Jelly hasn’t jelled quite yet: Isaiah Washington going through freshman growing pains

BleedGopher

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per Heather Rule:

Isaiah Washington had a huge reputation on the basketball court before he even set foot on the floor of Williams Arena as a Gophers player.

He was a star high school player in New York and a co-creator of a movement: Jelly Fam, a group of basketball players who roll a signature layup off their fingertips in a pretty fashion. Washington has developed a brand, plus more than 35,000 followers on Twitter and more than 500,000 on Instagram.

Unfortunately for the 6-foot-1 guard from Harlem, N.Y., his transition to Gophers basketball hasn’t garnered quite the same success he saw in high school as Mr. Basketball in New York – at least not yet. Call it freshman growing pains.

He had potential to be one of the top reserves to come in off the bench for Richard Pitino’s Gophers (14-9, 3-7), but lately, Washington’s minutes have dipped significantly. Of course, things for the Gophers as a team have also dipped recently. They’ve lost six of their past seven games, with the lone victory coming in overtime at Penn State.

So with the injury issues and personnel changes on the team, what’s Pitino looking for in his freshman guard known as Jelly?

“Just gotta get better,” Pitino said, after the 77-69 home loss to Northwestern on Tuesday night. “Just gotta get better more than anything. It’s pretty much that simple.”

Washington had perhaps his best game of the season a few weeks ago, in a 65-55 non-conference victory over Harvard at Williams Arena. He made his second start of the season in place of the injured Nate Mason for the Dec. 30 game. Washington turned on the jets in the second half, ending up one point shy of his first double-double, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring nine points over a season-high 35 minutes.

Washington’s only 3-pointer of that game in four tries gave the Gophers a 51-42 lead in the second half, coming on the heels of a trey from junior Dupree McBrayer. Soon after, Washington followed that up with a steal-and-lay-up combo for a 53-42 lead. That got the crowd at The Barn to its feet and raise the noise level to the highest it had been all day in celebration of Jelly.

Washington’s 13 boards were a team-high, beating out one of the nation’s best in teammate Jordan Murphy, who had 12 boards to record his 15th double-double of the season at the time.

“He’s been telling me in practice that he rebounds now,” Murphy said, after the Harvard game. “I didn’t believe it until today. That’s good for him. We definitely need someone else to rebound at that level. If it’s him, then more power to him.”

https://www.1500espn.com/gophers-2/2018/01/jelly-hasnt-jelled-quite-yet-isaiah-washington-going-freshman-growing-pains/

Go Gophers!!
 

BleedGopher

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per Jake:

Isaiah Washington update

In Isaiah Washington’s last four games, he’s played a total of 20 minutes, scoring six points on 2-7 shooting. After playing relatively heavy minutes through the first 19 games, it seems he’s lost Pitino’s trust, with Jamir Harris taking his spot in the rotation. After Saturday’s game in New York, Pitino talked about Washington’s struggles in making the jump to major Division I basketball.

“He’s only a freshman. He’s got talent,” said Pitino. “He’s just understanding that it’s not as easy as people think jumping from this level [NYC high school ball] to the Big Ten.”

Washington’s biggest issue, in my mind, isn’t that he looks for his shot, but that he takes a lot of low-percentage shots. His 31.6% shooting percentage stems in large part from forcing shots at the rim in heavy traffic and taking contested long-range twos and threes. His on-ball defense is strong, and he can push the pace and beat his man off the dribble better than perhaps anyone on the team.

If Minnesota continues to fade, Washington needs to get more minutes late in the season, as results become secondary to his development heading into next season.

http://www.1500espn.com/gophers-2/2018/01/gophers-notebook-injuries-continue-cripple-minnesota/

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2nd Degree Gopher

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The biggest thing that stands out to me is that, even when he gets to the hoop, he can't finish. All the flash that worked in HS is worthless at this level if he doesn't realize that the ball is not going to make it to the rim when he goes up so soft. If he sticks it out, I believe that he will improve significantly as he improves his shot and finishes stronger. I hope that he stays.
 

MNVCGUY

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The biggest thing that stands out to me is that, even when he gets to the hoop, he can't finish. All the flash that worked in HS is worthless at this level if he doesn't realize that the ball is not going to make it to the rim when he goes up so soft. If he sticks it out, I believe that he will improve significantly as he improves his shot and finishes stronger. I hope that he stays.
He would be crazy to leave. As frustrated as I am sure he is right now he can clearly see that the starting point guard job is waiting for him next year so he just needs to work on his game and get ready for next season. If he leaves he either has to drop down to a lower level or find a high level school willing to take him and then he would have to ride the bench for a season. No way he wants to do either of those things.

Unless he is totally clueless he can clearly see that he has things to work on in his game. The talent is clearly there he just needs to figure out how his game translates to this level as he isn't going to be able to get away with all the things he could in high school. Hopefully it all comes together for him in the near future.
 
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