Washington's Terrence Ross drafted No. 8 overall by Toronto; Tony Wroten Jr. taken by Memphis with 25th pick
Terrence Ross, a 6-foot-6 guard who played two seasons at Washington, was selected by Toronto with the eighth pick in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday. Huskies guard Tony Wroten Jr. was the 25th overall pick, going to Memphis.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sooner than expected, Terrence Ross received word the Toronto Raptors selected him with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft.
The former Washington star believed he would be taken a little later, but he was delighted by the surprise.
"I couldn't believe it," he said during an interview Thursday night with the NBA. "I looked at my mom, and she started crying. I looked at my sister, and she was in shock. I looked at my coaches, and they were happy for me. It's a real moment for me."
More than 90 minutes later, that moment became real for Ross' former teammate, Tony Wroten Jr., who was chosen by Memphis with the 25th pick.
An avid participant on Twitter, he learned about his future in the NBA through a tweet.
"I thought that was just a prediction, but then I got that text and it was surreal," Wroten said during a conference call with reporters in Memphis. "I heard my name called, and it was crazy.
"I was just speechless. I told myself I wasn't going to cry, but being a Memphis Grizzly was a dream come true so I just broke down."
It was a historic night for Washington — the first time two Huskies were taken in the first round in the same year.
In 2005, Nate Robinson was the 21st pick while Martell Webster, a UW commit who never played for the team, went off the board at No. 6.
Ross ties Detlef Schrempf for the third-highest drafted Husky behind Bob Houbregs, who was taken second in 1953, and Brandon Roy, the sixth overall pick in 2006. Schrempf was taken eighth by Dallas in 1985.
The significance of the night wasn't lost on coach Lorenzo Romar, who made his first trip to the draft and sat with Ross and his family inside the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
"I can't help but be happy for those guys," Romar said. "Those guys got their names called in the first round, so that's really, really special."
Ross joins a coaching staff with Seattle connections. Toronto coach Dwane Casey was the former Sonics associate head coach, and Raptors assistant Eric Hughes was an assistant at Washington.
When asked what Toronto fans can expect, Ross said: "Highlights."
Conceivably he should immediately challenge for a starting job for a Raptors team that finished 23-43 last season and last made the playoffs in 2008.
Meanwhile Wroten hopes to fit in with a young Memphis team that's appeared in the past two playoffs and has a seemingly established backcourt in Mike Conley and Tony Allen.
"This is a great team," Wroten said. "I've seen them make the playoffs and get a lot of wins. They've got great people. I feel like I'll be coming in and helping them out a lot. I just want to come in and do whatever it takes to help this team win."
Wroten also teams up with former Husky Quincy Pondexter, who was traded to Memphis last season.
"Quincy left here as a captain and a mentor to some guys and I know, I just know he's going to take Tony under his wing," Romar said. "I think he's going to help him a long way."
Washington was one of six schools Thursday with multiple first-round picks. Kentucky and North Carolina topped the list with four each, and Connecticut, Syracuse, Duke and UW each had two.
However, the Huskies are the only team among the six who didn't make the NCAA tournament.
"We should have made it to the NCAA tournament, the criteria didn't suggest it based on the numbers but I think we were better than a lot of those teams in the tournament," Romar said. "We were just a young, inconsistent team.
"In other years there's been young, inconsistent teams that slipped into the tournament and made it, but that wasn't the case for us this year."
Ross and Wroten, the Pac-12 freshman of the year, were first-team all-conference picks. They led the Huskies in scoring and carried the team to a Pac-12 regular-season title and a 14-4 conference record.
Washington became the first major-conference champion left out of the Big Dance and finished the season 24-11 after losing 68-67 in overtime to Minnesota in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Washington has had a player taken in the draft in each of the past four years. The others include: Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento, 60th pick), Pondexter (Oklahoma City, 26) and Jon Brockman (Portland, 38).
There are seven Huskies in the NBA, including Spencer Hawes and Robinson. Roy is attempting a comeback after retiring last season.
Gonzaga center Robert Sacre was taken with the 60th and last pick by the Los Angeles Lakers. The 7-footer from North Vancouver, B.C., averaged 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds his senior season. He is an outstanding free-throw shooter, averaging 76.1 percent as a senior and 82.3 as a junior. He will have to work on his explosiveness and learn to use his bulk more in the NBA.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or email@example.com
|Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. are the eighth and ninth University of Washington players chosen in the first round of the NBA draft:|
|2012||25||Tony Wroten Jr.||Memphis|
|2010||26||Quincy Pondexter||Oklahoma City|
Information in this article, originally published June 28, 2012, was corrected June 29, 2012. A previous version of this story said five schools had multiple players drafted in the first round. There were six schools.