|Team: NON-NBA College Team:
H: 6' 1"|
W: 195 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 16||Agent: Happy Walters ||
High School: Edgewater
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Best Case: Chauncey Billups
Worst Case: Early Rafer Alston
|Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert||Bench Press||Lane Agility||3/4 Court Sprint||Class Rank|
|5' 11.5"||6' 1"||195||6' 4"||8' 0"||9.7||29.0||37.5||9||10.71||3.26||28|
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|DraftExpress All-Orlando Pre-Draft Camp Teams|
June 15, 2006
Washington accomplished his biggest goal by addressing the doubts about his ability to effectively run a team without looking for his own offense first. Washington’s aggressive and intelligent playmaking was evident throughout. Despite his team’s lack of off-ball movement, Washington was able to set a good rhythm for his team’s play on the offensive end. When the shots presented themselves Washington was able to convert from long range quite effectively as well as getting into the lane for the strong finish. Perhaps his strongest asset was his vocal assertiveness with his teammates. Washington pumped up his team’s energy level with words of encouragement and got players into position whenever he could.
Defensive consistency and focus were Washington’s biggest weaknesses. Washington allowed far too many players to get into the lane against him for no reason other than a lack of aggressive ball pressure. Washington has the athleticism to play solid defense, so if he concentrates on improvement in this area he’ll be on his way to being a more complete player. Overall, Washington was a very solid performer during the week and may have moved himself into a position to get a much longer look from teams looking for depth in the backcourt. Summer League shouldn’t be a question for Washington as far as getting invited is concerned, what happens from there is up to him.
Washington has a workout scheduled for June 22nd with Sacramento, four days after the pullout deadline, which tells us all we need to know about his plans regarding staying in the draft or not.
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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day 3 (Last Update: 10:46 AM)
June 8, 2006
Washington had a pretty nondescript game offensively, being the victim of a team consisting of many players who didn't spend much time moving off the ball and also didn't have the ball-handling abilities to relieve him of the duty at times. His wings for the game were Bobby Jones and Brandon Bowman, neither of whom are proficient handling the ball and both of whom didn't do much to get open without the ball. Because of this, Washington spent a lot of time dribbling the ball on the perimeter, trying to find an opening, but rarely making a pass that led to a score. He had very few assists on the game. Washington didn't do much to help matters, though, never looking to get in the lane to create in the halfcourt, which could've helped his team get more easy shot opportunities.
Washington did have some positives in the game, as he hit two three-pointers with his feet set, one after a push-off on his defender and the other dribbling around a screen. He also had a few nice passes in transition, but his teammates finished none of them. Defensively, Washington was extremely vocal and intense in covering his assignment, doing a good job on Keydren Clark and Chris Quinn for most of the game. He was constantly calling out switches and urging his teammates to step up their intensity on the defensive end. He also helped out in the post defensively on a few occasions and dove for one loose ball that he poked away from Chris Quinn.
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NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Elite Eight, Saturday Games)
March 25, 2006
Washington was the only member of the Tigers who really showed up today, though he couldn’t do quite enough to get his team the victory. He was pretty quiet in the first half, running the offense more than looking for his own shot. Though he mostly made good decisions, there were a few occasions when Washington drove too far into the lane with no place to go with the ball. Darius came out in the second half and tried to shoulder the scoring load for Memphis, as it was quite obvious that his team was on the verge of a blowout if someone didn’t try to make something happen. He used his blazing speed and body control to make some nice layups in traffic, and generally showed more fire and passion than any of his teammates combined. When Washington wasn’t able to finish in traffic, he was able to initiate some contact to get himself to the free throw line. He used his quick hands to create turnovers, which led to 5 steals throughout the game, but still might have gambled a little too much on defense. In crunch time, Washington made a nice driving layup, but passed up a couple good looks to give the ball to his struggling teammates who appeared to be more open but still missed badly regardless. It is good for a point guard to defer to his teammates, but Darius could have been much more assertive with his own scoring in crunch time, considering his teammates struggled the whole game.
Though Darius Washington performed well in the NCAA Tournament, it wasn’t enough for his team to get to the final foul. If he didn’t struggle with a thigh injury throughout the season, he might be the perfect candidate to enter the NBA draft. Right now, Washington will have to evaluate his draft stock and decide if he would like to enter the draft. There is certainly a possibility that Washington could receive some interest from the NBA somewhere in the first round, but he might be best served returning to school to try and solidify himself as a lottery pick in 2007.
