TyTy Washington is not afraid to fail
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TyTy Washington is not afraid to fail

Nick Roush7 months

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Article written by:Nick RoushNick Roush

@RoushKSR

[caption id="attachment_347826" align="alignnone" width="2560"] (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)[/caption] John Calipari's next point guard was relatively unheard of by the Big Blue Nation until about a month before he signed with the Wildcats on May 12. A late riser that jumped up to No. 11 in Rivals' national recruiting rankings, Chin Coleman's relationship with Washington began almost a year ago. "I basically recruited TyTy three times in one year. I recruited him twice at Illinois and once at the University of Kentucky. We joked that the third time's a charm," the UK assistant coach said on Monday morning's Kentucky Roll Call. "He's a really good player. He's cut different, from a different fabric in terms of his toughness and competitiveness. He's going to be someone that helps drive the charge for Kentucky basketball this year." Coleman was an assistant at Illinois when Washington committed to Creighton last fall. When Washington reopened his recruitment, Coleman tried to convince him to play college basketball in Champaign. Coleman was not successful until he joined Calipari's staff in Lexington. Part of Coleman's Illinois pitch was a flattering comparison. The coaching staff cut clips of Washington and played them side-by-side with highlights from Ayo Dosunmo, the Illini's consensus First Team All-American. Their games are similar, but what sets Washington apart is his mentality, particularly at the end of games. "He's TyTy. He's not Ayo or any of the other great guards that Coach Calipari has had. He's got some of those similarities. He's a gamer. He lives for the big-time moments. He's got closing ability because he's tough. He's not afraid to fail. That's a trait that is important as a guard, as a shot-maker you can't be afraid of the moment. You can't be afraid to fail. You gotta be able to be tough enough to take the shot and live with the results and TyTy has shown the ability to take over games. "His last game in the Iverson Classic he scored 15 points in three minutes. He's a guy that can get hot, can get cooking and put some points on the board for you in a hurry. But he's also a playmaker. He loves to get others the ball and he can run the table. He's going to be good. He's one of the best basketball players in the country. We're happy to have him." https://youtu.be/CSF_VWJlulw Washington will not be the only guard running point for the Wildcats next season. Many believe Sahvir Wheeler will commit to Kentucky Monday afternoon. The former Georgia point guard led the SEC in assists and finished ranked fifth nationally with 7.4 per game. Coleman believes the two can coexist, with Washington, a 41% three-point shooter in high school, playing off the ball on the wing at times. "He's probably better on the ball with the ball in his hands in my opinion, but because he has some size and he has the ability to stretch the floor, you can utilize him off the ball and he will be just fine there," said Coleman. "That means we can play him along with a multiple guard package with multiple ball-handlers and playmakers on the floor, which is an advantage to our team." A year after Kentucky's backcourt struggled to consistently make shots or get to the rim, the addition of a clutch, versatile playmaker in 21-22 is just what the Wildcats need. "He's definitely dynamic and dynamite with the ball in his hands. I think Coach Calipari is going to have fun coaching him." You can hear Coleman's entire conversation with Kentucky Roll Call beginning around the 1:11:14-mark. KRC airs 7-9 am Monday-Friday on Big X Sports Radio and can be heard on Apple Podcasts.   

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2021-11-30

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