Benilde-St. Margaret's junior forward Kyle Washington is a high potential student athlete at 6-foot-8 and 190 pounds. Long and agile, Washington's potential caught the eye of several division one schools playing in high school with the Red Knights and in the summer with Howard Pulley. Recently, his game sounds as if it's taken a major step forward.
Coming into his sophomore year at Benilde-St. Margaret's Washington had started to catch notice as a raw product with big potential. The Red Knights were a deep team last year (and will be again this season,) that won 24 games going deep to their bench. Because of the physical talents of frontcourt players Even BattleMyles Barnes, Red Knight coach John Moore was allowed to bring Washington along with some time on junior varsity as well as some time on varsity.
As the winter moved on Washington began to play more and more including a 12-point performance against Chisago Lakes and 12 more against Irondale. He averaged 5.5 points per game as a sophomore and then turned his attention to AAU and Howard Pulley where he played both at the 16s and 17s levels. In addition to playing with the Panthers Kyle did a lot of workouts out on his own.
"I worked a lot on the boxes because we are going to need that down low presence this year," Kyle said. "We are probably going to bring a little different of an approach (at Benilde-St. Margaret's) because we stayed a lot on the perimeter but this year we are going to try and go more inside and out.
"I've worked on all facets of the game: ball handling, footwork, shooting form, and my strength too. I've just been working a lot lately."
His summer experience must have taught him well because it sounds like a corner has been turned this fall. Minnesota Preps received an email of a fall league performance that saw Kyle dominate one game to the tune of 20 plus points. Another message came in that mentioned he had maybe 30 plus points with several boards. This is bad news for the opponents of Benilde-St. Margaret's because it means the Red Knights are even more dangerous.
"Everything is going well so far," Kyle said. "The first couple fall games were rough for us but we started playing as a team and sharing the ball. We have a lot of talent from top to bottom on our team so if we share the ball and just check our egos at the door, and continue playing as a team, we can go far."
Most of the Red Knight line-up will find their way to college basketball one way or another including Washington. Kyle's list of interested division one schools has grown into double figures.
"My list includes Stanford, Georgia Tech, the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Iowa, Wichita State, Siena, Creighton, Drake, Central Michigan, and Indiana State," said Washington. "(In terms of unofficial visits) I went to Iowa State, Wisconsin, I went to Wisconsin last year and I'm about to go November 14th this year, and I'll probably go to the Siena game against Minnesota.
"Minnesota has shown interest as has Wisconsin. Last year Minnesota came to our game against Columbia Heights. They weren't recruiting then but after they started recruiting me. I talked to coach Ron Jirsa and coach Vince Taylor too, as well as Tubby Smith."
Expect to hear more from the 6-foot-8 forward from Champlin, Minnesota in the near future.