Kentucky Lake Showcase notes and thoughts

Pam and Richard Jackson (Vicky Graff Photo)


BENTON — A few random notes and thoughts after watching two days of the Kentucky Lake Showcase here that was filled with big-time talent and plays.

— Kentucky signee PJ Washington of Findlay Prep (Las  Vegas) did not disappoint me. He had 23 points (7-for-13 from the field), 18 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks in Friday’s win over Hopkinsville and 10 points, six rebounds, seven assists and five steals in Saturday’s 90-65 victory over Tennessee Prep. It’s no wonder Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader told me that Washington is his favorite player in UK’s 2017 signing class and he’s seen all the signees play multiple times.

— Duke signee Gary Trent Jr. did not disappoint in Saturday’s 84-53 win over Sunrise Christian. He had 36 points on 13-for-25 shooting from the field, 12 rebounds and four assists while scoring in a variety of ways for Prolific Prep.

— Arizona signee DeAndre Ayton, rated by some as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class, had 28 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks, one steal and one assist but Hillcrest Prep lost to The Rock School because junior Darius Days had 19 points, seven rebounds and one steal. Days had 35 earlier in a win over Hiillcrest Prep and could be one of the nation’s top recruits next year. He had 17 points, nine rebounds, one block, one steal and one assist Friday.

Days might have impressed me more Friday when he was called for a sixth foul that took him out of the game even though he clearly was not involved in the play. No pouting. No arguing. He just walked to the opposing coach to shake hands and then did the same with every opposing player on the bench. That’s classy.

— Ayton’s teammate, sophomore guard Josh Green, had 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting, four assists and one rebound. He’s athletic and smooth and is from Australia. He’s got several scholarship offers and the Kentucky coach staff is expected to be here today to watch him play against Prolific Prep.

— Findlay Prep senior Lamine Diane, a 6-6 forward from Senegal, showcased his athleticism with two impressive games. He had 25 points on 10-for-11 shooting, six rebounds and two steals Saturday after getting 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block Friday. He’s not committed to any school.

— Texas A&M signee Isiah Jasey had nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks Saturday for Sunrise Christian and 13 points, 21 rebounds and two steals Friday.

— Junior Spencer Washington, PJ’s brother, had 10 points and three rebounds Friday and 8 points, one block and three rebounds Saturday. He said he was the “shooter” in the family.

— The Rock is from Gainesville. The team played the final game Saturday night and then planned to drive all night to be back for Sunday’s church service.
— The only major college head coach at the Kentucky Lake Showcase was Rick Stansbury of Western Kentucky. He brought one of his sons with him and watched all three games Saturday.
— HIgh profile parents do a lot to help their sons. Sherry Washington, PJ’s mom, worked as “water girls” as she called it during both games. She sat at the end of the bench and filled water cups and did other odd jobs. Gary Trent Jr. wiped water off the floor in front of Prolific Prep’s bench and did the same on the court one.

— Kentucky fans at the games loved PJ Washington. One couple, Pam and Richard Jackson of Graves County, made the trip to watch the UK signee play with this sign: “Look At My Veins I Bleed UK Blue.” They plan to be in Columbia, Mo., Tuesday to watch UK face Missouri.


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