Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky’s TyTy Washington says Shaedon Sharpe made a ‘business’ decision not to play this season for Wildcats
By ADAM ZAGORIACHICAGO — Kentucky guard TyTy Washington said Shaedon Sharpe made a “business” decision not to play for Kentucky this season and that he respects it. But he also believes the 6-foot-6 Sharpe was “frustrated” that he didn’t play and could’ve helped the Wildcats.
“He entered the draft, people say he’s supposed to be top five,” Washington said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena. “I’m pretty sure anybody who’s in his shoes, and you don’t have to play a college game, you’re fresh out of high school and you don’t have to see a college floor and they’re saying you’re top five, I mean I see his situation.
“What if he had went out and God forbid, he would’ve tweaked something and now he has to sit and wait until the following season. I see what he’s doing and everything like that,” Washington added. “If I had a child and they’re saying he’s top five and he doesn’t have to play a minute of college, they’re going to take that for sure.”
Asked about the Kentucky fans being unhappy that Sharpe didn’t play, Washington said, “At the end of the day, you can only control what you can control so it sucks that he didn’t get a chance to play, it sucks that people didn’t get a chance to watch him play, but we all know at the end of the day the game of basketball at the highest level is a business. So you gotta do what’s best for you and yours, not so much for everybody else. And if that’s what Shaedon feels is best for him and his, then I’m going to support him all the way because that’s my brother regardless.”
Sharpe enrolled mid-season at Kentucky but ended up never playing a game. He’s now a projected Top 10 pick in the June 23 NBA Draft and had what scouts called a “terrific” Pro Day here this week. He was originally slated to meet with the media on Thursday, but did not end up speaking.
“I think he could’ve helped us a lot,” Washington said of Kentucky, which was upset by No. 15 Saint Peter’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. “He could’ve spaced the floor for us. He was another shooter, another scorer for us, so I feel like he could’ve come in right away and given us another player that we could just throw into our rotation and just keep the other team off balance because we all play different styles of games so just adding him, I feel he would’ve been a big target on the scout, drew more attention to him and less attention to everyone around.”
Washington said they didn’t talk about the situation much, but he thinks Sharpe was “frustrated” by not playing.
“We haven’t really talked about him not playing and stuff like that but I’m pretty sure down inside, he was, not upset, but probably just frustrated,” he said.
“Any kid that plays basketball, wants to play. Nobody wants to just sit around and practice every day and then go to the games and watch his teammates play. Nobody wants to go through all that bumping and grinding, lifting, all that heavy stuff and not play. So I’m pretty sure in the back of his mind, he really wanted to play. I know if that was me in that situation, I would’ve wanted to play.”
He added: “I just feel like the whole situation for him was come, practice with us, learn the plays and start your comeback next year.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.