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TyTy Washington discusses start of practice, campus life and the Kentucky roster

Camp season continues for the Kentucky basketball program, this time with a stop in Midway, KY on Thursday. At the conclusion of the team’s satellite camp at Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church, freshman point guard TyTy Washington sat down with the media to discuss traveling around the state for camp, his decision to sign with UK, early impressions of the team, what he’s enjoying about being on campus and what he plans to bring to the table in year one in Lexington, among other topics.

You can check out the full recap of the conversation below, followed by the video replay:


On attending camps and seeing the state after committing without taking a visit…

It’s huge for me. I’m from Arizona, from the West, so I came over here not really knowing too much. The only thing I knew about Kentucky was winning basketball, so going to all the other towns, some of the other stuff besides campus, it’s great for us.

On what he knew about Big Blue Nation before he got to Lexington…

I knew a lot about the fan base. Just growing up, it was always a dream to play for a blue blood, I’ve wanted to since I was a child. So after getting an offer from them and then committing, I knew the fans would show a lot of support.

On his decision to sign with Kentucky without taking a visit…

I wasn’t able to visit the school or anything like that. On my Zooms, I made sure to focus and pay attention to everything Coach was showing me like the facilities, living situation, style of play, all of it.

On his initial thoughts of practice and working out at the Joe Craft Center…

It’s everything I’ve expected. We’re in the SEC, so there’s going to be a lot of running. You’ve got to make sure you’re in shape.

On his focus on defense over the course of the last year…

I’ve been concentrating on it a whole lot. That was one of my knocks going into my senior year, people thought I was lazy on defense and wasn’t engaged, so I really took that into consideration and wanted to get better on that side of the ball.

On his biggest strengths…

My strengths are my scoring, getting teammates involved and just being a competitor.

On Sahvir Wheeler…

I’ve gotten to know him very well. Since the first day he got here, we’ve been clicking. We always do everything together. We work out together, always by each other, always in each other’s rooms hanging out. I think our games are compatible. He likes to get downhill, he’s really fast and aggressive. He gets to the paint at will, so do I. He shoots it really good, I shoot it good too. Playing with him is going to be great.

On Kentucky’s struggles last season…

Watching their season last year, I know they had some struggles, but it was the COVID year. They didn’t have a full experience of summer workouts or just being here for team bonding. Now that things are going back to normal, for us, it’s about team bonding, working out with each other every day, it’s just going to make us better.

On his anticipated role going into 2021-22…

Cal, he hasn’t told us any of our roles yet. He just wants us to go out there, have fun and play. Basketball is changing a lot, it’s positionless, so as long as you’re out there on the court doing something, you can be productive.

On being surrounded by shooters…

I feel like with all the shooters we have on the team, I feel like it makes it easier for me to get to the paint. If (the defense) helps, I can throw it out to the other shooters and I’m super confident they’ll be able to knock it down.

On how well he can shoot…

I think I’m pretty good of a shooter. I’d probably say I’m top four on the team, but not number four (laughs). I can shoot it pretty good.

On Calipari recruiting Washington and Wheeler at the same time…

It didn’t scare me off or anything. Actually, I think it helps me out because Cal wants to get back to playing three guards. With me and Sahvir both being point guards, we can go out there and help each other out. The other team’s best defender can’t guard both of us, so if he’s guarding me, then Sahvir’s going to have the opportunity to make plays. If the best defender is guarding him, I’m going to have the same opportunity.

On his role as a leader…

I feel like my role on this team is definitely going to lead. Every day in practice, the coaches tell me to keep talking and be the same person I was in high school. They’re saying that because I’m the point guard, everyone on the team is going to be listening to what I’ve got to say.

On Wheeler being a talkative point guard…

He talks a lot. We pretty much see the court the same, so whatever he sees that I don’t see, he’s going to call it out. Whatever I see that he doesn’t see, I’ll call it out as well.

On Kentucky’s 2021 recruiting class…

Our class is unique, we didn’t come in with a full powerhouse (class), it’s only three (signees). But me, Bryce and Daimion, we’re all coming in with the same mindset that we’ve got to work hard and do whatever we can do to help the team win.

On his playing style and his confidence on both ends of the floor…

I feel like me going out there playing hard and having no fear at all can help with my confidence on both sides of the ball. Going out there every night, playing hard, as long as you go out there, play hard and show confidence, you’ll be fine.

On how much he was in the gym growing up…

We started at the parks because we didn’t have a gym, me and my dad were there every morning. Once we got a gym, they couldn’t keep me out of there. I was inside, not outside in the heat (laughs). I just love staying in the gym and putting in a lot of work.

On what he plans to work on in the coming months…

Getting in shape, getting in college shape where I can run up and down the floor multiple times without getting tired. I just want to change my body appearance, how I look, that’s pretty much it. I’m trying to get bigger and stronger.

On being Calipari’s next top-rated point guard…

Not at all, I don’t get caught up in the rankings like that. I appreciate that I’m up there, but I still have a lot more work to do. I don’t let that get to my head. At the end of the day, it’s just about basketball, so I just come out and try to play my game.

On his leadership abilities as a freshman point guard…

Try to lead, lead by example in everything I do. I want to be the first to workouts, making sure that my voice is being heard, encouraging teammates, even the vets. I’m going hard on every rep and trying to lead.

On the start of practice this week…

It’s been pretty good. We just started up this week, so it’s mostly just running and shooting right now, seeing where everyone’s at and who can shoot. Cal’s still trying to figure out everyone on the team right now, so just going through the intro of it and getting the basics down.

On if anyone has impressed him in early workouts…

Before I committed, I watched film on everybody. Everything I watched on the film, that’s all translating to pickup.

On playing in the Grind Session in high school…

It helps a lot, we play a lot of games against a lot of tough teams. The setting was kind of a college environment, always traveling during school. We had to make sure we were staying on top of our schoolwork on the road. Going out every night and playing hard, that’s what really helped me.

On smiling every time he’s out on the floor…

If you go out there and be happy all the time, a lot of good things can happen for you. If you’re always sad or mad during a basketball game, or you’re dwelling on missed shots, the way you’re carrying yourself is affecting everyone else on the team. I try to always make sure my attitude is good, because when my attitude is good, the other attitudes are great.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

1 Comment for TyTy Washington discusses start of practice, campus life and the Kentucky roster



  1. ibescootch
    11:03 pm June 17, 2021 Permalink

    I like this kid a lot. He reminds me of Quickley, at least in attitude and demeanor. As far as skill set, it seems like at the moment he may be ahead of where Quickley was when he came in.