By Bob Huntzberger
Husky Herald Sports Writer
He is a rare talent, and will eventually succeed at the next level, but still has a lot to work on.
First and foremost, his free-throw shooting has been horrendous, and MUST improve in order for the Huskies to make a post-season run. Wroten is hands-down the most aggressive player on the team—he gets to the free-throw line nearly three times more than any other Husky, yet he has made only 93 of 164, or 57 percent, of his shots. In fact, one of my friends has come up with a workout plan inspired by Wroten’s poor shooting percentage at the line.
On a side note, Wroten did make all five of his free-throw attempts in the 71-69 win against the UCLA Bruins yesterday.
Secondly, he shoots well from the floor at just about 50 percent, but his three-point shooting is Ugly (Yes, with a capital U). I can’t tell you how many times I have seen Wroten bring the ball up, not look for his teammates, and chuck up a biffed three-pointer. It’s so frustrating! So far, he is shooting just over 20 percent from beyond the arc (9-41). This area of his game is what I think detracts from the team the most because almost every selfish attempt is a wasted possession.
Wroten’s decision making has gotten better since the beginning of Pac-12 play, but there is still a good amount of room for improvement. A key indicator of this is his .80 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is calculated by taking his assists (3.3) divided by his turnovers (4.1). One factor that plays into this is his inability to recognize the double team on drives. He drives with authority and cannot be stopped, but he needs to understand that if there is a double or triple team on him, he needs to kick the ball out. I will admit, he has gotten a lot better at this, as we saw in the Arizona State game.
Now let’s move onto the good.
Although I said that his decision making is not very good, when it is, he is the most effective player on the team. He has the highest field goal percentage of any guard on the roster, at just about 50 percent. He is also the leading scorer, averaging 17 points per game.
In back-to-back wins against Stanford and Arizona State, he combined for 43 points on 18-26 shooting (69 percent). In the road sweep of the Arizona schools he made clutch play after clutch play.
Let’s begin with the 60-54 Arizona State win; he had 22 points on 9-12 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one of the best dunks I have ever seen. It was ESPN’s top play of the day. In the 69-67 barn-burner at Arizona, he had a team high of 17 points, with two game changing plays. First, was his half-court three-pointer midway through the second half with one second left on the shot clock, putting the Huskies up by nine (53-44). Then, it was his game-saving block on Arizona’s Josiah Turner to secure the win. You can watch the replay of this great game in its entirety on ESPN3.
Overall, Wroten has provided a major boost as of late. He willed the Huskies to the road sweep, and has definitely been the leading contributor in the past three games (Stanford, Arizona State, and Arizona).