RebelGrove - Ty Ty Washington enjoying his recruitment with the hometown school
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Ty Ty Washington enjoying his recruitment with the hometown school

Granted, the inability of prospects to take official visits or have coaches visit them in-person could, in many cases, can give a program a leg up with the local prospects. Nonetheless, even before COVID-19 came into existence AZ Compass Prep standout Ty Ty Washington Jr. was already plenty intrigued with the Sun Devils.

“Everything is going fine with ASU,” said his father, Tyrone Washington Sr. “We are in constant communication with coach Anthony Coleman, and I like what he’s saying. He said that even though my son is local, he has to come in and earn his spot and his playing time as a freshman. My son went to at least eight, nine of their games last year, and I watched them mostly on TV. I like how coach Hurley lets his guards play, run and shoot. He gives his players a lot of freedom, and you don’t have to look at the bench when you make a mistake.

“When I talked to coach Hurley and the staff, he told me that he can adapt his style to his players. He had a couple of bigs two years ago, so he played a slower pace. Last year with Remy (Martin) and all the guards, he played a fast-paced system. And that’s how Ty Ty is, he can play either pace, and that’s one thing Hurley likes about him, and something that works in Ty Ty’s favor. They also talked about all the three starting guards they are leaving after this year, and Ty Ty being able to play on the ball or off the ball. They said that if he outworks the other players, he’ll earn a (starting) spot, but if he ends up coming off the bench and playing well that he’ll be on the floor a lot. Ty Ty is comfortable either starting or coming off the bench.”

Washington played his first two-plus years of high school at Laveen (Ariz.) Cesar Chavez and in December 2019, he transferred to AZ Compass Prep, where according to his head coach, Ed Gipson, the guard averaged 16 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.

"First and foremost, if you watch him, it's his leadership," Gipson said. "He is a great leader. We have a lot of moving pieces, new guys that come in every year. I'm seeing him embracing the new guys, but also getting the new guys up to speed. That's probably his best attribute outside of what he does on the floor.

"On the floor, he could shoot it from deep; he could take it off the bounce. He's actually more athletic and a lot faster than most people think. And I think you don't realize it until you actually got to go up against him. But overall, he knows how to make guys feel better, and he's got a way of making guys follow him."

Gipson said that coming from a high school that has good tradition such as Cesar Chavez, a program that did produce former ASU forward Zylan Cheatham among other Division I players; he wasn't surprised that Washington acclimated that fast. Gipson feels that his point guard's mental makeup complements his God-given talent quite nicely.

"He hit the ground running," Gipson stated. "First game he played okay and then after that, he was in full swing. He was one of our top scorers and one of our leaders on our team from day one. With his length, a lot of times, he's able to just to get to his spots and raise up over people many times. Then, just when he's going downhill on smaller guys, he's able to finish through them. After our season ended last year, he dedicated his time to just getting stronger, getting more athletic, and really putting in that work and trying to have a pro mindset.

"I think for him, his biggest thing is just to continue to get his body in better shape. But that's something that we sat down at the end of the year, and we looked at everything that he could possibly work on. And we've been attacking it since offseason, since the last day once we got back from Kentucky last year. So, we say we want him to watch more film. Correct the little things on his shot. Sometimes he tends to turn his feet a little bit, so we addressed that. Everything he's supposed to do in order to be ready to play in college. To be honest with you, he's actually took the time to try to address all of it."

Gipson said that he had been impressed with how ASU assistant coach Anthony Coleman has recruited Washington and was already pleased with Coleman’s approach, even with other players that came out of Compass recently.

“He (Coleman) took the lead on Ty Ty since he came over from the University of Colorado,” Gipson remarked. “He’s been good, and I hope they continue to do a great job. I think Ty Ty is going to be sought out by a lot of different schools. So, I pray they (ASU) do what they are supposed to do in recruiting, and that Ty Ty is their number one guy.

“Coach Coleman is an amazing guy. He’s always attentive. He actually recruited one of our guys from last year, Jabari Walker, when he was at Colorado, and Jabari plays there now. Coach Coleman definitely keeps in contact with the guys. He has a good feel. He’s pretty easy. He’s not too old, so he still can keep up with them and relate to some of the stuff and listen to some of the music that they listen to. I think coach Coleman; it won’t be long, man... he’ll be a head coach one day.”

Gipson does feel as if his point guard does like ASU because it’s home, and is just going through the recruiting process and evaluating all of his options. He did agree that an extended recruiting dead period that is now spilling into January 2021 does help the Sun Devils’ cause since it’s the only school that Washington did get to visit. Their geographical proximity puts the ASU familiarity factor with the Top-100 prospect at a higher level than his other suitors.

“I know Creighton is recruiting him pretty hard,” Gipson noted. “LSU is recruiting really hard. I know Auburn was in there with him, recruiting him. Illinois has now come in. The other schools are doing weekly Zoom calls. They want to identify Ty Ty as their top priority.

“It ain’t going to be a landslide. (ASU’s) going to have to do some work, but I do think Ty Ty likes being at home to some degree.”

Washington Sr. said that at no point did he feel that ASU was taking his son’s recruitment for granted, being that they are the high major program in his backyard. At the same time, though, being close to his family and, more importantly, having several relatives and friends who have attended or are attending the school is undoubtedly an aspect that can naturally aid the Sun Devils’ chances.

“It’s easy for the coaches to not trying to sell us heavily on ASU,” Washington commented. “We know a lot about the school, and the coaches know that too. It’s a basketball decision, but it’s also an academics decision. We’re looking at the roster, what they have coming back next year and how much of an opportunity he has to earn a spot. And we are also looking at the education.

“We are so familiar with the school, so there is nothing that surprises us, and we know what to expect. Everything we know about the school is good.”

Washington said that his son told him he’s planning to sign in November but has no timeframe as to when the four-star prospect will decide on the school of his choice.

“He’s going to look at what school has the best style of play for him,” Washington said, “the opportunity to play early. His mom and I will obviously look at the academics. It will be his decision.”

(Jesse Morrison contributed to this article)

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