Year in review: UW athlete of the year

Tony Wroten's record-breaking freshman season helped carry the UW men's basketball team to a regular-season Pac-12 title. Photo by Ted Copeland

It’s been a busy year in Husky sports. From Keith Price’s passing wizardry to Jazmine Davis’ breakout success, from Tony Wroten’s game-saving block against Arizona to the men’s golf team’s ongoing quest to win a national title, there’s been no shortage of excitement on Montlake.

So now, with the school year coming to a close, The Daily’s sports staff looks back at all the thrills and spills.

Today’s question: Who was the UW’s player of the year?

Kevin: Keith Price may have had the best first year of any quarterback in UW history, but junior Chris Williams looks well on his way to going down as the best golfer in school history. Williams picked up his school-record fifth tournament win March 18, then picked up his sixth win — at the Huskies’ NCAA regional, no less — two months later for good measure. His 2012 season average of 70.28 is also the best in program history. And just yesterday, he climbed from a tie in 81st at NCAA nationals into a tie for 37th, with one round to play.

Andrew: Consistently the most electrifying — and the most derided — player on the UW basketball team, Wroten encapsulated the inconsistent Huskies this season. The freshman’s performance in the UW’s Pac-12 tournament loss to Oregon State — 29 points, seven rebounds, four crucial missed free-throws that helped dash the Huskies’ postseason hopes — was especially emblematic. As often as Wroten made brilliant plays, driving to the hoop with ease and executing pinpoint passes, he also committed his share of boneheaded turnovers and bad decisions. It will be fascinating to see how (and if) Wroten realizes his enormous potential in the pros next season.

Josh: What Keith Price was able to do this year makes him a runaway winner, in my mind. I mean, he shattered the single-season record for touchdown passes, was second in passing yards in a season, and set records in completion percentage and passing efficiency. Keep in mind this was all done as a sophomore, while playing through multiple injuries that severely limited his movement to the extent that Price couldn’t even execute a simple bootleg. Don’t forget the offensive line was a piece of work throughout the season, as well. Out of Washington’s rich history of talented quarterbacks, Price could end up being the best.

Taylor: You know, I can go with the big names like Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross and Chris Polk and Keith Price, but let’s give a shout-out to freshman phenom SooBin Kim of the women’s golf squad. This freshman played like a senior all season, attaining a scoring average of 73.59 per round, the second-lowest in UW single-season history. She also had five top-10 finishes — as a freshman. Plus, I hit golf balls next to her one time at the driving range. She’s a machine.

Jacob: My pick for UW athlete of the year is quarterback Keith Price. Washington has a long history of quarterbacks that includes members of the NFL Hall of Fame, Super Bowl winners, and a span from 1975 until now in which only two starting quarterbacks failed to play in the NFL. In his first year as a starter, Price demolished all of those quarterbacks’ passing records and led his team to the Alamo Bowl. Then he capped off his spectacular season in style, outshining Heisman Trophy winner and eventual No. 2 NFL pick Robert Griffin III by scoring seven touchdowns against No. 12 Baylor.

Thuc Nhi: Honestly, what hasn’t Katie Flood done this year? The sophomore won the Pac-12 individual cross-country championship, made the All-Pac-12 first team for the second time in as many years for cross-country, ran the fourth-fastest mile in NCAA history, and became a national champion in the distance-medley relay. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Flood’s achievements this year. Flood has done pretty much everything on the track there is to do besides literally set the thing on fire. I wouldn’t be surprised if the track did burst into flames behind her as she blazes down the home stretch in the 1500-meter at the NCAA championships next week, though.

Reach Sports Editor Kevin Dowd, Copy Chief Andrew Gospe, and reporters Josh Liebeskind, Thuch Nhi Nguyen, Taylor Soper, and Jacob Thorpe at sports@dailyuw.com.

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