ESPN's College Basketball nation blog has this post title "Huskies will go as Tony Wroten goes " up on it's site. The post takes a look at Wroten and his play over the first six games of the season.
It's an interesting look at Wroten's efficiency, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. The author Eamonn Brennan does a good job of using some of the kenpom.com statistics - which I also am a believer in - to back up his analysis.
After seven games, at least one thing is clear: Wroten is every bit as important for the Huskies as Thomas. Maybe even more so.
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The question is whether Wroten is ready for that sort of responsibility. On that front, the jury is still very much out.
The freshman guard has had no shortage of opportunities this season. After seven games,per Ken Pomeroy's adjusted efficiency stats, Wroten ranks No. 4 in the nation -- to be clear, that's No. 4 out of every college basketball player in the country -- in usage rate. Wroten finishes 35.9 percent of his team's available possessions when he's on the floor; the next-highest of the Huskies, sophomore Terrence Ross, checks in at 21.7 percent.
Wroten has dominated possessions: He brings the ball up the floor and initiates Washington's offense, but he also has the freedom to create for himself whenever he chooses to do so. He takes 28.8 percent of his team's available shots.
The problem? Wroten's efficiency isn't just so-so -- so-so would be good for a player that shoulders this much of his team's offensive load. No, Wroten's efficiency numbers are downright bad. After seven games, the guard's offensive rating, per KenPom, is 86.0. (For comparison's sake, Ross' 118.5, while teammate C.J. Wilcox is among the best in the country at 131.2.) His effective field goal percentage (which accounts for the added value of a 3-point shot) is 46.2 percent. His true shooting percentage (which factors in free throw percentage) is 47.2. Wroten's turnover rate is 27.6 percent.
According to Synergy Sports Technologies data, Wroten has scored 88 points on his 119 possessions this season -- an average of .739 points per possession. Wroten has been much better in transition (27 points on 26 possessions) than he has in the half court, but half-court possessions have accounted for 78.2 percent of his possessions on the floor. His tallies in those trips: 93 possessions, 61 points, .656 points per possession. Synergy's built-in descriptors politely describe this mark as "below average."
Weirdly enough, it's not as if Wroten has been forcing bad jumpers or obviously trying to do more than he's capable of. According to Synergy, 71.4 percent of his shots are "around basket (not post-ups)." Essentially, as the Wroten film backs up, these are drives to the rim. He simply hasn't been finishing. Throw in the close misses with the turnovers, and you have a recipe for severe individual offensive frustration.I don't know what to think. The simple fact that Wroten is taking 28.8 percent of the team's shots (stats going into the Marquette game) is glaring. Yes, his attempts are coming around the rim, but that is for two reasons:
1. his jumpshot is still suspect and teams knows it. They are daring him to shoot from the perimeter, and he isnt.
2. He's forcing drives on occasions going into two defenders. That's why he's not finishing. Yes, he does get fouled, but he's also shooting under 50 percent from the free-throw line.
I will say this, I like Wroten's ability to get garbage buckes on offensive rebounds and finish on cuts. He's good around the basket and is so athletic, but he can't get either of those kinds of baskets if he's always dribbling on the perimeter. When he's playing on the floor with Gaddy, he needs to be more active away from the ball. To be fair, Wroten has been the best and only real threat with dribble penetration. You saw last night that if referees don't stringently enforce handchecks, Gaddy has trouble getting around defenders. He just can't that shoulder around the defender.
With shooters like Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox, the dribble penetration doesn't need to be all the way to the basket. It just needs to be far enough to make the defense move and partially rotate to kick the ball to the open shooter. Ross also needs to continue to drive to the rim. He's the best player, he should get 15 shots per game minimum.
Wroten is still learning. There have been frustrating moments. There have been scintillating moments. Hopefully, there will be something more than moments.