As expected, talented freshman guard Tony Wroten has decided to forgo his final three years of eligibility and enter the NBA draft. Wroten will sign with an agent, making it impossible for him to return.
The University of Washington released this press release moments ago.
“I have been talking with my friends and family and I just felt like this was the right time,” Wroten said of his decision that he decided to announce on the same day of his mother Shirley’s birthday. “I love the University of Washington, but I just feel that it’s best for me to make the jump.”
There was some thought that Wroten might stay for another season after a disappointing final month of the season where some of the major flaws in his game were exposed. Despite his lack of a consistent jump shot of any kind, the Atlanta Hawks made it clear to many NBA insiders that they would take Wroten with the 22nd pick if he was still available.
Wroten was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was a first team all-Pac-12 selection in 2012. He was one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year award.
In his one season at Washington, Wroten set numerous Husky freshman records: most points (559), scoring average (16.0 ppg), assists (130) and steals (66). He ranked fifth in the conference in scoring, eighth in assists (3.7 apg), second in steals (1.9 spg) and was sixth overall in offensive rebounds per game (2.3).
Update: Here’s some quotes from the conference call …
What has he been hearing about where he could go in the draft?
- “I could do as high as top-5 or as low as 25. It’s going to depend on how I do in my workouts.”
What went into the decision?
- “It was the right time. I was ready. It was the best decision for me and my family. My freshman year I accomplished a lot, and now I’m ready for the next step.”
How long have you had the NBA dream?
- “As long as I can remember, when I started watching basketball, I’ve wanted to go to the NBA. Growing up in the Central District, you hear people talking about being a one-and-done player, but I didn’t play a lot of mind to it at the time.”
What does he hope NBA scouts see in him before the draft?
- “A great player…a great point guard. I can play point guard. I can shoot the ball. Hopefully scouts will see that.”
What he heard from Nate Robinson, Isaiah Thomas and Will Conroy?
- “They were happy for me. Those were the main guys I was talking to. They felt like I was ready. It would be a good decision. I’m just happy that they had my back and they are guys that I look up to.”
Does he wish he’d done anymore in his time at UW?
- “Definitely I wish I could have won the NCAA Tournament…even just made the NCAA Tournament. Definitely wish I could have done that.”
What was the best thing about playing at Washington?
- “Just the home games and being able to play in front of my family and friends, I wouldn’t have traded that for nothing.”
What about his shooting struggles and how do you fix it?
- “I didn’t shoot it as good as I wanted, but I’m definitely going to stay in the gym and keep working on my shot. Confidence is everything.”
How do you hope to be remembered at UW?
- “Hopefully as a good University of Washington player, exciting to watch and a fan favorite.”
Will you regret your decision if you fall to the second round?
- “Yeah, I would be super surprised. I think I’m capable of the lottery, first round-type talent. It would be surprising, but I have to keep my mind open and only worry about the good things.”
Would he came back if he was a borderline first round pick?
- “Definitely. I talked to coach Romar and I told him that if I wasn’t first round I was definitely coming back, so that was definitely a big factor.”
What kind of player Andrew Andrews will be in your place?
- “He’s a good player, a good point guard. One person you’ve got to look out for is Hikeem Stewart. He’s going to have a monster year next year. He might be the most improved. I’ve worked out with him for a long time and I know what he’s capable of. He’s capable of doing great things.”
Did Terrence Ross’ decision play a part in his decision?
- “We talked about it for a long time, and I pretty much knew he was going to the league. Today is my Mom’s birthday, and I wanted to make this decision on her birthday.”
What did the NBA guys tell him about going to the league that young?
- “You have to mature fast. You grow up super-fast. You’re on your own.”
Why do you thinks you are a first-round pick?
- “My athleticism, my court vision and my potential.”