Deron Washington had an inconsistent junior season for Virginia Tech, but he came on strong in the later half of the season, giving us a glimpse into the potential of an extremely athletic wingman. Washington stands 67, with good length and excellent athleticism, and he has a nice groundwork of skills to go along with it. With teammates Jamon Gordon
, Zabian Dowdell
, and Coleman Collins
all graduating, Washington will be thrust into a feature role, where hell be able to show just how good of a prospect he really is.
Washington doesnt really have one stand-out skill offensively, but hes shown flashes of very good things in all areas, starting with his outside shot. He shot a less than impressive .308 from three-point range last season, but his shooting form is solid, he has a decently quick release. He also has a consistent release point, and he looks confident taking it. With more work, its definitely feasible to see him become a much better outside shooter.
Washingtons pull-up jumper is another weapon of his, and hes had a bit more success with that than his outside shot thus far in his career. His accuracy isnt all there yet consistently, but one thing he is excellent with is his body control, as hes able to pull up on a dime and maintain solid form, keeping his body upright and square to the basket. He has a nice in-between game when he catches the ball around 10-18 feet away from the basket, being able to put the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles and showing excellent footwork on little slashing drives; using drop-steps, pivots, hesitations, and fakes to find a route to the basket. Washington struggles a bit when he is in pure isolation situations far away from the basket, though, as his ball-handling could use some work, especially his left hand, which he rarely goes to.
At the basket, Washington shies away from contact due to his lack of strength, and while he shows good creativity in getting to the rim with his footwork, he could use a bit more polish in creating high-percentage shots once at the rim, struggling when hes contested in that area. Washington does do a good job moving without the ball, though, getting open near the rim and easily finishing on cuts with his explosive athleticism.
Defensively, Washington has all the tools you look for in a defender, with his length, athleticism, and quickness. At times he looks very good playing pressure defense, not giving his man much breathing room and moving his feet to stay in front of his man, but at other times he can look lazy and not put in the effort laterally. He often was matched up with opposing big men last year, even though hes clearly a SG/SF, so thats not helping him develop his perimeter defense. Hes woeful defending in the post, not possessing the footwork or strength to force his opponent into tough shots, though his length occasionally compensates.
All in all, Washington could be a bit of a sleeper prospect at this moment, and he should have plenty of opportunities to awake over the course of the season, as he should get extended minutes and offensive touches on the diminished Virginia Tech team. Right now hed probably be a fringe second rounder, but with his physical tools and hopefully improving skill-set, he could easily raise his stock over the course of the year and down the road at the pre-draft camps.