Jay Bilas: Tony Wroten is among nation’s top freshmen

Feb 1, 2012, 6:02 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm

Pete Treperinas

Washington guard Tony Wroten made a statement in front of a national TV audience last Saturday, scoring 17 points and blocking a last-second shot to secure a win over Arizona.

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas joined “The Kevin Calabro Show” Wednesday, and said that Wroten is among the nation’s best freshmen.

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Wroten averaged 17.5 points per game in January. (AP)

“Top ten, I think you could say,” Bilas said of Wroten. “Top five? You might put a few other guys in front of him there, and primarily because some of their teams have won at a higher level maybe, but he’s a top-rated talent.”

While Bilas acknowledged that the Huskies have some work to do in order to erase a lackluster non-conference schedule, he thought they looked like an NCAA tournament team Saturday.

If the Huskies make the tournament and Wroten continues to shine the way he did in the month of January — he averaged 17.5 points per game — the possibility of him declaring for the NBA draft is a realistic one.

As a senior at Garfield high school last year, Wroten was a player that Bilas tabbed as the best passer in the 2011 recruiting class. Bilas still distinguishes him as a top distributor, but also believes that Wroten has grown as a player this year at the UW.

“He’s an elite level passer,” Bilas said. “I think he’s really improved his decision making. He’s not trying to knock the ball out of the park every time. … I think he’s really improved his reads.”

As of Jan. 26, NBADraft.net had Wroten as the 20th pick in its latest mock draft, while Washington sophomore Terrence Ross was 13th. But the decision to enter the draft, Bilas said, shouldn’t be based purely off mock drafts and rankings.

“There are so many different variables that go into that,” Bilas said. “It’s such an individual decision [that] I tend to think that it’s not so much about your preparedness to be drafted. It’s whether you’re fully committed to be a pro.”

The nation will get another chance to see Wroten, Ross, and the Huskies Thursday as ESPN will televise their game against UCLA at 6 p.m.

Wyman & Bob

UW

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Jay Bilas: Tony Wroten is among nation’s top freshmen