Tag Archives: Tony Wroten

Tooting the horn and a few other things

As Matthew said earlier today, there’s a ton going on in Seattle sports right now.  So, I’ll start with the news of the hour and hit on a few other things.

  • Max Browne of Skyline High School, who most recruiting experts thought to be the number 1 quarterback prospect in the nation, verbally committed to USC tonight.  It’s not a huge surprise as many thought he’d be leaning that way.  Let me start off by saying, that it’s never good to lose the best players from your own backyard.  Browne is a huge talent and it would have been great to have him as a Husky.  With that being said, once the Huskies took two quarterbacks in the last class, this always seemed like a bit of long shot.  It’s not a huge position of need for the Dawgs and Browne has a much better chance of being Matt Barkley’s successor than he has of being Keith Price’s.  It’s hard to fault Browne for not staying home or the coaches for not keeping him home on this note.  Of course, Browne hasn’t signed yet, but he seems like he wanted to get the process over.  Good for him.
  • Matthew recapped Terrance Ross’ and Tony Wroten’s decision to enter the NBA earlier today.  He also took a look at what the team might do next year.  Don’t forget to take a look at that.
  • Husky football has started their spring practice with all of their new coaches on hand.  Bob Condotta will have all of the coverage and we won’t be able to cover it to the normal extent because this year’s practices aren’t open to the public.  We’ll try to give a few recaps at some point but hopefully there’s no huge news coming out of practice because that usually means there was an injury.
  • Earlier today the Mariners decided to keep Alex Liddi over Carlos Peguero, meaning Chone Figgins will get the majority of the time in left field over the next week or two.  This is where I toot my horn a bit.  I advocated for this move to happen on Monday and Jack Z just happened to agree with me.  I think it’s the right move, although who knows if it will make much of a difference over the next few weeks.
  • My last little bit is on a piece put out by Seattle Sports Insider today.  About a week ago, I wrote a post about sabermetrics and how I don’t think we can solely rely on them.  The subject of what the Good Guys had been working on recently came up in a mini-discussion I had in the comments of this SSI post with author Jemanji.  I told him that I’d been trying to find the right line in measuring sabermetrics against the other elements in the game and he responded, not only with a comment but, with a whole post on the matter.  In short, he used a Bill James article on the subject of sabermetrics to help us understand the concept better.  Sabermetrics should maybe be seen as questions that we’re trying to solve instead of statistics we can look up on fangraphs.  The likes of Dave Cameron and other Fangraph writers may disagree, but it’s an interesting concept.  You should all just go and read it by clicking here.  The quote he uses at the top is mine, so that’s kind of cool.  They have a great blog and they’re all good guys (no pun intended) over there.

There’s a lot more happening around but we’ll save it for another day.  I’m going to try to get a few things up on the M’s before Friday, hopefully that happens.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Andrew

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UW Basketball: Goodbye Wroten and Ross

Lots going on in Seattle sports right now.  First up: Husky basketball.

As expected, both Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten have declared for the NBA draft.  Both have said they will hire agents, which would prevent them from changing their minds and returning to school.  Obviously, it would have been great to have either or both of them return.  Both are phenomenal athletes who had the ability to dominate games.  I’m not one of those who considers their decisions addition by subtraction for next year’s team.  Players like Ross and Wroten are hard to find, and we wish them luck in their NBA careers. Continue reading

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Husky Hoops: The End of the Road to NYC, and Next Year

The UW basketball season is not officially over, but it’s pretty close.  Many people stopped caring when the team missed the NCAA tournament (me initially being one of them), but those who didn’t watch last night’s NIT battle royale with Oregon missed out.  Hec Ed was packed for the final home game of the year, and it was loud.  With Oregon as the opponent, it felt like anything but an NIT game, and it was played that way, as well.  Both teams played hard and well, I would argue at an NCAA tournament level.

I understand why the Huskies missed the Big Dance.  Their resume probably wasn’t worthy, at least given the way the selection committee looks at teams, but I think anyone who argues that they’re not one of the best 68 teams in the country is crazy.  They have been inconsistent and frustrating, but when they play anywhere close to their ability, they’re a potential sweet sixteen team.  That’s obviously not going to happen this year, which is what makes them so frustrating.  If you can get past that disappointment, though, last night was a blast and a good way to remember this team.

The Dawgs will now head to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals and hopefully final.  Obviously, we hope they win, but it is still kind of hard to get overly excited.  The Oregon matchup was a nice surprise, but when you come down to it, it’s the NIT.

So, you ask, what’s the point of this post?  I can’t really remember.  I started it earlier today and can’t remember where I was going with it.  I guess let’s talk about next year.

