There’s a new development in Kentucky’s ongoing search for more point guard help for next season.
The Wildcats have extended a scholarship offer to TyTy Washington, a class of 2021 point guard who enjoyed one of the best seasons of any player in high school basketball and could be on the cusp of moving into five-star territory when his class rankings are finalized this spring.
Washington — a 6-foot-3 playmaker from Arizona — backed out of a commitment to Creighton last month, not long after racially insensitive comments made by Bluejays Coach Greg McDermott, who was suspended but then reinstated as the program’s head coach.
Kentucky was immediately linked to Washington as a possible suitor after he reopened his commitment, though the Wildcats had seemingly moved on to other options in their search for another point guard for the 2021-22 season, concentrating primarily on experienced college players in the burgeoning NCAA transfer portal.
With the UK offer to Washington on Tuesday, the Cats’ pursuit of his commitment is obviously back on.
Kentucky has already signed four-star point guard Nolan Hickman for next season, though Washington outplayed the future Wildcats when the two met up in the Geico Nationals — the de facto national championship tournament for high school teams — earlier this month. In that game, Washington tallied 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead his team to a 59-54 victory. Hickman had four points, four rebounds, nine assists and two steals while playing with foul trouble in the loss.
Washington is the No. 30 overall recruit in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He averaged 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game for AZ Compass Prep and was named the Arizona player of the year by MaxPreps.com, which called him a “leading candidate” for national player of the year honors.
As the only available point guard in the Top 100 composite rankings, Washington has been a highly recruited player this spring. He picked up scholarship offers from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Arizona, UCLA and several other top schools in days immediately following his decommitment from Creighton.
Reigning national champion Baylor also extended a scholarship offer to Washington on Tuesday.
With Devin Askew’s departure from the Kentucky program earlier this month, Hickman is the only point guard on UK’s projected roster for next season. The Cats are still awaiting word on Davion Mintz’s status, and the coaching staff is keeping a close eye on the NCAA transfer portal for other possible additions, with Minnesota’s Marcus Carr — who is still looking at the 2021 NBA Draft — representing the top option at this point in the offseason.