By LARRY VAUGHT
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.