are you implying that Pistol Pete is not telling the truth? A USC guy? What is the world coming to!

    Next you will tell me hid recruiting at USC was not above board.

    Good post.

  • JimC

    You can spend all your time blowing smoke and still draft Aaron Curry.