PJ
Washington
Position: PF
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 230 lbs
School/Club: Kentucky
Status: Sophomore
Birthday: 08/23/1998
 

 

About PJ Washington

PJ Washington is a power forward with prototypical physical tools whose decision to withdraw from the 2018 NBA Draft and return to school last summer proved shrewd as he showed major improvement in several key areas.  The second youngest player on USA U18 team that featured the likes of Trae Young, Markelle Fultz, and Michael Porter and took gold at the 2016 FIBA U18 Americas Championship, he emerged as a top prospect early in his high school career.  Washington capped his high school career at Findlay Prep with appearances at the McDonald’s All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic ranked among the consensus top-15 prospects in the high school class of 2017.  Averaging 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game as a freshman under John Calipari at Kentucky, Washington subsequently declared for the 2018 NBA Draft before withdrawing after the NBA Combine.  Quickly emerging as Wildcats’ most important player as a sophomore, he averaged 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game to earn All-American nods from multiple outlets.

Chris Dortch feature: Washington ready to showcase complete package

  • Has a nice combination of size, length, and athleticism.  Measured 6’8 in shoes with a 7’2.5 wingspan and a 230-pound frame at the NBA Combine.  Strong athlete who has quite a bit of pop off two feet when he can gain a head of steam and improve body control.
     
  • Played a key role for Kentucky as their most reliable scorer as a sophomore.  Showed major development as a jump shooter - dramatically improving his range and accuracy, but also showed improvement as a decision-maker to complement his ability to score in a variety of ways inside.  

Defensive Analysis

  • Long, capable defender who will chip in protecting the rim and on the glass.  Aggressive pursuing the ball on his best nights.  Has room to be a more consistent factor rotating off the ball, but fared better in that regard as a sophomore.
     
  • Blocks shots and gets in the passing lanes pretty impressively.  Tools allow him to hold his own defending on the ball in the post.  Allowed 0.64 points per Post Up possessison[82nd percentile].  More comfortable defending in the paint than on the perimeter.

Career Highlights

  • 2018-19 AP All-America Third Team selection.
  • One of five finalists for the 2018-19 Karl Malone Award for the nation’s top power forward
  • One of 15 players named to the John R. Wooden Award national ballot in March 2019 and 10 semifinalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy for NCAA Player of the Year. 

Sophomore (2018-19)

  • Led Kentucky in scoring (15.2 ppg – 11th in the SEC), rebounding (7.5 rpg – 5th) and double-doubles (9 – 5th).
  • All-SEC First Team pick by the coaches and media.
  • Helped lead the Wildcats to an Elite Eight appearance and voted to NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team.
  • Finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds in an overtime loss to Auburn in the Elite Eight.
  • In 11 games vs. AP Top 25 teams, averaged 17.2 while shooting 54.8 percent from the field. 

Strengths

  • Strong combo forward with exceptional length.
  • Well-rounded skill set. Plays inside and out.
  • Length and mobility make him a versatile defender.
  • Continues to extend his range as a shooter. 

Personal

  • Played for Anfernee Hardaway’s AAU program in High School.
  • Parents, Sherry and Paul Washington Sr., played basketball at Middle Tennessee State. 

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