The Kentucky Wildcats should be getting a lot of good news today.
With the early signing period now here, high school seniors are free to sign their national letters of intent, which is what Washington is expected to do on ESPNU’s Recruiting Nation: Basketball Signing Day Special at 6 p.m. ET.
A 6-8 forward out of Dallas (TX), Washington is currently attending Findlay Prep in Nevada. 247 ranks him as the 16th best player in the 2017 class in addition to being the No. 6 power forward. His highest ranking is 14th overall by Scout.com and No. 1 power forward (they have guys like Mo Bamba listed as centers).
UK has been the heavy favorite for much of Washington’s recruitment, and his 247 Crystal Ball has a lot of blue heading into his decision.
Washington is expected to decide between Kentucky, North Carolina and UNLV today. With his decision nearing, we gathered our staff for some final thoughts and predictions on what Washington will do.
I really like Kentucky's chances with Washington. He seemed to really enjoy his experience at Big Blue Madness and when he looks at all the big men that came through Lexington who are now in the pros, I think that had to make a major impact on him.
Maybe his visit with UNLV changed his mind, but right now, I think Kentucky is the leader and has been for a while. Washington would be a nice first commitment for the Cats, who will have plenty of frontcourt minutes available next season. Washington's versatility will serve him well at the collegiate level, and I seem to think those talents will be in Lexington.
I think Washington ends up a Wildcat.
Going to UK? Yes. Are we glad that he is? Yes. He's big, talented, athletic around the basket, and can shoot. Pair him with a big center (Nick Richards?) and this frontline could be explosive and really good defensively. But it definitely starts with Washington. Come on down, PJ.
I'll be shocked if PJ Washington does not commit to Kentucky. Texas and North Carolina have both made good runs at it, but I think Washington knows just how good of a situation he would have with Kentucky. Kenny Atkinson has done a spectacular job of bonding with PJ and his family, and all seems right for the versatile wing to be Kentucky's first commit.
P.J Washington is one of the top power forwards in the class and I think Kentucky is in a great position to land him. John Calipari and Kenny Payne have had a lot of success in Texas recently (Julius Randle, the Harrison Twins, and De'Aaron Fox in particular) and Washington is a Texas native.
He had a GREAT visit to Kentucky and has nothing but great things to say about the program. It looks as if UK's biggest competition will be Texas and UNLV, and both teams are trending down for him.
I think PJ will be a 'Cat.
I have P.J. Washington going to Kentucky. The Cats have some very skilled forwards that will likely be leaving for the draft, which will make room for him.
Washington is a big that can spread the floor a bit. He'll stretch the defense by shooting from mid-range and making some 3-pointers if you leave him open. If Sacha Killeya-Jones or Wenyen Gabriel were to leave, Washington would make for a great replacement.
In a 2017 class loaded with talented wings, P.J. Washington often gets lost in the shuffle behind guys like Michael Porter, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Kevin Knox, all of whom UK has or still is recruiting.
But Washington has all the talent in the world to be an instant-impact freshman wherever he signs and possibly be a one-and-done. He has the speed and athleticism to play the wing, but also has enough size and strength to play the 4 and even sneak in minutes at the 5 in college, making him a prefect fit for John Calipari’s positionless approach.
Look for Washington to commit and sign with Kentucky.