2022 Draft Watch: An Early Look at TyTy Washington

May 14th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Recently, 6-3 guard TyTy Washington reportedly played well at the Iverson Classic, and he also agreed to join the Kentucky Wildcats for the 2021-22 college basketball season.  He is a quick, agile combo guard that can consistently get to the rim and make plays on offense.  I took the time to watch him play in an October 25th, 2020 game for AZ Compass Prep against Dream City Christian, with thanks to YouTube via BallerTV.  It was a hard fought game that went back and forth, and Washington was able to lead his team to an overtime win.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as where he may currently stack up as a prospect for the NBA.

Kentucky’s 6-3 incoming freshman point guard, TyTy Washington is an athletic, skilled point guard that currently projects to be a first round prospect in the 2022 draft.
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Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Arizona Desert Swarm)

TyTy Washington is a quick, agile combo guard that excels at attacking the hoop to score the basketball, and he also has the court vision to string together plenty of assists in games. Washington did a very good job of scoring in transition.  He would often score on quick, right-handed drives in transition, and he also can absorb the contact to get to the free throw line.

He also showed a satisfactory ability to score off the dribble.  He has a solid first step to the hoop.  On one play, Washington was able to use a spin move to his right to score on a tough, off-balanced layup in traffic.  On the downside, he would struggle more especially when he would go to his left, and he had a tendency to take rushed, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.

He also did a good job of scoring on mid-range jumpers.  He can make them off the catch or dribble, and he ran quickly off of a ball screen and dribbled to score on a mid-range jumper early on.  He also is a foul drawing expert that can contort his body in ways that will allow him to get many foul calls.  On the downside, he can be prone to missing those shots if he doesn’t get those foul calls. On the downside, Washington really struggled to make threes in this game.  He didn’t make a single three-point shot from beyond the arc, and even though his high school statistics suggested that he may normally be a good outside shooter at the high school level, he couldn’t find his shooting touch from beyond the arc in this game.

Also, he displayed decent playmaking skills.  Washington can quickly push the ball up the court to create transition-scoring opportunities for his team, and he can throw swift drive and kick passes to get his teammates the basketball.  He also was able to throw solid interior passes to notch a pair of assists.  On the downside, he can sometimes over-dribble and be careless with the ball in his hands.  When posting up, he lowered his shoulder and was called for clearing out, which led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover.  He also over-dribbled and then threw a rushed pass off the dribble that got intercepted another time. Plus, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would chase down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor.

He also played solid defense in this game.  Washington was able to run in to deflect a pass out of bounds to nearly get a steal.  He also would usually contest jumpers to force misses.  On the downside, there was one time where he was in the area to contest a shot in transition but he opted not to, which led his team to allow the score.  Another time, he got outmuscled when defending in the post, and he allowed a score to a taller player later on.

In general, TyTy Washington is an athletic combo guard that can score and pass the basketball.  He will need to be a more consistent outside shooter in games, and he will need to show that he can guard taller players on a consistent basis.  Right now, he may project to go in the mid to late first round range in the 2022 draft, and he could end up being a solid player in the NBA.

Dream City Christian’s 6-4 high school junior guard, Shaedon Sharpe is a very athletic, high-motor player that can score and defend when he is on the floor.  He in particular would make highlight reel worthy plays to help his team on both ends of the court. Sharpe excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He in particular showed a knack for scoring in transition.  He would often score on high-flying, two-handed dunks on the break, and he also managed to catch a lob pass to score on an alley-oop dunk.  He also would score on quick drives in transition.  He also would draw fouls upon his defenders to get to the foul line.  He also was able to score on a quick flip layup off of a put back.  Sometimes though, he would rush to try to make plays, which would lead to a few misses.

He also was able to drive to his right to score on a one-legged, fadeaway mid-range jumper.  On the downside, he struggled more to score in half court sets.  He had trouble knocking down outside shots or to score on half-court drives on a consistent basis. He also appeared to be fairly average as a playmaker.  Sharpe can handle the ball in the open court, and he will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving.  On the downside, he threw a hasty pass that got intercepted.  Another time, he tried to split a double team, but he ended up getting a ball poked away to lose it instead. Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was quite active at crashing the glass to get multiple boards on both sides of the ball, and he would tend to bring the ball up after getting defensive rebounds for his team.

Sharpe also played good defense in this game.  He would tend to poke balls away and jump passes to get a plethora of steals, and he also rotated to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing good athleticism and timing.  He also was able to contest a floater as well as a shot in the post to force misses.  On the downside, he also ended up fouling opposing ball-handlers due to over-aggressiveness.

