TyTy Washington declares for 2022 NBA Draft: Kentucky star departing for pros after standout freshman season

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Kentucky guard TyTy Washington announced Wednesday that he is declaring for the 2022 NBA Draft after a standout freshman season for the Wildcats. Washington earned a spot on the SEC’s All-Freshman Team and was a second-team All-SEC honoree while helping lead UK to a 26-8 season and No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The former five-star prospect could be a lottery pick in the draft after proving his versatility throughout the season as the only freshman starter on one of coach John Calipari’s more veteran-oriented squads. Though UK’s season ended in disappointment with an upset loss to No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s in the NCAA Tournament, Washington played a key role in helping UK turn things around after the Wildcats finished 9-16 in the 2020-21 season.

Despite dealing with ankle injuries during the season, Washington finished the year averaging 12.5 points, 3.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game while hitting 35% of his 3-point attempts. The 6-foot-3 guard often played off the ball while the smaller guard Sahvir Wheeler handled primary ball-handling roles. When Wheeler was out due to injury in UK’s win over Georgia in January, however, Washington filled in admirably with a school-record 17 assists.

Washington’s NBA Draft projection

Washington built value for himself by demonstrating the ability to play on or off the ball. While he is small for a shooting guard, the versatility he displayed will serve him well in the draft. He’s also a tenacious defender and insatiably competitive. Washington’s motor was on display as he tried to push through injuries on more than one occasion this past season when other players might have shut things down out of concern…

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