The Kentucky Wildcats landed their point guard of the future when TyTy Washington joined their 2021 recruiting class on Wednesday.
"There is a big challenge at Kentucky for playing time and a leadership role," Washington said, per ESPN's Jeff Borzello. "I always liked a challenge."
The 6'3" Washington checks in as a 5-star prospect and the No. 21 overall player, No. 3 point guard and No. 2 player from Arizona in the class of 2021, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He announced on April 17 that he was down to the six schools of Arizona, Oregon, Kansas, Baylor, Kentucky and LSU.
"I just felt like those six, each of the school's situation fits me best," he said, per Chris Fisher of 247Sports. "The style of play, location, opportunity to come in and play right away, the relationship I have with the coaches. Not just the assistants but the head coaches."
While the point guard decided between those schools, there was a time when he was part of Creighton's 2021 class.
However, Washington told Kyle Tucker of The Athletic he decommitted from the Bluejays because head coach Greg McDermott said "I need everyone to stay on the plantation" and was suspended for the comment.
"It was definitely the controversy," he said. "I really wanted to attend Creighton. It felt like the situation and the plan Coach McDermott had for me was really good. So it was kind of heartbreaking once I found out what he said. I just felt like the day and age we're living in—a police officer just killed another young Black man for no reason—him saying something like that, it's just not right."
It was a major loss for Creighton on the court, as Washington is one of the most productive playmakers in his entire class.
Fisher noted he averaged 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game behind 48 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from three-point range as the Max Preps Arizona Player of the Year as a high school senior.
His ability to shoot from the outside, facilitate when defenders collapse on his penetration, rebound from the backcourt and defend multiple positions at his size stands out and should help him make a significant impact as soon as his freshman season at the next level.
If Washington lives up to expectations, Kentucky should quickly return to its winning ways come March.
While John Calipari is running a national powerhouse program, the Wildcats were an ugly 9-16 last season and missed the Big Dance. They are well positioned to bounce back from that showing and make a deep run in 2021-22 with their new point guard on the roster.