Kentucky Basketball: TyTy Washington commits to UK ready to run point

TyTy Washington ( Credit: Meg Potter/The Arizona Republic)
TyTy Washington ( Credit: Meg Potter/The Arizona Republic) /

After the recent decommitment of guard Nolan Hickman, it seems Kentucky basketball and John Calipari have found their replacement. On Wednesday night, guard TyTy Washington announced his plans to commit to Kentucky.

247 Sports has Washington, the Arizona product out of Compass Prep, ranked 21st nationally and third at his position. He chose the Wildcats over Kansas, Baylor, LSU, Arizona, and Oregon.

The 6-foot-3 guard committed initially to Creighton as a four-star recruit. However, he soared up the recruiting ranks after a phenomenal year and would decommit from them on March 11th.

A Big Get For The New Staff

Washington’s commitment gives head coach John Calipari his 12th five-star guard commitment since his arrival in 2009. It also marks the first big recruit for the newly assembled staff.

Kentucky finally has its point guard for next season after some waffling at the position in recent weeks. After a year where point guard was a weakness, Washington will aim to improve on that. He has the skills needed to run Calipari’s offense and more.

What Washington Brings to the Plate

Washington has great speed and a quick twitch to get around defenders off the dribble, but he can also play off the ball if needed. That’s not all, folks.

This kid is also a very talented shooter. Earlier this week at the Iverson Classic, Washington won the 2021 Three-Point Shooting Contest.

In early April he made his mark at the GEICO Nationals making the All-Tournament Team. He dropped in 22 points, 10 rebounds, and handed out five assists in the quarterfinals, and followed that with 15 points and five assists in a loss to No. 1 Montverde Academy in the semifinals.

That helped set the stage for his commitment announcement.

"“I’m excited for the opportunity to come to Kentucky and chase my dreams. Coach Cal told me if you come to Kentucky, you bet on yourself and I’ve always done that.”"

It’s a welcome addition to a team that needed severe help at point guard and from beyond the arc last season. With Washington’s commitment, among others, it’s clear that Calipari’s adopting a more modern look on offense.

You could sense the excitement in Calipari after the announcement by Washington.

"“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. I am ecstatic for him to join Bryce Hopkins and Daimion Collins, two other young and talented players, in our freshman class.”"

Improvements to Come, I Promise

Fans should be excited about Washington’s commitment. It’s not often that we see Calipari miss on a point guard recruiting target, even though that’s what happened last year with Devin Askew.

However, nobody’s perfect, and mistakes are made.

That was evident with the historically poor performance by this past season’s team. That is now behind us.

I expect Washington to excel here at Kentucky. His ability to create a shot for himself and others will be a marvel to watch, especially with what we witnessed last season. Optimism is in the air folks, breathe it in.