Romar Pac-12 Coach of the Year; Wroten Top Freshman
March 5, 2012
Tony Wroten earned Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year and first team All-Conference honors, while Lorenzo Romar was named Coach of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday.
In addition, sophomore Terrence Ross was named first team All-Conference, junior Aziz N'Diaye was named to the All-Conference Defensive team and sophomore C.J. Wilcox was named honorable mention All-Conference.
California's Jorge Gutierrez was named Conference Player of the Year, while Washington State's Brock Motum earned the nod as the Pac-12's Most Improved Player.
After Washington was picked to finish fourth in the pre-season Pac-12 media poll, Romar earned Coach of the Year honors for the third time, leading Washington to a 14-4 league record and the teams' second outright conference title since 1953. Romar also won the award in 2009 and 2005. Romar is 216-111 (.661) in 10 seasons.
The Huskies are 21-9 overall to notch four consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in UW history. Over those four years, Washington has won 98 games, the top four-year stretch in team history.
"Obviously, it helps when you win," Romar said about his initial thoughts of his third coaching honor. "It helps when you recruit good kids with good talent.
"I can't say enough about my coaching staff because they share this too. It should be 'Coaching Staff of the Year' because they have done such a good job as well."
The Huskies have now won conference coach of the year six times and placed 91 players on the first-team all-conference list dating back to 1916. Thirteen players have been named first-team all-conference, two named second-team and seven named honorable mention under Romar.
Wroten, out of Seattle's Garfield High School, is the fifth Husky to earn the Freshman of the Year award, joining Isaiah Thomas (2009), Mark Pope (1992), Mike Heyward (1988) and Chris Welp (1984). He is also one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award.
Understandably, Wroten was overwhelmed by winning the award. "It's an honor and just such a blessing and I want to thank God for everything. It's a tough conference with a lot of good freshmen, so for me to get it is a great reward."
Wroten leads all Pac-12 freshmen in scoring, steals and assists, ranking fourth overall in the conference with 16.3 ppg, second with 2.0 steals per game and eighth with 3.7 assists per game. He is also moving up the freshman charts, setting a new standard for steals by a freshman and ranking second in scoring and assists. He also is eighth all-time with 148 rebounds.
He has scored 20 or more points to tie Oregon State's Jared Cunningham for a league-best 10 times and has notched 10-plus points in 27 of 30 games.
A product of Portland's Jefferson High School, Ross is among the conference's top-10 leaders in points (5th, 15.3 ppg), rebounds (5th, 6.5 rpg), defensive rebounds (3rd, 5.1 pg), steals (10th, 1.3 spg) and 3-point makes (10th, 1.8). He also is 13th in blocks per game (0.9) and 15th in 3-point FG% (36.2%). Ross was a member of the Pac-10 Freshman honorable mention team last year.
Ross leads the Huskies with six double-doubles and has scored double figures in 27 of 30 games.
N'Diaye was the Huskies leading rebounder and shot blocker and ranked third in the conference with 7.6 rpg and ninth in the league with 1.1 bpg. The 7-footer out of Dakar, Senegal also ranked fourth with 4.8 defensive rebounds per game.
Wilcox, a sophomore from Pleasant Grove, Utah, averaged 13.9 points per game and led the Huskies in 3-point shooting, hitting 61-of-148 attempts (41.2%). Wilcox ranked seventh in the conference in scoring and was second in free throw percentage (85.7%).
The Huskies head to Los Angeles for the Pac-12 Tournament, where they are the two-time defending tournament champion. As the No. 1 seed, Washington will face either No. 8 seed Washington State or No. 9 seed Oregon State in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 12:10 p.m.