Plus-Minus Shows Wroten’s Growth

Last weekend’s plus-minus numbers for the Huskies:

Arizona State
Wroten +12
Gant +8
N’Diaye +8
Gaddy +6
Ross +4
Seferian-Jenkins 0
Wilcox 0
Kemp -1
Simmons -7

Arizona
Wroten +12
N’Diaye +8
Simmons +8
Gaddy -2
Seferian-Jenkins -2
Ross -3
Wilcox -5
Gant -6

The big takeaway here is the newfound importance of Tony Wroten, who had the team’s best mark both games. The most critical stretch of the season might have been the nine minutes Wroten spent at point guard after Abdul Gaddy picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half in Tucson. Lately, Lorenzo Romar has been hesitant to put Wroten at the point. Gaddy played more than 80 consecutive minutes between halftime of the Stanford game and exiting just after the break at Arizona. Yet Wroten helped the Huskies extend their lead by four points before Gaddy returned and, for a variety of reasons, things got hairy.

It’s not just the last two games, which don’t mean that much on their own. The Gaddy-Wroten-Ross perimeter trio (+10.6) now rates well ahead of the Gaddy-Wilcox-Ross trio (+7.3) that started at the beginning of the season. Wroten’s steady improvement is a big reason why Washington has been able to survive Wilcox’s absence, and the team now looks stronger as Wilcox is able to ramp his minutes back up as the backup to all three perimeter starters.

Saturday’s game was unusual in that the Huskies won with just three players having a positive plus-minus. Nothing meaningful there, just an odd note. It was also just the fourth time all season with negative plus-minus for Darnell Gant and Terrence Ross. Gant has somehow been positive in five of Washington’s seven losses (including South Dakota State) but negative in two wins (Seattle U was the other).

Austin Seferian-Jenkins‘ hugely positive plus-minus didn’t carry over last weekend, but he was basically neutral on the road. Before the Arizona game seemed too fast for him, I was probably most comfortable with Seferian-Jenkins on the floor of any of the Huskies’ big men against Arizona State. UCLA, what with its size in the frontcourt, should be a much better matchup for Seferian-Jenkins tonight and a test of how much he can bring to the team.

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