Romar believes Wroten will solve shooting woes in NBA

Jul 1, 2012, 6:40 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm

By Cameron Van Til
Special to

Washington head basketball coach Lorenzo Romar thinks the Grizzlies will be a good fit for Husky star Tony Wroten, the Seattle native and former Garfield High School standout who was selected by Memphis with the 25th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

“They’re a slashing, athletic team,” Romar told “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Friday. “I think Lionel Hollins, the head coach, is going to be great for Tony. He’s a no-nonsense guy. I think that’s going to be really good. I think they understand what Tony can bring to the table.”

Tony Wroten was taken 25th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that UW coach Lorenzo Romar thinks is a good fit for his former point guard. (AP)

In his first and only year with the Huskies, Wroten averaged 16 points and 3.7 assists per game, good enough to earn Pac-12 freshman of the year honors and to become the only player in school history to make first-team all-conference as a freshman.

Primarily a point guard, Wroten is a strong ball-handler with an exceptional ability to attack the rim. Memphis is lacking at point guard behind starter Mike Conley, so Wroten’s skill set could give him an opportunity to come off the bench for Conley and earn some minutes on a talented, young Grizzlies team that has made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

Not only does Memphis appear to be a good fit for Wroten in that regard, but it also provides him with some familiarity. Former Husky Quincy Pondexter is on the Grizzlies’ roster and has promised to look after Wroten.

“I’m going to take him under my wing,” Pondexter told “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Friday. “… I’m going to do my part to make sure that he stays in the gym, stays focused and stays on the ultimate goal, and that’s having a good NBA career.”

One aspect of Wroten’s game that could prevent him from having such a career is his poor shooting. In college he shot a dismal 16 percent on three-point attempts and just 58 percent from the free throw line. His shooting woes were never more evident than in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals against Oregon State, when Wroten missed four consecutive free throws in the final 30 seconds of the Huskies’ two-point loss.

Romar believes Wroten will improve his oft-criticized shooting.

“I can just go off and rattle off a number of guys that came into the league with not great reputations as shooters,” Romar said. “And because that’s all they do is work on their shot, and they’re not in class and it’s their job, they spend a lot of time doing it, they become much better shooters. And I don’t think there’s any question that Tony will do the same thing. I think he’ll improve upon his shooting.”

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