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NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Sweet Sixteen, Thursday games)
March 24, 2006
Washington came out early and set the tempo for the Tigers, scoring on a layup and hitting a three pointer within the first 2 minutes of the game. From there, Washington continued by running the Memphis offense very smoothly, allowing his teammates to take over the scoring. Though he didn’t rack up impressive assist numbers, he involved the other offensive threats on his team very well, and only looked for his own shot in transition, within the flow of the offense or with the shot clock running down. Washington showed off his excellent mid-range game again, with a beautiful 10 foot floater that dropped nearly every time. With his first step getting back to where it was early on in the season, he is once again a very effective finisher near the hoop thanks to his excellent strength and body control.
Against Bradley, Washington displayed an impressive ability to read the defense and take what they give him. This was evident when he drove into the lane, and made the right decision about where to drive to and how to finish. He also pushed the ball in transition, using his impressive open court speed to get the ball into the front court, and dump it off to his teammates, who finish well in traffic. A couple of times Darius left himself in the lane with no place to go leading to a couple turnovers, but this is the type of aggressiveness that Coach Calipari surely will take.
Darius Washington Jr. told DraftExpress in the past that he’s not a lock to declare for the draft by any means, and that he would only decide to do so if he had a successful NCAA tournament. If he can continue to play like he did against Bradley and lead Memphis to a final four berth and potentially even a national championship, Washington would have all the accolades he needs to declare. He has a nice combination of perimeter shooting ability and athleticism, and knows how to finish from anywhere in the lane. In addition, Darius has the Tigers’ offense running very smoothly, though it isn’t the best offense for a point guard to be padding assist numbers in. If he can show consistency running his team and improved defense throughout the rest of the tournament, Darius Washington Jr. has all the tools to become a lottery pick after he shows teams what he can do in private workouts.
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In Case You Missed It...the NCAA's Weekly Performers, 3/1-3/6
March 7, 2006
In a draft that is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent memory for point guards, it’s almost fitting that a second point guard is being featured in this spot for his disappointing play this season.
Everything was going extremely well for Darius Washington early on in the season. John Calipari’s offense was purring like a well-oiled machine, Washington was looking like a true pass-first playmaking point guard that makes everyone around him better, and Memphis was rolling through an extremely tough out of conference schedule that appeared to solidify them as a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
A deep thigh bruise that Washington suffered didn’t seem to initially hurt them all that much. Washington was noticeably limited, but looked more than happy to play the role of floor general setting up his teammates. As the year has progressed and Washington’s thigh problems have not, more and more of his weaknesses were exposed as Memphis squeaked through games what appears to be the worst Conference USA of all time.
Despite being an outstanding ball-handler getting his man off-balance and using his terrific combination of strength and quickness to take his man off the dribble going right, Washington’s left hand is noticeably weaker. UAB and other teams have caught onto this and have exploited this weakness, and with Washington’s quickness not being what it used to be before he suffered the injury, Memphis’ offense looked noticeably worse than it did earlier on in the year with their point guard in an obvious funk.
Washington’s minutes are down by 9 per game compared with last year and he’s been unable to stay on the floor for many key stretches when he was needed most. Playing on one leg for the most part, his outside shooting has abandoned him as well, as the former McDonald’s All-American 3-point contest winner has seen his 3-point field goal makes sink compared to last year along with his shooting percentages. Defensively, Washington was never a standout, and lately he’s been exposed badly trying to stay in front of his man. He’s been turning the ball over too much and has been forcing the issue both with his shot selection and decision making in half-court sets. Memphis’ offense will never be one that will be particularly assist friendly considering the multiple ball-handlers they sport in the lineup as well as the way the point guard is asked to give up the ball early in possessions and play off the ball, but racking up only 21 assists in 9 games since February is poor for a point guard regardless of the offense they play in.
Not all is lost for Washington and Memphis, though. His thigh is apparently getting better by the day, and the Conference USA and NCAA tournaments-- packed with NBA scouts coming to see him, Rodney Carney and Shawne Williams—are right around the corner. According to Washington, he does not plan on entering the draft this year unless he can help his team go deep into the NCAA tournament. He has a newborn son he has to take care of now as well, but Washington insists that he has no problem returning to Memphis if the NBA draft option is just not there this year.
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Darius Washington NBA Draft Scouting Report
March 29, 2005
He is a terrific ball handler at the PG position. Knows how to use the spin move to his advantage and uses it well on the break to free himself up, create space, get to the basket and use his strength to finish strong. Simply put, he knows how to get to the rim and put the ball in the cup. Washington is definitely a scoring guard first and foremost, he is very dangerous in the open court and is extremely fast with the ball in his hands.
