Tony, Toni, Tone



By Craig Yamada – Editor-In-Chief

Twitter me this, twitter me that, who believes Tony will be a UK Cat? I know of a town called Denial that thinks he won’t. Population: ME. Would you like to be my neighbor?


What’s new?

First off, MM would like to congratulate Tony Wroten on his gold medal with Team USA U17 team in Germany this summer. This is a huge accomplishment and we are happy that Tony represented Seattle so well overseas.

But now that Tony is back on US soil, the focus shifts back to his recruitment. No other name on UW’s recruiting list is a higher priority at the moment, no matter how much anyone can try and deny it. Romar has been hot on Tony’s trail well before Tony’s high school career even began. He is a son of a rich tradition of Seattle ballers and comes from a long family history of UW tradition. We have all monitored his development as a player and a person over the last three years with great interest. And now Tony is entering his senior year of HS where one question remains to be answered. Where is he going to college?

Tony has continued to toss curveballs to all his followers whether it be over radio interviews, Facebook, and oh yes, Twitter. It has definitely kept everyone guessing and making UK fans feeling more secure about their future as the days grow old.

His most recent recruiting tweet came today: “I Have NOT committed anywhere yet. But UK is in the lead right now. Then comes UW, Uconn, Nova.”

This tweet came on the heels on a bunch of rumors that Tony had already verbally committed to UW after returning home from Germany. Apparently those rumors were put to bed with Tony’s last tweet. But were they really?

The Theory

I have a theory and I am going to share it. I will admit that the bitter taste of TJ still lingers. However, I am cautiously optimistic about Tony coming to the Dub. Tony is 17 years old and he is enjoying the attention he is getting from this entire process. Though you may be thinking this is TJ the sequel, let me stop you right there. Wroten and his family knows how hurt UW nation was during the TJ fiasco. The last thing he wants to do is upset his hometown by disrespecting its main school by playing it for a fool. Even if he doesn’t choose UW in the end, he will not be a hat changer. Tony’s parents would not allow such a circus to unfold. He would instantly lose the love by a city that he calls “home” if he pulled the old switcheroo. Tony already shook his head over how TJ did UW dirty and promised that he would not do the same.

As everyone knows, Tony will have nothing short of a Broadway production for a press conference to announce his “decision”. Knowing that this will likely take place in Seattle, Tony will likely to be hard pressed to utter the words “UK” amongst a Seattle community that is still recovering from the last press conference we tuned into. Not that this would prevent him from announcing UK, but I know how much Tony loves Seattle and how much he wants to play in front of his friends and family. A big party and a happy ending for all those involved would be ideal for Tony.

So why lead on UK and every major school out there? Simple answer: Exposure. Tony has been out of the game for a year following his ACL injury. He has slipped down the national rankings in the past year and he now has a chip on his shoulder. He needs and wants to prove that he can return to the dominant player he was during his sophomore year. Though the rankings may not mean much to him, he still needs to prove that he is one of the top players in the country. One boxing term comes to mind for me in this scenario: Rope-A-Dope. Tony loves drama. He loves messing around. It’s better to be the underdog in this scenario. He may be showing UK, but UW will be the one smiling when all is said and done.

Aside from guessing what’s going in Tony’s head, these are the cold hard facts:

  • NBA Lockout  Looms – It’s going to happen next year. It’s inevitable. This piece done by SI sheds some more light on the subject.  What does this mean? Answer: No Draft next year. UK likely won’t be able to unload any of its Freshman talent to the NBA this coming year. This leaves Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb, and incoming freshman Marquis Teague already battling for the starting time at the guard spot. Does Wroten really want to be competing for PT? Not likely. He can be the man right away if he chooses UW and the offense will revolve around him.
  • Will Conroy, Nate Rob, Tre Simmons – Yes, Tony trains with these three every summer. Do you not think they are in his ear 24-7 about going to the Dub and taking the program to the next level?
  • Gaddy and IT – IT has already stated over Twitter that he thinks Tony will be a Dawg when all is said done. Whether joking or not, Wroten has outwardly said that the only way he would play with UW was if Gaddy and IT were still there. That probably will be the case.  He would instantly bring back the hometown presence of UW basketball (ala Nate, Will, Tre and BRoy)
  • Tony loves the 206 – It’s no secret that Tony loves Seattle. He loves its residents. He loves everything about it. Every Twitter statement he makes seems to make some mention of Seattle and his love for it. Why go anywhere else? He could be the “hometown hero” if elects to play for Romar and the entire city would be behind him.

Bottom line: Let Tony have his fun during this process. He will throw you up and down this rollercoaster until the bitter end. Many of you will assume he is going to UK until he announces just to prevent disappointment. I for one am getting my hopes up already and will predict that he will be sporting purple and gold next year.

What do you think?

We all know Tony will be wearing #13 next year, but which looks the best?