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FEATURED CLASS OF 2017 ARIZONA WILDCATS TARGET
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AAU TEAM: Team Penny (Memphis-based)
OVERALL CLASS OF 2017 RANKING:
Scout: No. 14 (No. 1 power forward)
Rivals: No. 19 (No. 5 power forward)
247Sports: No. 16 (No. 6 power forward)
ESPN: No. 16 (No. 4 power forward)
OTHER TOP CHALLENGERS FOR WASHINGTON: California, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Texas, UCLA and UNLV.
SCOUTING REPORT: From Scout.com — Washington is an undersized power forward who impacts the game in a number of ways. He has a 7-foot-1 wingspan, which helps him play much bigger than his height of 6-foot-7. Washington uses his length to secure rebounds on both ends of the court. Offensively, he can score around the basket or facing up as a shooter. He’s a deceptively good shot blocker due to his long arms.
HOW HE FIGURES IN AT ARIZONA: Washington’s father, Paul, has let it known that he does not want a program to “pigeonhole” his son into one position. Washington is a versatile forward who can play on the wing and on the blocks as a power forward. Arizona could use a player like that in 2017-18. Ray Smith is Arizona’s lone prototypical wing in the upcoming season and the power forward position for Sean Miller is largely untested at the Division I level with freshman Lauri Markkanen and junior college transfer Keanu Pinder (also a combo forward). The Wildcats will need reinforcement and talent in both the small and power forward positions in 2017-18 and Washington fits that description. He will have plenty of playing opportunities.
BACKGROUND: Moving from Frisco, Texas, Washington is now at Findlay Prep, the same program that produced Nick Johnson, Brandon Ashley and Allonzo Trier for Miller. Because of Washington’s Texas background, 247Sports projects that Texas is the leader for his services. He was born in Louisville, which is a reason why Kentucky also figures to be a major player. Miller, personally recruiting Washington, visited the young prospect in April. Washington and his father have also unofficially visited Arizona’s campus. Expect Washington to officially visit Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Kentucky in the fall and potentially make up his mind in the spring.
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P.J. Washington told Rivals that he talks often with former Findlay Prep standout Allonzo Trier, who told him that Arizona coach Sean Miller is “really hard on the players … I mean, I’m ready for that.”
Sean Miller watching five-star forward P.J. Washington. UNC and Texas also represented. Calipari obviously here. Alford stopped by. #nikeeyb
P.J. Washington, self-described inside/outside power forward: pic.twitter.com/juzLYeZYIG
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.