Right now, the Huskies are slated to return almost everyone.  They lose Darnell Gant to graduation, but get Scott Suggs back from an injury redshirt and add Andrew Andrews and Jernard Jarreau, who both redshirted as freshman this year.  They have no committed recruits currently (more on that in minute).  I have no doubt that that team would be favored to win the Pac-12 handily and would probably be in consideration for the top 10 in the country.  That’s a lot of talent, and a lot of talent that should be improved and much deeper next year.

The problem is that Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten seem extremely likely to leave early for the NBA.  Both are projected for the first round.  Both have some questions, and it’s a deep draft class, so it’s not like there’s no doubt they’re leaving.  And to be fair, neither of them has given any indication they’re gone.  Just don’t get your hopes up on them staying.  In fact, if you don’t deal well with disappointment, just plan on them leaving.  The power of low expectations!

To break down my thoughts on the two: it would obviously be great if they both stayed.  If I could pick one to keep, it would be Ross.  He’s my favorite to watch, and he’s the better all-around player.  Wroten is a fascinating guy.  He had maybe the best freshman year in UW history and was one of the best players in the conference, but everyone knew what he would do: drive to his left, throw the ball toward the basket, and if it didn’t go in, get his own rebound and finish.  It’s a testament to his talent that he was so successful with this, but it also shows how much he could improve.  His effort, defense and free-throw shooting got much better this year.  If he could add a jump shot and a right hand, he might be the national player of the year, let alone the Pac-12 POY.

It’s not all doom and gloom if Ross and Wroten leave.  This team should still be talented and improved.  Abdul Gaddy has played increasingly well as the season has progressed, looking like an all-Pac-12 point guard in the last few weeks.  CJ Wilcox doesn’t quite have the shocking talent and athleticism of Ross, but he’s not terribly far behind and will only be a junior.  Suggs is in the same mode and will offer a steady head and hand.  Andrews or Hikeem Stewart would need to step up for some depth, but that could easily happen.  The front court would be a bigger question.  Aziz showed huge improvement this year, and if he could continue that and make himself a threat offensively, he could be the best big man in the conference.  Simmons had his moments before hitting a bit of a wall and losing some playing time, but he is still young and has that useful Gant-like skill set.  It will be vital for Shawn Kemp Jr. or Martin Breunig to step up and develop as a legitimate first big man off the bench.

That’s a good team, if lacking slightly in depth and star-power.  The strange thing right now is that the Huskies have no imcoming recruits to augment the returners.  I saw the other day that they’re one of only a few schools in the country with no commits yet.  This is partly by plan.  With only Gant graduating, there’s only one scholarship open, and that’s apparently being held for 5 star power forward Anthony Bennett.  Bennett is no sure thing or even remotely close to it, but he seems to be the only guy out there that the Huskies would add to the team as it is currently.  The recruiting class for 2013 has the potential to be huge, and it’s thought that Romar is happy leaving an extra scholarship open for a year if he doesn’t get Bennett or a similar level of talent.  This would likely change if Ross and/or Wroten leave, as they’d have more open scholarships and the need for some extra depth.  We’ll leave the potential recruits in that case for a later post.

So enjoy this team in the one or two games left, especially Ross and Wroten.  Hopefully they’re back, but don’t worry too much if they’re not.  You can never fault these kids for leaving for millions of dollars, and there’s always someone else ready to take his place.

But if you’re reading this, Terrence and Tony, how about you guys stick around and we make a run at the Final Four?  Seattle could use a couple of new legends, not to mention a winner.

-Matthew

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Bad News, Good News, Great News!

Ready for the bad news? It is a bleak day for Dawg fans, there’s no 2 ways around it. Yesterday’s loss was frustrating, untimely, but certainly not surprising, at least if you’ve followed this team all season. On one side, the Huskies exceeded pre-season expectations by winning the Pac 12 outright, a truly awesome accomplishment. On the other side, 20 of the Huskies 21 wins have come vs. opponents with an RPI of 75+, and time and time again the Dawgs have narrowly missed on opportunities to make a statement, and erase doubts. The biggest factor, for me anyway, is leadership. Gant is the only contributing senior, and I think he has done his best, but his personality is not that of a Brandon Roy, Will Conroy, Jon Brockman, Isaiah Thomas, or Quincy Pondexter. Gaddy, Ross, Wilcox and Wroten, for all the good that they’ve done in spurts, have not embraced the role of captain, the guy that pulls his teammates up in the face of adversity. The result is a plethora of head shaking moments, and some success based largely on raw talent like Lorenzo Romar has never had. It’s tough when talent does not fully translate, and potential is not reached. If this core stays together for another year and really gels, they are a top 10 team, but Ross and Wroten seem destined for the NBA, which nobody should blame them for.

