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Howland on P.J. Washington: “He’s strong, he’s physical and he’s patient.”

P.J. Washington (Jeff Houchin Photo)


There was not much Mississippi State could do to stop Kentucky freshman P.J. Washington Tuesday.

He had 22 points, six rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks with 2 turnovers.

“PJ  is a really good player. I thought when he faced up on us off the block. You know we would double him in the first half,” State coach Ben Howland said after UK’s win. “He’s strong, he’s physical and he’s patient.

“He uses a lot of shot fakes, lift fakes to get us up in the air. He’s just a very, very good player who has great hands and has a great feel for the game with using his body to create shots up around the basket.”

Washington sensed he had an advantage against the defense.

“I felt like I was quicker than my defender so I was trying to get around him and I felt like I did a pretty good job of that and got to the line ,too, so that’s great,” Washington said.

Not only did he get to the foul line, but he made 10 of 14 free throws.

“Every day I try to get 50 made free-throws after practice so it felt great to make them in the game,” Washington said.

Freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander liked everything that Washington did.

“I think he was being aggressive the whole time he was in the game, and lately he’s been working on going to the basket and jumping over the defenders and using his athleticism. That’s what he was doing tonight,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.


  1. PJ has gotten better as the year has played on, and you can tell that his confidence has improved also. I think if Cal would docile down on the sideline and, and not be such a lunatic at times, that a calmer Cal would calm down the players as well. I like a coach that has hgh energy and passion, but he carries to extreme and that makes we wonder how many parents/players, current and future, are impacted by his behavior. If we can get Nick to even 50% of his potential and score 10-12 pts a game, get Hami to slow down and maybe think pass first, and get Knox to transfer his abilities to defense and improved passing, that we could have a very good team. This team is only decent-good now and very deserving of being outside the Top 25.

  2. Washington has got a lot of upside. I just hope he has enough “patience” to not rush to the NBA before he fully develops.

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