Ross, Wroten Make UW Draft History
June 28, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. - Tony Wroten helped cap a historic night in Washington basketball history on Thursday when he was selected by Memphis Grizzlies with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. He joins Terrence Ross, who was selected by Toronto with the 8th pick earlier in the night, giving the Huskies a pair of first round picks for the first time in the school's history.
The selections of Ross and Wroten continue a strong tradition of coach Lorenzo Romar sending players to the NBA. The duo makes a total of 10 players selected in the draft during Romar's 10 seasons at Washington. In the last eight drafts, at least one Husky has been selected in all but one year.
Dating back to 1948, 11 Husky players have now been selected in the first round, with six coming under Romar's watch.
"These guys, to get their name called -- in the first round -- I have to keep saying what a special night it is for them," Romar said.
Also special: Romar was at Ross' side at the draft in New Jersey as a personal guest of his ultra-smooth shooting guard.
"One of the more special times I've had as coach at the University of Washington," Romar said on the phone from Newark late Thursday night. "You know, to see how excited they are. It was my first time."
Ross is the fifth Husky to be drafted in the top-10, joining Bob Houbregs (3rd, Milwaukee, 1953), Detlef Schrempf (8th, Dallas, 1985), Brandon Roy (6th, Minnesota, 2006) and Spencer Hawes (10th, Sacramento, 2007). Martell Webster signed with Washington for 2005, but elected to enter the draft instead and was selected 6th overall by Portland.
Romar said Ross was sitting at the draft believing he was going to be selected 14th by Milwaukee. Then Cleveland took Dion Waiters of Syracuse at fourth overall. That moved Ross up in the draft's heirarchy of shooting guards.
Ross' agent informed him of the boost into becoming a lottery pick at eighth overall seconds before NBA commissioner David Stern announced Toronto had selected him.
Ross and Wroten both declared early for the draft after they helped the Huskies to a 24-11 record in 2012, a NIT semifinal appearance and Pac-12 regular season championship. Both were first team All-Pac-12 and Wroten was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
Ross established himself as not only one of the Pac-12's most complete players, but one of the nation's top athletes. He ranked among conference leaders in eight categories: points (16.4, 4th), rebounds (6.4, 6th), offensive rebounds (5.1, 3rd), free throw percentage (.766, 11th), steals (1.3, 12th), 3-PT FG makes (2.1, 8th), 3-PT% (.371, 14th) and blocks (0.9, 13th).
He led Washington in scoring, tallying 574 total points - tied for 9th most in UW single-season history.
He also was second on the team in minutes, rebounds, steals, 3-point makes, 3-point field goal percentage and blocks.
Ross was the only Husky to reach 30 points in 2011-12, doing so twice. He was second with 9 games of 20-plus points.
Ross flourished in Washington's run to the NIT semifinals in New York. He averaged 25.0 points in four games. He was a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line and led UW shooters from three point range, making 15-of-37 attempts (.405).
As a freshman in 2011, he was part of a Husky team that went 24-11, won the Pac-10 Tournament championship and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
"Being at Washington and playing for Coach Romar has been a blessing," Ross said back on April 1 when he declared for the draft. "On the court, off the court, with school and in life...it's just been a real blessing to consider myself a Husky and get to where I am right now."
Wroten, a 6-foot-5 guard out of Seattle's Garfield High School, set numerous Husky freshman records: most points (559), scoring average (16.0 ppg), assists (130) and steals (66). He ranked fifth in the conference in scoring, eighth in assists (3.7 apg), second in steals (1.9 spg) and was sixth overall in offensive rebounds per game (2.3).
He was the Huskies' steals leader, second leading scorer and second leading assists man. He also attempted 33 percent of the team's free throws
Along with being named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and first team All-Pac-12, he was one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year award along with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller and Austin Rivers.
In his one season at Washington, his scoring average was fifth among all Division I freshmen, second among first-year players from the `power' conferences.
"Husky fans are the best in the nation and I would not trade my experience here for any other college," Wroten said the day he declared for the NBA Draft. "It was great that I stayed home and I know the University of Washington will always be by my side."
Wroten joins former Husky Quincy Pondexter on the Grizzlies. Though they didn't play together, Romar believes the UW bond will form immediately in Memphis.
"I just know he is going to take Tony under his wing," Romar said. "Tony is going to learn under him."