That streak continued Thursday night after Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten were picked in the first round of this year's NBA draft, the first time that has ever happened to two current Huskies.
Sophomore sensation Terrence Ross was one of the draft's biggest sleeper picks, soaring up the rankings as the sheer scope of his talent quickly became evident during pre-draft workouts. The Huskies' leading scorer last season wowed NBA scouts with his athleticism and brilliant three-point range. He was rewarded for his efforts Thursday evening after the Toronto Raptors made him the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft. It may not have been a coincidence that former UW Assistant Eric Hughes is now a coach with the Raptors. Ross' selection makes him the second Husky top-10 draft pick during the Lorenzo Romar era after Brandon Roy, who was selected 6th back in 2006. Roy would later go on to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
The selection of the soft-spoken Ross surprised many draft experts who had him projected to be taken late in the lottery, or somewhere in the mid teens. For Husky fans, his selection was anything but unexpected and a testament to Romar's ability to develop NBA talent. Ross was a relative unknown in most recruiting circles despite a top-50 national ranking. Ross hit the NBA draft radar after a sterling performance in the Huskies second round NCAA Tournament loss to North Carolina his freshman year. This past season he earned All-Conference honors after leading the Huskies to the Pac-12 regular season title.
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Tony Wroten's stay at Montlake may have been a short one, and he certainly took a beating by draft analysts in the days leading up to the draft, but that didn't stop the Memphis Grizzlies from taking the talented 6-foot-6 freshman guard with the 25th pick of the first round. Included with that pick is a three year guaranteed first-round contract with the Grizzlies for Wroten. One great part about the pick is that Wroten will be able to learn the ropes from another Husky - Quincy Pondexter.
In the NBA, Ross projects as a shooting guard while Wroten's ultimate position remains yet to be determined. Their selection simply adds on to a growing tradition of developing standout NBA guards groomed under Romar's tutelage. Brandon Roy, Bobby Jones, Nate Robinson, Quincy Pondexter, Will Conroy, and most recently Isaiah Thomas and Justin Dentmon, have all earned NBA opportunities over the last decade. Both Ross and Wroten have bright NBA futures ahead of themselves.
Congratulations to Terrence and Tony!
Beach's Bits: Draft Day Happenings
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