TyTy Washington etches name into UK history; breaks single-game assist record


Kentucky Wildcats guard TyTy Washington Jr. (3) celebrates a teammate’s three pointer during the UK vs Georgia men’s basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 92-77. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke

Kentucky freshman guard TyTy Washington Jr caught the spotlight in the Wildcats’ 92-77 win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night at Rupp Arena.

The win saw the Cats improve to 2-1 in the SEC, while also picking up their first win without starting point guard Sahvir Wheeler who was injured in the game prior.

While a bounce back game for the team as a whole, the win over the Bulldogs also served as a bounce back for Washington, who was limited in Kentucky’s previous game with cramps. With Wheeler being injured early and Washington unable to meaningfully contribute, Kentucky ultimately fell 65-60 on the road against No. 21 LSU.

Against Georgia, Washington recorded the second double-double of his career, notching 17 points in the win. 

More importantly than his 17 points, Washington also set a single-game school record for assists with 17, beating out John Wall who recorded 16 against the Hartford Hawks in Dec. 2009.

Washington tied the record with 59 seconds to play, passing the ball to Keion Brooks Jr who would go up for a dunk, and beat the record with just 25 seconds left, feeding Oscar Tshiebwe the basket.

“I didn’t even know that was the assist record,” Washington said after the game. “My teammates on the court were telling me ‘Yo, you need two more to set the record,’ and I was like ‘oh shoot’! That’s when I kind of just went out there and did it to get the last two.”

Washington, while excited to break the record, also commented on the significance of breaking a record that belonged to John Wall, a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame and current NBA player.

“It excites me, I mean it’s John Wall,” Washington said. “I watched him play. I watched a lot of his highlights at Kentucky and I watch him in the NBA a lot. It’s exciting for me to go out there and break the record [because] a lot of other great point guards came [to Kentucky after Wall] as well. I [get to] be the one to say I went to Kentucky and I set the record.”

UK head coach John Calipari also spoke on allowing Washington to remain in the game to break the record with under a minute left to play.

“I didn’t know [he was about to break the record],” Calipari said. “If [someone is about to break a points record] I’d probably take them out, but if you’re talking assists or rebounds I don’t mind leaving a guy in, but the game will dictate that. If we’re up 30 then I’m not [allowing them to remain in the game]. I’m not worried about [breaking records] at the expense of the other coach and their program.”

Washington’s school record ties for seventh most single-game assists in SEC history. He is also the first Wildcat since Ashton Hagans in the 2018-2019 season to record a double-double with points and assists as well as points and rebounds in a single season.

“Hopefully I set the record [for a long time],” Washington said. “Hopefully nobody breaks it, but to the next person who does break it, congrats to them.”

Washington, who has started every game for Kentucky this season, is expected to continue as a starter in the Cats’ next game on the road against Vanderbilt. That game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, and will air on ESPN.