Washington reclassifies from '12 to '13, picks up Badger offer
Things are moving fast in Kyle Washington's world. The thin 6'8" forward from Champlin, Minnesota announced he would attend The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut as a reclassified 2013 prospect and also received a scholarship offer from Wisconsin during UW's advanced team camp. Not a bad weekend for a kid who won't turn 17 until the end of August.
If you were thinking Wisconsin's next basketball scholarship offer was going to an unknown, you are only partially correct. Washington competes on the AAU circuit with the Howard Pulley Panthers and recently completed his junior season at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in St. Louis Park, the same two programs that developed Badger star Jordan Taylor. So Wisconsin's coaching staff has been aware of Washington for quite a while, even bringing him down for a game at the Kohl Center two seasons ago when he was still a 2012 prospect.
In terms of national hype, however, Washington is still an unknown commodity. Luckily it was Washington who stood out in an AAU game against highly-ranked Brandon Ashley and a powerful Oakland Soldiers squad in May. His 15-point, four-rebound performance earned him an invite to June's Nike Elite 100 camp (formerly the Hoops Jamboree) in St. Louis.
At Hotchkiss -- a prep school known more for academics than athletics until recently -- Washington should be able to expand his game to the perimeter while playing alongside a legit D1 center recruit. Due to this opportunity of playing two more years against and Washington's young age, you can start to see why the Badgers would consider taking a chance on another unheralded player.
Though Washington lacks some of the advanced tools of recent big men that have signed with Wisconsin, he has some impressive raw materials to work -- namely his length, mobility, and defensive instincts. Most scouting services agree that Washington is just scraping the surface of what he can become:
He uses great fundamentals in everything he does and works very hard. He has great touch within 10-15 feet and is capable of hitting the three pointer if he is left open. Defensively he does a good job of getting low in his stance and doesn't let anything come easy for the offense. Washington needs to get stronger and continue to refine his skills and post moves, but if the way he plays is any indication of how hard he works behind the scenes, he should be a very good player.
Forward Kyle Washington looks like a fawn in the paint and by summer's end he may have his high-major legs under him.
Howard Pulley's website also has links to video of full AAU games from early May. Although Washington did not excel in any of those that I saw, keep an eye on that resource for future reference.
See Washington's prospect profile page for more info.