The Kentucky Wildcats have a history of transforming top high school guards into high-caliber college players. The program has received 11 five-star point guard recruits in the past decade, including John Wall, Brandon Knight and De’Aaron Fox. All eyes will be on the Wildcats this season to see if the trend continues, as they’ve recently landed one of the top point guards in the country in TyTy Washington.
Last week on Wednesday, Washington announced he will be committing to Kentucky over other top schools such as Oregon, LSU, Arizona, Baylor and Kansas.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 13, 2021
“Coach Cal has passion to develop me,” Washington told ESPN in an interview. “He was confident and straightforward on how I would fit and his plan for me. I could play both the point guard and also slide over to the wing because of my scoring ability. I watched a lot of film of Kentucky, and they play a three-guard attack.”
“Players who thrive in our culture are players who are physically tough, who have a mental toughness to them, who want the challenge and are not looking for guarantees, and who want to see how good they can be in a really competitive environment,” John Calipari added. “All of that describes TyTy Washington. He wanted this. He wanted the challenge. He is a combination guard who can play both point and off guard. He is a downhill runner who physically gets to the rim. His physical attributes and his mental approach leads me to believe he will be a terrific defender too.”
TyTy Washington is a big pickup for the Wildcats
Washington is a 6-foot-3, 185 pound guard out of Arizona Compass Prep. The No. 12 overall prospect according to ESPN, previously committed to Creighton last November but de-committed in March after head coach Greg McDermott was suspended.
Washington dominated the scene in high school. As the MaxPreps Arizona Player of the Year, he averaged 24.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game. He connected on 48 percent of his shots, 41 percent from 3-point range and 88 percent from the free-throw line. He would lead his team to a 30-2 recond his senior year and to a national ranking and a spot in the Geico Nationals tournament.
Washington has a high ceiling, as he provides consistency and versatility from his position and can play with or without the ball in his hands. He has the typical attributes of a Kentucky guard: being able to score at all three levels, getting out in transition quickly and creating opportunities for his teammates.
Washington is projected to be the Wildcat’s starting point guard in the 2021-22 season. He’ll fit right in taking on the facilitator role—calling the reads and making the plays. He will be leading knockdown shooters in transfers Kellan Grady and CJ Frederick. He will also be backed behind a solid group of big men, with transfer Oscar Tshiebwe and incoming freshman Daimion Collins and Bryce Hopkins. The addition of Washington moves Kentucky up to No. 17 in preseason CBS Preseason Top 25 rankings.
This year’s Wildcats team has a ton of potential. With their incoming freshman and top-rated transfers, together, the team combined to make Kentucky a strong bounce-back candidate after an underwhelming 9-16 season.
“There were a lot of happy people out there that we had this kind of year,” Calipari said back in March. “You know what? Enjoy your time now. Next year’s going to come soon enough.”
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