As expected, the University of Washington men’s basketball team opened its 2011-12 season on Saturday afternoon with a rout of Georgia State in the opening game of the World Vision Classic at Alaska Airlines Arena (Hec Edmundson Pavilion).
Given that Washington traditionally wins these types of season openers by margins of 30 points or more, there is nothing unusual in the Huskies’ 91-74 win over the Panthers — except for the numbers put up by touted UW freshman Tony Wroten Jr.
The freshman from Garfield, and the son of former Husky football player Tony Wroten Sr., finished with 18 points, seven assists and three rebounds. Wroten played just 26 minutes in his official Washington debut.
For the first game of the season, head coach Lorenzo Romar started a lineup of forward Darnell Gant, center Aziz N’Diaye and guards Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross. Wilcox, the Pleasant Grove, UT., native, as he did in a non-counting game against Seattle Pacific last week, drained five 3-pointers en route to a team-high 22 points.
As he typically does in early-season contests, Romar played his entire roster (12 players) against Georgia State. All but three players scored.
Four Huskies scored in double figures against the Panthers. Gant and Wroten had 18 each and Ross chipped in 11. N’Diaye, prone to foul trouble in 2010-11, had eight rebounds and five blocked shots in 19 minutes.
Wroten hit half of his shots — 7 for-14 — in 26 minutes.
Wilcox, a redshirt sophomore, opened the second half with two 3-pointers in Washington’s first three Washington possessions. His second trey increased the UW’s lead to 54-36.
Wilcox contributed six rebounds in addition to making five 3-pointers. He finished 8-for-12 from the field and 5-for-8 from behind the 3-point line.
Washington assumed control in the second half after leading by 10 at halftime. The lead rose to 61-41 when N’Diaye scored in the post with a left-handed hook off the glass. Wilcox’s lay-in increased the lead to 70-44.
The World Vision Classic is a three-day event that also includes Florida Atlantic and Portland University. The Huskies take on Florida Atlantic at Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday at 5 p.m., then will play Portland on Monday at 7 p.m., also at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Washington will play only two more games in November. The Huskies travel to St. Louis on Nov. 20 for a game against the Billikens, a team that Romar once coached. The Huskies then will host Houston Baptist on Nov. 25.
After a pair of games in New York’s Madison Square Garden against No. 22 Marquette (Dec. 6) and No. 6 Duke (Dec. 10), Washington will open Pac-10 play on Dec. 29 by hosting Oregon State.