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PJ Washington demanding better from teammates the latest sign of leadership

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When Kentucky was down 11 with 13 minutes left, TV cameras caught PJ Washington lighting into his teammates. The Florida student section seized on the moment, chanting, “PJ’S ANGRY!”:

The moment was reminiscent of Ashton Hagans telling Keldon Johnson to wake the f*** up at Auburn, and like Ashton’s, PJ’s wakeup call worked. From there, Kentucky went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to one. They would hold Florida to only 12 points over the final 13:59. PJ finished with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, his third straight double-double. He’s the first Kentucky player to to do that since Julius Randle.

The double doubles are great, but PJ’s most impressive trait lately is leadership. Tyler Herro was on the receiving end of that rant, but like Keldon Johnson at Auburn, took it well.

“He was big,” Herro said of PJ. “He’s just being a leader. When you see a guy like PJ who’s been here before, works hard every day in practice, us young guys look up to him and take his lead, follow his lead.”

“He’s building his own confidence,” Calipari said. “He’s taking control of games. He’s coaching players on the court. I’ve been waiting a year and a half for this and now, we’re doing drills and he’s finishing first. Anything we run, he’s finishing first and he continues to build his own confidence.”

Florida coach Mike White said PJ was the best player on the floor.

“PJ, not only his numbers, the way he rebounds, his presence, the attention he drew in the paint, which led to other guys getting open shots and then the fouls that he drew, he was the best player on the floor.”

“Bigs that pass, dribble, and shoot it are very dangerous,” he added. “And draw fouls and move schemes defensively and run the floor like a deer — I mean, he’s terrific. His game has progressed in the past year. He’s developed. He just seemed to make us pay.”

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

8 Comments for PJ Washington demanding better from teammates the latest sign of leadership

  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    10:18 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Hopefully PJs success encourages other players to return when they aren’t guaranteed first round selections.

  2. dballrb
    12:19 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Great to see PJ doing what he was brought here to do.. Stopping the “flex” after posterizing on UT Martin,etc has been paying dividends.

  3. Luether
    1:52 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    I love the way PJ has been playing. It’s both effective and inspirational…

  4. KYjellyRoll
    2:43 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Pj freaking Washington!

  5. catsarerunnin
    7:52 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Thank you Gator fans for chanting “PJ’s angry!” It cost your team the game.

  6. makeitstop
    8:19 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    PJ needed this year to grow up, not just get better. Virtually all college students do – how many 19 year olds w one year of college are actually ready to go “adult?” Not many. My friends grew up the last year or semester before graduating, sometimes from graduate school, when they realized next year they were on their own. We expect the impossible from these kids if we think just because they’re big, they’ve grown into those bodies. I hope w the rule changes the vast majority of “5 stars” reconcile themselves to 2 years before they go and we’ll have better teamwork AND better young men because of it.

  7. Racerr11
    8:54 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Other players on UK now, future players, future recruits this is the reason to come to UK you will get the best coaching and life lessons that you can get anywhere and the love from BBN. PJs growth and development is amazing to watch and it’s all because of the head coach for UK John Calipari that demands respect but allows them to grow and mature as people and the players love him for it. There is no other university that comes close or can compare in anyway.

  8. catsby90.1
    12:34 pm February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Wouldn’t trade pj for anyone in the country when he gives the effort that he has showed in the last 4 games. He didn’t even shoot that well yesterday, but he still played his ass off. He is the best player on the court every game when he wants to be.