By LARRY VAUGHT
Having PJ Washington become a lottery pick was a big moment for the player but also could have a big impact on the Kentucky basketball program.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said Washington going from “probably a second-rounder” last year to the 12th pick in this year’s draft sends a strong message to other players.
“What he says to every player here in this program, if you’re not quite ready, it’s OK to come back and get yourself right physically, mentally, emotionally, skill sets. He did all that,” Calipari said.
“But he not only told our kids in this program, he told every college player: Don’t come out until you’re ready.”
Calipari said he told EJ Montgomery after the draft what Washington did for him. Same with Nick Richards.
“I said, ‘EJ, you understand what he just did for you? Now, I expect the same stuff out of you that we got from him.’ I said the same thing to Nick. You came back for a reason. OK, take advantage,” Calipari said.
“Every kid is on their own path. I was happy for (Washington). He’s in the situation where they really need someone like him.”