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Billy Kennedy: “PJ Washington is a monster.”

PJ Washington (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After Kentucky beat Texas A&M 85-74 on Tuesday night in Rupp Arena, I got this question on Twitter from a Kentucky fan.

“Am I wrong to think PJ Washington just plays when he want to play?He could be great but doesn’t have the motor.”

The sophomore is probably Kentucky’s most scrutinized player this season. Part of that is because he’s a returning player who opted to return to UK rather than keep his name in the NBA Draft. Part of that is because he has taken over games at times with his physical play. Part is because coach John Calipari has called him a “beast” and assistant coach Kenny Payne says when anything goes wrong with the team, he looks at Washington.

For 26 minutes Tuesday, he had no points and one rebound. He finished the game with nine points on 4-for-8 shooting, five rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes. 

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy had nothing but good things to say about Washington.

“PJ Washington is a monster. I really love how he has improved, I think he’s really gotten better on mixing it up and making decisions while he’s on the court,” Kennedy said.

What about only having two points and one rebound the first 26 minutes?

“He keeps playing. His motor – he’s always playing on both ends of the floor. I thought he had a stretch there where he posted up and we couldn’t do anything with him,” Kennedy said.

So what’s the answer to the question I was asked on Twitter? Well, what about just letting you see how Paul Washington, the UK sophomore’s father, responded on Twitter.

“Your definitely wrong!” Paul Washington posted on Twitter.

I don’t think anyone cares more about winning than PJ Washington. He’s not always an emotional player, but I don’t think he’s lazy or unprepared. Tuesday was not his best game. But I still think for Kentucky to be its best, he’s the catalyst because of all he can do on both ends of the court.

4 comments

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  1. It is very hard to tell with this team. I don’t know if PJ just doesn’t try to post up and get the ball or if the other players just aren’t looking for him. I do know I have not been impressed with Travis. Every time he switches to a smaller player out front, he gets beat to the basket. He’s not a good shot blocker. Neither he nor PJ get the foul line much, and when Travis has the ball down low, it seems he misses more layups than he makes.
    I hate to say it, but I think Tennessee will have a field day inside against Travis and Washington both.
    IMO Richards and Montgomery need to be getting a few more minutes and looking for that mid-range jump shot. That is open all day they way teams are defending UK.

  2. Kennedy must be pushing P.J. for office or something. We have only slight evidence on him being a monster. He seems content just staying outside and not wanting to get too involved inside. Reid has let every part of his game slip last couple of games and looks more like a freshman out there. You have to wonder what this coaching staff is doing during the week because the teams starts a game with more apathy than energy. They are very painful to watch. I have never seen a team peak the first few games of the season (Bahamas).

  3. All I can say about P.J. is that, if he expects to be a first-rounder, he had better start asserting himself offensively. I like the young man, I really do, BUT…
    right now, there are several small forwards better than him…IMO.

  4. Let’s face it. Calipari’s offense is geared to trigger happy guards. There is no structure to feed post players and they just don’t get the ball down low. This is why bigs aren’t coming to UK anymore.

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