Washington, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard from Phoenix, Ariz., Is ranked No.12 overall and No.2 among playmakers in ESPN’s latest player rankings, while 247Sports ranks him. 16th in the general classification and N ° 3 in his position. Prior to today’s announcement, the five-star prospect was considered the No.1 uncommitted playmaker in the senior category.
What does his decision mean for Kentucky? How does it fit in with the other pieces on the list? Let’s dive right in.
Calipari gets her ringleader
Before we get into the details of who Washington is as a player and where he fits in, we first need to address the elephant in the room: Kentucky is no longer leaderless as the season approaches. 2021-22.
Following the release of Nolan Hickman from the UK on April 30, the program had zero point guards signed for next season in May, which led to a bit of unease among the fanbase. With freshmen scheduled to arrive on campus on June 1, and summer practice slated to begin shortly thereafter, time was certainly running out for Britain’s head coach John Calipari to add a head guard on the as soon as possible.
“When I recruited I was looking for an opportunity to play right away,” Washington told KSR. “Having multiple guards there or no guards there, the relationship that I have established with the coaching staff, I trust the words they say. Like me, they say, “Come in right now and be our leader.”
Just under two weeks after Hickman’s clearance, Kentucky found their guy in five-star point guard TyTy Washington.
Kentucky Gets “Good Faith Dog”
Washington just isn’t a playmaker, either. According to those who know him best, the newest Wildcat is a player you want by your side when the going gets tough, a “bona fide dog.”
“His parents raised him the right way, he’s built tough. Like Ford, it’s built that way, ”Washington head coach at AZ Compass Prep, Ed Gipson, told KSR. “He’s going to take what he wants, he won’t give up on anyone.” He’s a dog, a genuine dog.
“… This is a guy you want around your corner.” If you are in a foxhole, you want TyTy Washington to be there with you. This is what you need to know on the spot. “
Either way to win, Washington will reveal everything and put the team on its back.
“On the pitch, they’re going to have a point guard who will lead and do whatever it takes to win,” Washington told KSR. “Whether I am the one to score, pass, guard, take loads, nosebleeds, whatever, I’ll do whatever it takes to win. “
Shooters on shooters on shooters
Calipari has gone out of its way to add shooters this offseason, and Washington is no exception.
As a senior at AZ Compass Prep, Washington averaged 24 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds per game while shooting 48 percent overall, 41 percent from three and 88 percent from the free throw line. The last Wildcat was arguably the top shooter at the Iverson Classic last weekend in Memphis, and he has the gear to prove it, winning the 3-point contest of the event. He went on to finish with a team record of 22 points and five 3-pointers in the official game.
Washington joins a squad that already includes CJ Fredrick, Dontaie Allen and Kellan Grady in the backcourt, who shot 47.4%, 40% and 38.2% of three last season, respectively, out of a 13.2 total. depth attempts by combat. The UK already has one of the deadliest shooting lines in college basketball, and they just added another dead-eyed sniper to the point guard.
More than a shooter
Making comparisons with Immanuel Quickley and Brandon Knight, it’s easy to assume Washington is a point guard and scorer, but he’s so much more. Although he is a versatile goalscorer and has a smooth shot with unlimited reach, he goes out of his way to create for his teammates and find open shots before looking for personal scoring opportunities.
Last weekend at the Iverson Classic, Kentucky’s engagement kicked off the official game by simply looking to facilitate and get their teammates playing, quickly getting the ball out of their hands and serving as a zone option. secondary and even tertiary back – he ran all three at different points, despite being 6 feet 3 inches tall. You kept waiting for Washington to initiate and play for himself, but the only scoring opportunities he looked for early on came from an open baseline float, a drive from the top of the key to another short float and a 3-point catch-and-shoot make the top of the wrench. During the first three quarters, he focused entirely on involving his teammates.
At the start of the fourth quarter, however, a whole new facet of Britain’s commitment unleashed, taking over as a goalscorer. After scoring just seven points in the first half, Washington exploded for 15 points in the second half and extended the “target scoring” period – four wins in three and three free throws on an unsuccessful 3-point attempt – to finish with 22 points in the game. As a ball handler, initiator, facilitator, playmaker and shooter, Washington did it all, easily closing the game as one of the top players.
Build strength before the season
Standing 6-3, 185 pounds, Washington certainly isn’t tiny, but he’s looking to make sure his body is built for the varsity game in the months leading up to the season.
“Definitely my body. I go to the weight room three times a week with a trainer, I work out with him three times a week, ”he told KSR. “But also just tighten my handle, add more movement to my bag, sharpen whatever I already have in my bag.
“… I know I’m a starting point guard, young, as a rookie it would be really difficult,” he added. “I would be a freshman playing against some experienced guys, but I would trust the coaches and their plan for me.
Kentucky have now added a playmaker, but they certainly haven’t finished in the post. The UK continue to recruit 2021 five-star combo guard Jaden Hardy and transfer Georgia guard Sahvir Wheeler, as well as oversight of other top varsity basketball guards who may enter the transfer portal in the weeks and months to come.
Will Hardy shock the world and commit to the UK this weekend? Will Wheeler refuse Kansas, LSU and Oklahoma State to join the program in the coming days? Could, say, Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado walk into the portal and sign with Kentucky? Will Davion Mintz finally decide to return to the UK?
One down, (at least) one more to go.