Despite the Pac-12's mediocrity and Seattle's remoteness, word is out about Tony Wroten's spectacular college debut season.
The freshman guard is among five finalists for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award, which is given to the nation's top freshman by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Wroten is threatening numerous Husky freshman records and has helped propel his team into a first-place tie in the Pac-12. Wroten is averaging 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals. Not only is Wroten the league's freshman leader in scoring, assists and steals, but his scoring average is fourth among all freshmen nationally and his steals average ranks sixth.
Wroten is on pace to end the year as the school's all-time freshman scorer and steals leader. He also should end up among UW's top-five freshman assist leaders.
The 6-foot-5 Wroten is tied for the team lead in double-figure scoring games with 23 of 25. He has scored 20 or more points a team-best eight times and his 188 free throw attempts represent 33% of the Huskies total attempts this year.
Wroten has been playing the last few games with a thigh bruise that has slowed his production. Asked about it Tuesday, he said he was "about 90 percent" recovered and would be ready for Washington's home game Thursday against Arizona State.
The award will be presented April 16 in Oklahoma City after the March 30 announcement in New Orleans in conjunction with the Final Four.
The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger became the winner of the first Wayman Tisdale Award. Previous winners of the award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.
The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-America at the University of Oklahoma. Following his play on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he died in May 2009.