BY SPNW Staff 02:39PM 02/15/2012

Huskies’ Wroten one of five for frosh of year

For the award, he’s up against top players from Duke, Kentucky and Indiana, but Wroten has made his presence felt in the Pac-12 and nationally.

Tony Wroten is one of five finalists for national freshman of the year. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Despite the Pac-12’s mediocrity and Seattle’s remoteness, word is out about Tony Wroten‘s spectacular college debut season.

The freshman guard is among five finalists for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award, which is given to the nation’s top freshman by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

The Garfield High School grad was named along with Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Duke’s Austin Rivers and Kentucky teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Wroten is threatening numerous Husky freshman records and has helped propel his team into a first-place tie in the Pac-12. Wroten is averaging 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals. Not only is Wroten the league’s freshman leader in scoring, assists and steals, but his scoring average is fourth among all freshmen nationally and his steals average ranks sixth.

Wroten is on pace to end the year as the school’s all-time freshman scorer and steals leader. He also should end up among UW’s top-five freshman assist leaders.

The 6-foot-5 Wroten is tied for the team lead in double-figure scoring games with 23 of 25. He has scored 20 or more points a team-best eight times and his 188 free throw attempts represent 33% of the Huskies total attempts this year.

Wroten has been playing the last few games with a thigh bruise that has slowed his production. Asked about it Tuesday, he said he was “about 90 percent” recovered and would be ready for Washington’s home game Thursday against Arizona State.

The award will be presented April 16 in Oklahoma City after the March 30 announcement in New Orleans in conjunction with the Final Four.

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU’s Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger became the winner of the first Wayman Tisdale Award. Previous winners of the award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-America at the University of Oklahoma. Following his play on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he died in May 2009.


  • Timmchugh

    “The grade thing was a problem. But in the NFL, little concern is given to recall of 18th century French poets.”

    Love it.  

  • Timmchugh

    It’s also nice to see Paul Allen diversifying his work force…

  • Soggyblogger

    Fairly poor synopsis of reality in this article. And making fun of people’s mistakes is difficult to do and not sound mean. The story I heard was Irvin was challenged by a friend to see if he could jump as high as a sign, and so he did, but he hit it too hard and it broke. And that makes him have character problems. Oh, yea. Moral decrepitude. He is a hardened criminal. And the school thing….it sounded not like his grades were not good enough but that USC doesn’t allow CC transfers under certain conditions or something like that. The guy is clearly bright. He is also as fast as a CB, and for his size he is powerful. He zips around like a man possessed. This was a great get. 

  • Jake

    terrible article. really. the charges were dropped, so apparently the judge/jury knew they were BS as well as the lord. and don’t blame him for trying to install confidence in a fan base that was as shocked as he was by this pick, it’s tough to strike a balance between that and humility.

  • Jamo57

    As much as Husky fans like to attribute (blame) Oregon’s ascendance on the seeming unlimited funds Uncle Phil pumps into the program, it’s the following numbers that are probably more important:

    Rich Brooks 1977-1994
    Mike Belotti 1995-2008
    Chip Kelly 2009-to as long as he wants (or hopefully  a Carrollian jump to the NFL shortly before the NCAA hammer is struck).

    But the point is even if your are right Art, the Husky nation needs to resist the temptation to put Sark on the hot seat.   Oregon has the additonal benefit in the fact Nick Aliotti doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere to take a head coaching job, so the continuity on the defensive side of the ball is even more pronounced.    I’m not sure that is the same path Justin Wilcox wants to take. 

    • Artthiel

       Jamo, you’re right that the coaching churn and various scandals have been the single biggest factor in the Huskies’ erosion. Lots of bad management by the alleged adults.

      But now it’s Oregon’s turn to be spanked by the NCAA. Happens to nearly every team that succeeds because nobody plays by the rules. Just a matter of if-when you’re caught.

  • Brett

    I don’t see it Art. This team will score an upset of one of the “Big 4” (most likely Stanford) and then go either 5-1 or 6-0 in the back half. 7 wins is the safest prediction. Yours assumes that this team won’t upset anyone and will lose to two teams it shouldn’t. While this team is young in terms of age, it actually has more game experience than last year’s team, particularly on defense.

    • Artthiel

       Sorry, Brett, the D just doesn’t have Pac-12-caliber talent. They’re already out two starters who weren’t quite average. Thompson’s already the best player, and he hasn’t played. Washington used to have six guys a year like Thompson.

  • Pixeldawg13

     Well, no.  I didn’t.  That prediction’s been made a number of times, often on the Seattle Times’ Husky blog.

    It’s a possibility, but I’m not sure the Cougs can outscore six opponents; they’re unlikely to stop anyone, given their depth issues on D.  (remember, between an injury or two, and the Pirate’s cleaning house, at least 3 defensive starters are gone permanently.  I give Leach credit for his rules and abiding by them–but it does make the defensive cupboard pretty doggone lean.)

    I think the Husky D, while not reminiscent of the late 80s-early 90s Purple Reign, will be much improved.  Even if they only improve to, say, 65th or so in the country, it’s a huge upgrade on that side of the ball.  Offense?  Yes, lost 3 major playmakers in Kearse, Aguilar, and some tailback–but the skill positions are not gonna be the problem on this O.

    • Artthiel

      Getting to 65 is a reach, Pixeldawg. No Pac-12 average LBs, aside from whatever they do with Shaq Thompson. 

  • Tianbiao

    Art is probably right. I mean, even if the Huskies beat one of the Big 4 (and please, gawd, may that one be Oregon), there is always a let-down loss or two to wazzu or Cal or Oregon state waiting out there somewhere.

    But I agree with Jamos (and Art): 6-6 is no great shame, it’s tough out there, and it takes time. Give Sark the time he needs, please.

    • Artthiel

       Begging college football fans for time is like begging a wolf to back away from a pork chop.

  • Artthiel

     Cougs with six wins? Apparently the cannibis harvest is real late this year.

  • Artvintage97

     I have to agree with Art. Tough schedule this year. Plus, the defense is
    coming from a point near the bottom of the barrel.
    Sark has had difficulty recruiting the best players from the PNW. Also,
    and I will say it, he can’t seem to recruit good white players.
    Anyone have a theory on the latter????I

    • RadioGuy

      Does it matter whether Sark recruits white players?  The only colors that should matter to UW fans are purple and gold.

    • Jtkxyz

      Your comment, and I will say it, is pathetic.  And not only is “the defense coming from a point near the bottom of the barrel”, so is your comment.  Maybe you can’t see straight with a pillow cover over your head, but come to the light, and unbend the racist bent of your mind.

      Your comment makes me wonder if you have difficulty cheering for the Hawks, they have so many “colored” players.  And basketball must not be a sport you follow.  Get out more often, and enjoy the beautiful colors of this wonderful world.