TyTy Washington Jr. Tabbed a Finalist for Jerry West Award
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky freshman guard TyTy Washington Jr. has proven to be one of the most valuable players to not only his team, but in the country and has been named to the Jerry West Award Top 10. Washington is the only freshman in the country averaging at least 13.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and shooting at least 49% from the field and at least 37% from 3-point range.
Washington is the only player from the Southeastern Conference and the only first-year player among the finalists for the nation’s best shooting guard.
The Jerry West Award is in its eighth year and is given in honor of West, who was a two-time All-American at West Virginia. Malik Monk is the only winner in program history when he took home the honor in 2017.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the fan voting portion of the three rounds. In late February, the watch list of 10 players will be narrowed down to five. In March those finalists will be presented to West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected.
With all the star-studded freshmen who have walked through the doors at Kentucky under John Calipari’s direction, Washington. is quietly having one of the best seasons of all of them. Washington is averaging 13.1 points, 4.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 48.9% from the field and 37.1% from 3-point range.
The Phoenix native has a savviness to his game that is veteran-like. He can score with the best of them and has four 20-point games. He has posted double-doubles this season in both points and rebounds
and points and assists, becoming first Wildcat to do so since Ashton Hagans in the 2019-20 season.
When called upon to take the lead role as point guard, he went and broke a school record held by UK’s first-ever No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. With starting point guard Sahvir Wheeler out vs. Georgia with a neck injury, Washington made his first start at point guard and put on a show. He scored 17 points and broke John Wall’s single-game school record with 17 assists. Wall had 16 against Hartford on Dec. 29, 2009.
Washington leads the SEC and 27th nationally with a 2.67 assist-to-turnover ratio, through games on Jan. 29. He also is now fifth in the league and 75th overall with 4.4 assists per game.
Washington has been able to provide a little bit of everything to the Wildcats this season. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in eight games and dished out at least three assists in 14 games.
His game is starting to get recognized as he has reeled in five SEC Freshman of the Week honors. He is the first player in the SEC to win or share the honor in four straight weeks since former UK player Devin Booker won the freshman weekly award four straight times in the 2014-15 season. Coincidentally, that is also the last time a player in the league won SEC Freshman of the Week five times in one season, which Washington has now tied.
The Wildcats have been at their best when Washington is playing well. In Kentucky’s 16 victories with him on the floor, he is averaging 14.8 points per game. Washington is shooting 52.4% from the field and 40.0% from behind the arc in those victories. He has scored in double figures in 13 of the 16 wins in which he has played, along with nine points in the dominating victory over North Carolina and eight in the win at Texas A&M. Washington is also second on the team in assists per game (4.7) and third in rebounds per game (4.4).
In the four losses, Washington’s averages dip down to 6.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game, giving credence to the notion that as Washington goes, so does Kentucky.
Washington and the Wildcats will return to action with a home contest against Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air live on SEC Network.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and on the web at UKathletics.com.