2017 UK targets John Petty and P.J. Washington are really, really good–but don’t take it from me, take it from former Orlando Magic star Penny Hardaway, the duo’s AAU coach for his eponymous Team Penny.
In a piece done by the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts, which hints at the possibility of Petty and Washington playing together again in Lexington, Hardaway spoke about what makes Petty, the 6-foot-5 SF, and Washington, the 6-foot-7 PF, so dynamic on the court:
“They’re both just special,” Hardaway said. “They’re special players in their own rights and their own positions. P.J.’s an outside-inside guy. John does it all. Both of them are very unselfish. They put winning before their own individual accolades. That’s what I really like about both of them.”
On P.J. Washington:
“P.J. is a problem,” Hardaway said. “I know they always talk about ‘tweeners’ and ‘3s’ and ‘4s’ or whatever. He’s just a ballplayer. You can’t put a tag on a ballplayer. And he’s able to play against a 7-footer, a 6-10, a 6-5 or whatever, and he’s still able to do whatever he needs to do.
“If he’s out on the perimeter, he can get around a guard or a small forward. If he gets on the post, he can post any big man. His reach really helps him out a lot.”
Team Penny’s path to a Peach Jam championship was cut short by fellow UK targets Mohammed Bamba and Quade Green’s PSA squad in the semifinals, but that didn’t stop Petty and Washington from turning some heads in North Augusta with a pair of fantastic plays:
– Overtime (@overtime) July 10, 2016
– Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) July 9, 2016
Both highlights exemplify what the two should be able to do for their teams at the next level. Petty is a high flyer who I imagine lives off a strict diet of Mexican jumping beans and wrought iron springs, whereas Washington is much more of a rim protector/rebound vacuum than his 6-foot-7 height would suggest. The dude’s fingertips come almost to his knees thanks to an impressive 7-foot-2 wingspan, giving him a build eerily similar to that of Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.
While 247 unanimously projects Petty to rock Kentucky blue, the results are more mixed for Washington, who is being projected by 57% to land at Texas and 29% to UK. Despite the low percentage for Washington, it’s encouraging that he has some serious roots in the bluegrass state.
FYI: Jarnell Stokes little brother, Isaiah, also plays for Team Penny. Yes, that one. Now, if only he could stretch.