March 10, 2012

Ross, Wroten need one more year of college basketball

The next logical move for Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross after Washington's disappointing loss against Oregon State is obvious.

The NBA Draft, right?

You don't need to watch this Huskies for long to see the talent oozing from their top two guards.

Wroten isn't the prototypical point guard, but he's absolutely electric with the ball in his hands. If his defender is playing a few feet off the ball, he'll still get to the hoop with relative ease and score either by layup or punishing dunk. If he doesn't finish, Wroten is one of the best in the country at grabbing his own miss and putting it back for two, a trait you won't find in any other point guard in the country.

What's more, Wroten has an NBA body. At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, you immediately think shooting guard at the next level. But then you see his uncanny vision. There have been countless times when the freshman has found an open teammate when the teammate himself didn't even know he was open.

Wroten's size may scream shooting guard, but his genes are clearly all point guard. That's a scary combination at the next level.

Then you have Ross. The sophomore can score, and score in a hurry. He has a silky-smooth jumper, which he uses in a variety of ways. He can hit the mid-range, he can hit the long-range, he can shoot it off the dribble and he can shoot if off the catch. You won't find many shooters who can shoot in a variety of ways like Ross can.

Ross also uses his scary athleticism to finish at the hoop, rebound and disrupt on the defensive end. On the season, he is averaging 6.5 rebounds, 1.0 block and 1.2 steals. Not many shooting guards or small forwards can boast those types of peripheral stats.

So case closed, right? The NBA is obviously the next step for Wroten and Ross should Washington's bubble burst on Selection Sunday. Everyone projects them as first-round NBA picks, so it's a no-brainer, right?

Well, not so fast.

The tandem of Wroten and Ross doesn't come without its faults.

With Wroten, the multi-positional potential is nice, but it also points to the fact he doesn't quite fit anywhere.

If he plays point guard in the NBA, does he really have the ability to run an NBA offense? For the majority of his time at Washington, it has been Abdul Gaddy actually running the offense. Throw in the fact Wroten has averaged 3.6 assists and 3.9 turnovers, and he's clearly not a future NBA point guard in his present state.
Unless an NBA team wants its point guard to have average five assists and six turnovers per game.

That leaves shooting guard, but that would imply Wroten would have to shoot, but that's something he can't do very well consistently.

On the season, the Pac-12 Conference's freshman of the year is shooting an atrocious 18 percent from 3-point range and 58 percent from the free-throw line. Guys like Dwyane Wade are able to make a living at the off-guard position without shooting the long ball, but even they have a mid-range game. Wroten doesn't even have that.
He makes a living with layups and dunks, but in the NBA he won't be able to drive past or over-power everyone. Simply put, what makes Wroten so dominating in college won't be available to him in the NBA. And his weaknesses will be further highlighted.

Wroten isn't even 19 yet. He has the raw talent, and teams will certainly like his potential, but he is in a situation where he can improve his stock with another year of college. Often times you will see players rush to the draft because their stock is at an all-time high.

Wroten's is at an all-time low.

Ross is more ready. If he were to make the jump, it would be understandable, but he could still use another year of college simply because he still lacks that all-important killer instinct.

He still disappears from games and loses his place in the offense. He should have averaged over 20 points per game this season, but he found himself unwilling to constantly demand the ball.

This is clearly nit-picking, but Ross also is in a situation to improve his stock if he stays one more year.

One more year.

That's what the Washington fans so badly want from the Husky duo, and after a disappointing finish to the season, it's clear the fans will want that extra year so much more.

But at this point, it's clear an extra year wouldn't just benefit the fans. It would benefit Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross, too.

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