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One analyst gives Wroten early edge for Pac-12 PoY


Mike Miller

Tony Wroten’s first two Pac-12 games – 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists – earned him conference player of the week honors and some extra accolades from ESPN analyst Sean Farnham.

He thinks the freshman guard could be the league’s Player of the Year.

Farnham, in an interview with The Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller, praised Wroten’s court savvy, scoring skill and defensive ability, though he did admit Wroten’s propensity for turnovers were an issue. But he’s right. It’s impossible to ignore Wroten’s talent.

Just ask Colorado coach Tad Boyle, whose Buffs face Wroten’s Huskies Thursday night.

“He puts a lot of pressure on your defense,’' Boyle told Haller. “He’s tall. He’s strong. He can get to the rim. They post him up. He can take guys off the dribble and he’s really good in transition. ... He’s as good a player and as a good as prospect as our league has. He’s worth the price of admission, there’s no question.”

Only two freshman, Shareef Abur-Rahim and Kevin Love, have won conference player of the year honors. Wroten could easily be the third, especially at this point.

We’re just two games into conference play. The league’s overall profile stinks and there’s hardly an overflow of outstanding players. Cal’s Allen Crabbe is a good bet to be in contention, while Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham will probably lead the conference in scoring and jaw-dropping plays. The team that takes the title also might have a PoY contender.

I’d lean toward Cunningham, but in a year like this, who knows? Wroten may just be the freshman who defies convention.

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