Washington Husky Huddle for October 16th 2011 (Part Two)

Oct 16, 2011, 3:30 PM

Wroten is in a similar spot. He could be everything that people envision of him right off the bat and waltz cleanly into the NBA next June, or he could need seasoning and have the sense to not push it for the good of his overall career. In Tony’s case I think it is a bit more likely than it is for Terrence that he will stick around for a while longer. Romar sees the potential, as he told a local Seattle radio show last Saturday that he would best compare Wroten’s ability to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, arguably one of the greatest five basketball players of all-time.

“Sometimes guys see things, but they see it a second late. He sees things right as they are developing and he delivers the ball on the spot. And he can do that while going full speed. And those are things that Magic was able to do.”

On Tuesday Lorenzo talked about Tony based on conversations that the UW coach had with coaches from the Team USA U-17 team that featured Wroten as their 6th man.

“When he did come into the game, the game would change because defensively, he would lead the charge. That was pretty impressive. When the game was on the line, that’s how he would respond.”

A Youtube highlight reel from those games from the summer of 2010, gives one an idea as to what they were talking about. I feel that Tony has improved his abilities and looks noticeably bigger and more mature than he was then. That has to help, as he prepares to face more developed players. Romar also said recently that Wroten’s work ethic and leadership qualities deserve high marks.

“What I know is that we’ve been out there since September 15th and Tony Wroten has done everything with a capital ‘E’ with I’m not going to say very little, I’m going to say zero resistance.”

On Tuesday Tony spoke to Mitchell Larsen of Rivals about how he and Gaddy work together and it sounded encouraging for Husky fans.

“I’ve known Abdul since middle school so we’ve had chemistry a long time. It’s very hard to contain it, because two great passers and ball handlers who can see the floor is just a terrific scene, so us playing together is a great thing.”

Tony, like Thomas before him, has a lot of charisma. He has an undeniable personality to his game that is hard to ignore. On Tuesday Bleacher Report chose Wroten as the college hoops freshman “Most Likely to Make Headlines Because of His Personality”.

“Expect him to light up all interview rooms this season, and watch him further his reputation as a Seattle legend on the court, using his 6’5″ frame to his benefit as a jet-quick point guard.”

On Tuesday Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times wrote a column piece on Tony which talked about a lot of the hype about his game and his personality that could very well make him over exposed and under appreciated.

“I’ve spent months listening to people wonder whether Wroten will be a problem at Washington. Oh, he’ll be a problem, for opposing defenders. You should only be worried that Wroten might give teammates concussions if they aren’t ready for one
of his clever passes.”

Tony will also be a great fit on defense for UW’s aggressive ball hawking style, but like Ross last year Wroten must play within the team defensive sets. Tone must also design his passes for the recipients and control his on-ball aggressiveness
based on where his team mates are. These will be the crucial style adjustments that Wroten must make to truly lead UW. On on Tuesday Scott M. Johnson observed how much attention Tony was getting from reporters, mentioning Suggs and Wilcox who seemed to be ignored by all of the shutter bugs and muckrakers.

“The man who hit some of the biggest shots of the 2010-11 season stood in a room filled with reporters Tuesday afternoon and might as well have been a potted plant. C.J. Wilcox, one of the few veterans on a young University of Washington
men’s basketball team, blended into the scene after spending much of last season in the spotlight. Not far away, senior Scott Suggs quietly joked with teammates while occasionally glancing at a stat sheet, virtually ignored by reporters. Across the room, at the center of more than a dozen reporters and cameramen, sat the new face of Husky basketball. Even before taking the court for a single UW practice, Tony Wroten Jr. has become a household name in Seattle basketball

Wilcox set the record straight as to what he or probably any of his team mates think about this freshman getting so much attention.

“He has a lot of hype coming in here, so that’s kind of expected. He hasn’t let it go to his head or anything, though. He came in here ready to work.”

That sounds like everything that is coming from Romar or other observers about the kind of player that Wroten will be at UW this season. It sounds like his head is firmly screwed in and it sounds like his spirituality has a lot to do with it.

“When I was young, I was always like, ‘Man, am I ever going to be a regular person?’. But the older you get, the more you realize it comes with the territory. For me to complain is wrong because the good outweighs the bad. I don’t really
complain about (not) being a regular kid because God blessed me to be different. I’m just fortunate enough to be in the limelight.”

Gaddy also had a lot of hype surrounding his debut and received a lot of criticism, much of it unfair, when he wasn’t an All-American right out of the chute. Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times did a story on Gaddy, who is much more ready now,
according to numerous reports. It focused on how things were just getting good when he hurt his knee in early January. Gaddy came back and is looking strong in controlling the ball and running the offense. His shot, which was doing well last season is much improved as well. it will be very interesting to see Gaddy do things early on like play defense and go to the rim on offense.

A healthy and improved Abdul and a focused and motivated Wroten could put on quite a show in Hec-Ed this season. Around the nation hoop junkies are looking more and more as if they will be looking beyond the NBA to get their fix. This may be a huge shot in the arm for college hoops and UW will be in the thick of the national picture, if things go well. Wilcox is another guard that is being mentioned as an NBA level player. On Monday listed C.J. as the 12th best draft prospect in the Pac-12. The draft site made some criticism’s of Wilcox’ game that I felt boded well for where he is at now.

“The rest of Wilcox’s arsenal offensively (other than 3-point shooting) is fairly nondescript. He only attempted 11 shots at the rim last season, and seldom ventures inside the arc even when he’s ahead of the play on the fast break. It
isn’t surprising that he doesn’t get to the line at a high rate or create shots for others, but it will be worth keeping an eye on what he brings to the table as his playing time increases.”

From what I saw over the summer, C.J. has made strides in that area. He was able to go to the rim and set up a developing mid-range game. I think that Wilcox and Suggs will make big strides this season. I know this all sounds very optimistic and pro-Husky, but this five man guard rotation of Gaddy, Wroten, Wilcox, Suggs and Ross has a ton of upside.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times posted interviews with the about half of the team starting with walk-on wing Alex Wegner on October 3rd. That piece was similar information to what Alex told me when I wrote about him here recently, but went into greater detail. Alex seems like a positive for the UW team. On October 4th is was Brendan Sherrer who spoke a lot about fishing in Alaska and complimented Wroten for his passing and the other new faces.

“I’ll be down there not expecting a pass and he gets it through. His passing ability is amazing. And the others are good. This freshmen class is really good.”

On October 5th it was Andrews who Percy profiled. Andrews focused on Suggs as being the guy that has surprised him the most.

“(Suggs) can do it all. He can shoot, dribble and pass….I thought he was a shooter.”

On October 6th it was Stewart, who mentioned Ross as being the surprise of the team for him.

“Major player. Super athletic. He’s a leader on the court. And he’s real fun to play with, too. He’s not arrogant or anything like that. And he goes out of his way to help the younger guys get better.”

Jarreau was next on October 7th and Jernard talked about the transition from living in New Orleans to Seattle and gaining 15 pounds, as well as more about his skill level at 6-foot-10. On October 8th it was Breunig’s turn and that post focused a lot on how comfortable Martin feels with the team. He also mentioned that he admitted that he needs to get bigger too. On Sunday it was Kemp and Shawn talked a lot about getting into condition. Kemp seems to be making progress, as he has lost almost 15 pounds. Simmons was last on Monday and he talked mostly about how he likes to out compete his opponents, as well as how his conditioning is going. He said that he is “around 222 or 225”, which sounds like a good weight for him.

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Washington Husky Huddle for October 16th 2011 (Part Two)