Kentucky was missing a star point guard for its disastrous 2020-21 season and still needed one for the 2021-22 campaign late in this recruiting cycle. The Wildcats found exactly what they were looking for with the addition of TyTy Washington.
Following one of the best high school seasons in the country, Washington signed with UK in May and will go into his freshman season with the expectation of being John Calipari’s next great one-and-done point guard.
Point guard | Phoenix, Ariz.
6-foot-3, 185 pounds
247Sports: No. 17 overall
Rivals.com: No. 11 overall
ESPN.com: No. 12 overall
Washington rocketed up the recruiting rankings after his senior year at Arizona Compass Prep, moving from four-star status into the national top 20. ESPN also projects him as a top-15 pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
First, he’ll play at Kentucky, which has undergone another major roster overhaul ahead of the 2021-22 season, with Washington viewed as one of the program’s most impactful additions.
MaxPreps.com named Washington one of its five first-team All-Americans after he averaged 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists and led Arizona Compass Prep to a 27-1 regular-season record before helping that program advance to the national high school semifinals.
Washington — a 6-foot-3 point guard with a 6-9 wingspan — is a natural leader on the court. He can score at all three levels offensively, has experience spreading the ball around to talented teammates, and he projects as an exceptional college defender with his length and tenacity on that end of the floor.
“He makes for a perfect fit,” 247Sports analyst Travis Branham said of Washington as UK’s point guard search zeroed in on him during the spring.
Washington’s shooting ability and off-the-ball offensive skills will also allow him to play at the same time as other point guards — such as fellow offseason addition Sahvir Wheeler — and that versatility will give Calipari an opportunity to go with different looks in the backcourt this season.
“TyTy is like a guy that you don’t want to play poker with. Because you’re going to lose your money. He has that poker face. He just wants to win, man. He never gets too amped up. The moment is never too big for him. Calipari, I love his coaching style. I love the fact that he gets everything out of you. He’s going to allow you to play. And TyTy is a kid that — if you trust him and allow him to play — he can do really good things for your team.”— Arizona Compass Prep program director Pete Kaffey
What Calipari says
“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. 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.”