Now for some good news. If the Huskies do make the big dance, which is officially an “if”, their seed will likely be an 11 or 12, rather than a 9 or 10 which seemed possible a week ago. But does it matter? I would argue being an 11 or 12 seed is often better than being a 9 or 10, at least in terms of making a sweet 16 run. The recent numbers back this up. Since 2001, here are the seeds, and what % have made the round of 16.

9 seed- 2/44 = 4.5% make sweet 16
10 seed- 8/44 = 18%
11 seed- 6/44 = 14%
12 seed- 9/44 = 20%

The great news? Check it out, your Mariners are in 1st place! Granted the games don’t “really” count, but we’ll take what we can get.

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The State of the Husky Basketball Team

Yes, I still write for this blog.  Welcome back, you say?  Why thank you.  How have you been, you say?  I’m doing well.  The main reason I haven’t written much lately is that I wanted to make sure that I was still writing on here for the right reasons.  All four of the Good Guys’ write on this blog as a hobby and nothing more.  We aren’t paid for what we write (nor should we be) and we aren’t the most popular sports blog in Seattle (again, we shouldn’t be).  We just do this for fun and we are hopeful that our readers find us entertaining and somewhat informative.  In the last month I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t writing just to see how many blog hits we could get.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t think of it as a chore.  Most of all, I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed sports more while writing about them than not writing about them.  Now, I’m back!  Yes, I’ve missed writing and, having wasted about 200 words already, it’s time to get on with this post!  There will be more in the future and, hopefully, not as many breaks in the future.

I was driving back to Seattle today and caught the last couple of minutes of the Husky basketball game on the radio.  After watching their blowout loss against Colorado on Thursday, I was hesitant to even turn it on but I’m a Dawg and will always be.  Despite the Huskies best effort to lose the game to a terrible Utah team, they edged out a close victory.  It was their first road win of the year.

After the game had ended I spent a few minutes about what I thought ‘Husky basketball’ is.  In recent years I think the program has been successful enough to earn an identity and I think Romar, Bob Rondeau and Harry the Husky would agree.  What is that identity?  I would peg it as in-your-face defense that takes risks, fast paced offense that thrives off of penetration and shooters, and a dive on the floor to get the loose ball mentality.  Most of all, I think it’s that last part.  That’s what makes Dawg fans stand up and bark.  Since the program has been on the upswing, there is no doubt that Romar has taught his players to want it more than their opposition.  Sure, that hasn’t been the case every single game but I think most Husky fans would agree.  So what’s different about this year’s team? Continue reading

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UW vs. Arizona Predictions

This was a pretty horrible week for Seattle sports fans.  After bad losses for the Huskies, I tend to tune out the media for a few days.  I guess it’s an attempt to avoid depression.  Still, a week without sports seems empty and dumb, so I turned my attention elsewhere.

I figured I’d think about the Mariners for a while.  The baseball offseason is always fun, at least until players start signing and Prince Fielder goes to Texas.  Then I read this and I got depressed again, although Seattle Sports Insider came to the rescue with a more optimistic view later in the week (starting here, with hopefully more thoughts on this later this week from the Good Guys).  Regardless of any offseason hopes, the Mariners have a lot of work to do.

I don’t care about the Seahawks as much as the other local teams, but even if I did, they were no help.  A 6-3 loss might be the worst football score there is.  Maybe it’s 3-0, but at least someone’s getting a shutout there.  The NBA has gone to great lengths to make sure Seattleites hate professional basketball, first stealing our team and then going into a lockout with no end in sight.  Even Old Reliable, UW basketball, had slightly bad news, with freshman phenom Tony Wroten undergoing minor knee surgery over the weekend and the season still a few weeks away.

Here’s to hoping for a better week.  Until then, keep your head up, Seattle.  In the words of local boys Blue Scholars, “Anybody in the town into sports, God bless ’em.  We heard that all underdogs go to heaven.”

Dan

A month ago this game did not scare me. Arizona was a mess, Stoops was coaching his last games in Tucson, and the Huskies were exceeding expectations behind Keith Price. It’s too soon to tell, but Arizona seems to be rising, and Washington is facing real adversity for the first time this season. A common theme when analyzing a UW game is, the offense should be able to score, but the game will come down to how well the defense performs. Truth is, until the defense shows a consistent ability to stop the opposition, the team’s success will hinge on the offense putting up enough points to win the game. This is a big problem, and one that I didn’t think would so glaring yet again. As for tomorrow’s contest, Arizona does not exactly have a juggernaut defense either, and I think the offenses are about a wash (Foles may very well go for 400 yards). I’ll give the advantage to UW because of home field and a little more program stability, which should translate to the little things like tackling, penalties, and taking advantage of opportunities. Take the over in this shoot out!