In summary, Shaedon Sharpe is a very athletic, energetic combo guard that can make solid hustle plays on both sides of the ball.  He may have a great deal of upside, but he will need to improve his outside shot and playmaking skills in the meantime.  He would likely be a solid get for the college basketball team that gets him, and he could be a prospect to watch in the future.

Dream City Christian’s 6-7 high school senior forward, Arthur Kaluma also played well in his team’s overtime loss to AZ Compass Prep.  He is an athletic, skilled shooter that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he also was quite active as a rebounder and defender in this game. Kaluma showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He in particular excelled at scoring on three-point shots from beyond the arc.  He was able to make a deep three off of a pick and pop play, and he also showed that he can make threes both off the catch and dribble.  On the downside, he really struggled to knock down mid-range jumpers, and he was unable to score on a pull-up jumper from inside the arc.

He also showed a decent ability to score in the post.  He generally excelled at scoring on put backs, as he was able to score on a strong put back dunk, and he also ran in to score on a tip-in.  Kaluma also used a drop step move to score on a quick, turnaround jump hook.  He would sometimes try to overtly force the issue too much, which led him to get a couple of his shots blocked, and he also missed on a tough, fadeaway jumper another time. Also, he showed an adequate ability to score off the dribble.  Kaluma can handle the ball and accelerate to get to the rim, and he would tend to draw fouls upon his defenders.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone in this game.  For the positives, he passes the ball well off the dribble, and he can throw long passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  He also set a solid on-ball screen to help his teammate score on a drive to the hoop.  On the downside, he can struggle to handle the ball when crowded.  He was called for traveling once, and he also committed a couple of offensive fouls when taking it to the rack that led to turnovers.

Also, Kaluma did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would leap up to get plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  On the downside, there was one play where he was called for an over the back foul when going for an offensive board once.

He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Kaluma is an active help defender that would play passing lanes and actively contest shots to get stops for his team.  He was able to deflect a pass in this game.  Also, he nearly managed to block a shot, except his teammate had committed a foul earlier on the play.  He also would stay in front of his man on drives to force misses due to good positioning.  On the downside, sometimes he would not move his feet well as he would occasionally struggle to defend quicker players out on the perimeter, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. 

Overall, Arthur Kaluma is an athletic, physical combo forward that can shoot, score, and rebound the basketball.  He will need to improve his ball-handling and decision making skills, but his ability to score and rebound could enable him to make an impact right away at the collegiate level.  He will likely be a good get for the college basketball team that gets him, and he could be a prospect to keep tabs on sometime down the road.

Mississippi State’s 6-7 incoming freshman forward, Alden Applewhite quietly played well for AZ Compass Prep in his team’s overtime win over Dream City Christian.  He is an agile, skilled sharpshooter that can shoot and score the basketball, and he also was quite active on the boards as well. Applewhite did a good job of knocking down threes to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He used a pump fake to make a step back three.  He also ran quickly off of a ball screen to make a quick, deep three from way out late in this match.  He also drew three free throws after hoisting up a three-pointer another time.

He also showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  Applewhite was able to score on a couple of backdoor cuts to the hoop.  He also ran in the score on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive rebound.  He also scored on a quick drive in transition. On the downside, he struggled to consistently create his own shot when he would look to score off the dribble in half-court sets.  Applewhite was able to draw free throws on a right-handed drive once.  However, he had his shot blocked when going to his left.  He also missed on an awkward, contested floater on a separate possession.

He also was fairly turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, Applewhite can throw solid passes off the dribble, and he can make an assortment of passes to create scoring chances for his teammates.  He especially can make passes on the break, as he was able to throw a long outlet pass to notch an assist in transition.  On the downside, he can be quite mistake prone.  He tried to roam the sidelines off of a dead ball, but the rule was that players needed to stay in place when inbounding after a dead ball, which led to a turnover.  He tried to drive to the hoop, but had a ball poked off of him before it went out of bounds.  He also threw an inaccurate pass that sailed out of bounds. Also, Applewhite did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He would chase down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he was able to leap up high to get a defensive board once.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average at best.  Applewhite is an active help defender that can get steals and deflections.  He ran in to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He also would poke balls away to nearly get other steals.  He also managed to contest a three to force a miss.  However, he often struggled to defend opponents on drives to the hoop.  He would tend to get beat off the dribble, and he would get outmuscled other times, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also would give up too much space to shooters, as he would allow them to score on three-point shots.

Overall, Alden Applewhite is a fairly athletic, skilled swingman that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he also can rebound the basketball.  He moves well off the ball on offense, and his ability to knock down jump shots could allow him to excel as a role player at Mississippi State next season.  He will need to improve his ball-handling and defensive skills, but his ability to shoot and also score on off-ball motion plays could make him an intriguing prospect to watch in the future.

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