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Washington’s Tony Wroten remains brilliant and baffling


Mike Miller

Two days after Tony Wroten’s 22 points led Washington over Arizona State, he carried both the bright spots of his game that have drawn praise and freshman struggles that have drawn criticism into Saturday’s matchup with Arizona.

The Good:

  • Wroten finished with 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
  • He was impressively athletic, showed he can take defenders off the dribble, and worked well in transition.
  • His flying block of a Josiah Turner layup as time expired preserved the Huskies’ two-point lead.
  • Washington got the win, 69-67

The Bad:

  • He took 18 of the Huskies’ 63 shots on the night, meaning he took 29 percent of Washington’s total shots.
  • Of those 18 shots, he converted on just five of them.
  • That means that Wroten shot 28 percent from the floor, while the rest of his team shot 51 percent.
  • He turned the ball over five times, reverting back to a problem he has had at points throughout the season.

So what is the verdict on Tony Wroten? Is there one, or is it still too soon to say anything beyond the fact that he has an immense amount of talent and is uniquely skilled at times?

“As long as he’s not trying to make the fancy play every time and is just being a solid point guard, he’s going to be really good,” said Washington sophomore guard CJ Wilcox in December.

The inefficiency is still there, and the turnovers too, but Wroten in the star and the main reason that Washington sits atop the Pac 12.

His athleticism and ability as a passer stand out the most, but typical freshmen problems live on, though they there were certainly moments that affirm the reasons for the hype, coming out of high school.

Albeit the conference is weak, Wroten will most likely be the Freshman of the Year in the conference, and perhaps even the Player of the Year.

At 7-2 in the conference, the Huskies face UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Oregon State in the coming weeks. With NBC’s projection of the weak Pac 12 sending only two teams to the tournament, it will be select company out west.

In or out, Tony Wroten will be the biggest reason why.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_