Now that the season has ended and Tony Wroten has prematurely ended his career at UW to see if his skill set will translate to the NBA, I thought it would be interesting to compare GBJ and Tony Wroten's Freshman campaigns.
If you were to look strictly at ppg it would seem that Wroten is the clear cut winner but it really depends on the team's needs. Wroten is great at driving to the basket and has a respectable if not spectacular FG% of 44.3%. He gets to the line a lot averaging 7.5 FTA but he only makes 58.3% of them. He is abysmally bad from behind the arc shooting only 16.1% on the season (9-56). He shoots the ball liberally taking 12.8 FGA/Game. Taking all of these stats into account he scores a considerable number of his teams points at 16ppg but he doesn't do it very efficiently and has no outside game. He averaged a respectable 3.7apg but unfortunately they were overshadowed by the fact that he had more turnovers than assists.
Gary Bell Jr.--
Bell has been outstanding and filled his role in his freshman season perfectly. While he scored considerably less at 10.3ppg he was incredibly efficient. His overall FG% was 49.6% and he shot an incredible 47.7% from beyond the arc giving him the best 3P% of any Freshman this season. He doesn't get to the charity stripe as often as Wroten but when he does he shoots at a 74.1% clip. Later in the season Gary developed confidence in the drive and was much more aggressive going to the basket. As a freshman he was very good at everything and showed the potential to become a dominant all-around player by the time he leaves GU.
I would take 10 points off of 7 shots over 16 points off of 13 shots any day of the week. If Wroten develops the 3 he will be a much better player but he is essentially starting from scratch. Bell doesn't necessarily need to develop any new skills, he can concentrate on merely improving on all of the things he already does well. Wroten produced more in his freshman season as an individual but I would argue that Bell was better for the team as whole. Advantage: Bell
More after the jump...
Once again, Tony stuffs the stats but there really isn't much substance behind it. At 5 rpg and 1.9spg it would seem that he is above average for a guard but if there is one thing that frustrates the UW faithful more than his inefficiency it is his defense. He is very aggressive when going after the ball but he simply doesn't have sound defensive mechanics.
Defense is what put Bell into the starting lineup so early in the season. His defensive prowess as a freshman is nothing short of sensational but a lot of what he puts into the game defensively is intangible. Even if he doesn't get the greatest numbers (he averages 2.5 rebounds and .7 steals per game) he shuts down the opposing teams best player in a way that you don't see very often.
Again, Wroten is productive but he doesn't really play smart. He doesn't seem to have the natural defensive prowess that Bell has and it is unclear if he will ever develop it. Advantage: Bell
Wroten is a good player but he is severely limited by selfishness and a lack of the cliché "Basketball IQ". He is projected in the first round of the NBA draft and maybe it is a good decision on his part to take off before scouts realize that this may be the most that they will see from him. UW's most devoted fans have called him a cancer and detrimental to the team. He has an interesting skill set for a guard but it doesn't look like it will translate to an NBA PG skill set that would require him to be more efficient in passing the ball and develop some semblance of an outside game.
Contrast this with Bell who is the ultimate team player. He contributes efficiently and effectively within the system, understands his role and can hit big shots. He is our best on ball defender and one of the best freshman defenders I have ever seen. In short, Bell makes GU better and the opposing team worse. With Bell it seems as if he is only scratching the surface. He is a freshman who plays like an upperclassman so it is exciting to think about his prospects after 2-3 more seasons in the system. There is room to improve from high-major starter to All-American over the next three seasons and it appears that he has the intelligence and will power to make that happen.