Huskies-44, Wildcats-38

Andrew

I’ve come to realize that I have the worst record in predictions for the Good Guys.  I’m pretty shook up about it.  Anyway, I don’t see the Huskies losing tomorrow.  Arizona has been talked up more this week than any 2-5 team I can remember.  Yes, they are dangerous but, playing away from home without the energy, they don’t scare me.  The Huskies are too dangerous on offense and the defense won’t be great but it will at least answer some of the criticism that it’s rightfully received this week.  This game will be close for the first 2 and a half quarters and then the Dawgs will pull away.  Go Dawgs!

UW 48 – UA 31

Joe

After the butt whuppin Stanford put on UW last week, I don’t know what to expect vs Arizona. I do expect the Dawgs to come out focused and determined to put last week behind them, which they must. The next two games at home will make or break their season in many ways. Lose to Arizona and Oregon, and you are 5-4 going on the road to two hostile environments with a rivalry game on the back end. Things could get sketchy. Beat Arizona and they set up nicely no matter what happens v Oregon. 6-2 looks a whole lot better than 5-3 with the specter of 5-4. I realize Arizona beat down UCLA last week, but cmon, that was Doogie lost the Bruins a while ago. Arizona traditionally stinks on the road and I believe have quite a few suspensions from their brawl last week. I fully expect UW to win this game. I expect the D to play really well. Traditionally, under Sark, the Huskies play really well coming off losses. I see no reason this game will buck the trend.

UW 38 – UA 27

Matthew

This game is a little scarier than I would have ever anticipated a few weeks ago, but less scary than it probably should be.  Last Saturday’s results are getting slightly overblown for both teams, in my opinion.  Yes, UW’s defense is terrible.  You know who else’s defense is terrible?  Arizona’s, and they’re playing without most of their secondary for at least half of the game.  Nick Foles is phenomenal, and the Wildcat running game was much improved last week.  Keith Price isn’t significantly worse, and the Husky running game is significantly better.  Arizona was playing at home with the emotion of a few coach, who isn’t Mike Stoops.  That should be worth a few touchdowns right there.  Some of that emotion will likely wear off this week.  I still expect Arizona to look much better than they did a month ago, but the Huskies should handle them.  They might not hold them under 35 points, but this should be a win for the Dawgs.

UW 45, UA 34

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A Very Quick UW Basketball Post

The UW basketball team started practice about a week ago, so I’ll throw this out there in case anyone wants to discuss the team.  They’re favorites to win the Pac-10, which looks to be nearly as weak as it was last year.  Some quick thoughts and things to watch.

  • The team is very deep overall, but not in the frontcourt.  Tyreese Breshers had to retire for medical reasons just before practice started, leaving MBA, Darnell Gant, and Aziz N’Diaye as the only bigs.  Given Romar’s style of play, they can work around this, but one more body would be very nice.  Freshman Desmond Simmons is about Darnell Gant’s size and does all the dirty work, but he’s more of a wing and is recovering from an injury.
  • Speaking of Aziz, he sounds like he could be a difference maker.  Quick history: an incoming sophomore from a junior college, he lost all of last season to surgery.  Good news: he’s 7′ 260 lb and ran the fastest mile on the team.  Most thought he’d get limited time this year while he recovered and developed, and that might still be the case, but Romar singled him out as playing well in a recent scrimmage.  If he adjusts quickly, he could have a huge role as a defensive stopper and rebounder.
  • Venoy Overton will miss most of the preseason with an injury.  Hopefully the extra practice time will give Abdul Gaddy a chance to get rolling out of the gate.  Gaddy playing up to his potential could make this team tough to beat.
  • I don’t have any inside access to the team or anything, but now that Isaiah Thomas is the top Dawg, I’m betting we don’t see the same chemistry issues that dogged the Huskies (no pun intended) the first half of last season.  Something never quite fit last year, and I still think it had to do with Quincy Pondexter’s personality not meshing with the rest of the team.  I could be crazy, and I’d sure like to have Quincy’s scoring back, but I’m betting this team finds its identity a lot quicker than last year’s did.
  • Off the court, UW got a huge recruiting commitment from Tony Wroten.  A big Seattle point guard, Wroten was talked of as the top recruit in the country at times.  Injuries and maturity issues have quieted those discussions the last couple of years, but he still has a world of potential.  In the past, he seemed like a lock to leave the state after high school, so the commitment is even sweeter.  I’ve seen some Gary Payton comparisons, which seem to fit from the little I know.  The Huskies currently have a good but somewhat under-the-radar class.  They’re in on two of the top big men on the West Coast, Angelo Chol and Norvel Pelle.  Getting either of them would be huge and make it a very complete class.  Signing day for the fall is coming up, and we’ll do a full breakdown as it gets closer.

More to come as the season gets closer.  If there’s anything you’d like to hear about, leave it in the comments and we’ll see what we can do!

-Matthew

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