Washington has a great first step, and can break people down off the dribble at any moment. He is very good at changing directions, and loves to push the ball up the floor. He always has his head up in traffic, and knows how to find spaces to attack the defense, draw them in and kick it out to the open man. He has good foot-speed both with and without the ball.
Washington has good strength for such a young player, and is very good at finishing plays in traffic. He is not a hesitant player at all, and will attack the basket no matter who is in the paint on defense. He is very advanced for his age at drawing fouls with his ability to get to the rim. He has exceptional quickness and ball handling ability and gets to a line often for a player his size.
Washington is a gifted one on one offensive player, and seems to move effortlessly on the basketball court, possessing the natural scoring instincts that just can't be taught. He is very fluid and is a very good athlete for a guard. Washington has proven to be an effective outside shooter at times, but he is at his best around the hoop, where he is very good at getting his shot off and can make nimble moves while in the air off penetration.
Throughout his freshman year, Washington has become an increasingly productive outside shooter; he is not the type of guard that can only penetrate to create on offense. He has learned how to use pump fakes and jab steps to free himself up, and if he gets an open shot, he will knock it down. In his first season at Memphis, he almost shot 40% from the three-point line, and showed better and better shot selection as the season progressed.
He's shown to be a fiery competitor who does not back down from challenges and is not afraid to take a team on his back, which is great to see from a player his age and surely a good sign for the future.
Washington is not a pure PG at this point in time; he is a scoring guard first and foremost. He turns the ball over just as often as he gets an assist. To be a better NBA prospect he will have to improve his decision-making, shot selection and take better care of the basketball. I doubt he will ever be a true PG because that's just not his game, but he definitely can get better at controlling the tempo of the game, making better decisions with the ball in his hands, and creating for others as much as he creates for himself. Becoming a more consistent outside shooter, especially off the dribble, should also be a priority. Most NBA PG's have a pull-up jumper in their arsenal to compliment their slashing ability. Washington would be well served to work on this area of his game to make himself a more versatile player.
On defense, Washington has the quickness and athletic ability to be a fine defender at the PG position, but he hasn't shown much of that yet. He has the potential to do that, but right now that's an area of weakness in his game. He is not very good at putting pressure the ball, and it's not rare to see his man blow right by him for an easy layup. He'll have to work hard on this area.
Since Washington handles the basketball so often, some might say he cannot be effective without the ball in his hands. Sometimes he tends to over-dribble and force shots going to the basket. During some games, he puts up very good assist numbers, but other games he does not. For his stock to rise he will have to become a better passer, even though I do not think he is a typical true PG because that is not his game. He'll be playing in the NBA with players that are just as good as him, though, so he must show the ability to get everyone around him involved. Consistency and decision making is also something that he needs to work on, but that will hopefully come with time.
Washington started out slow this year as a freshman, looking overwhelmed by having the huge role of being a starting PG on a Top25 ranked team as a freshman, without an adequate backup. As the season went on he has become a lot better and his production greatly increased on the court. His team did not make the tournament, though, and had a pretty disappointing year overall. His breakout game was at Louisville where he scored 25 points, had 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He also had a big game against Charlotte on the road where he had 29. However, against a very good defensive player in Carl Krauser early on in the year, Washington only had 7 points at Madison Square Garden. Later against Gilchrist at Maryland he had 9 points. His best game early on in his career came at Texas, where he had he had 23 points and 6 rebounds. Conference USA does not have many outstanding PG's that can match up with Washington athletically, but overall Washington has had some good games against good competition. When he comes back next year, there is no reason he shouldn't dominant on the offensive and even the defensive end at times.
Washington is a very talented basketball player from what he has shown so far as a freshman and certainly looks like a great prospect for the NBA as he continues to mature. He is extremely quick with the dribble and has a great first step. If he improves his passing and decision making on the court as well as overall shooting consistency, he will be a very good offensive weapon. In addition, if he picks up his intensity on defense, he will be even more of a complete player.
Washington would be best served to come back to Memphis next year and help his team win games, the best measure of a successful PG. If he has a quality sophomore year he could play possibly work himself into the lottery, or at least the 1st round. The only thing with his game that is a major question is his PG skills, and while that's a huge one at his height, his quickness and ability to penetrate along with an unselfish demeanor should help him develop into a player that can really make his teammates better.
Athletically, he is one of the most talented PG's in the nation without question. Currently I believe he is the best PG prospect in this year's freshman class. When he is being aggressive, he is as good as getting to the rim as any PG in the NCAA. The challenge for Washington is to work on rounding out his game and become an even more complete player next year.
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