Franklin: Kentucky Will Be Just Fine Without PJ Washington vs. Wofford in NCAA Tournament

Mar 23, 2019 12:55 PM EDT
Credit:

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kentucky Wildcats guard Keldon Johnson (3), guard Ashton Hagans (2), guard Tyler Herro (14), and forward PJ Washington (25).

  • Kentucky's star big man PJ Washington will miss Saturday's NCAA Tournament game vs. the Wofford (2:40 p.m. ET on CBS)
  • Drew Franklin from Kentucky Sports Radio makes a case for the Wildcats as a 5.5-point favorite.

There is a negative vibe around the Bluegrass, given the uncertainty around the playing status of Kentucky’s All-American, PJ Washington. The Cats looked all set to make a deep tournament run as the 2-seed in the Midwest Region, until Washington showed up to Thursday night’s game on a scooter, his left foot in a hard cast.

Rumors have been running wild around Big Blue Nation since fans first learned of Washington’s injury earlier in the week. Everyone across the state claims to have a cousin or a neighbor who knows a manager or a grad assistant on the team, and their reports range from “Washington is playing it safe and will be back next week” to “Washington’s leg was amputated last night and he’ll never be in a UK uniform again.”

The past 48 hours have been full of speculation and hearsay — plus a ton of panic — as the UK fan base wonders what to make of Kentucky’s tournament life, with or without Washington. John Calipari confirmed on Friday that Washington will not play on against Wofford on Saturday. Anything beyond that is day to day.

Whatever the case, I’m here to tell everyone that Kentucky will be fine without Washington in Saturday’s game. I say that with all due respect to Wofford, a team I would be rooting for in any other scenario.

I took a liking to Wofford on Thursday night when I sat through the entire Wofford-Seton Hall game, and I think the Terriers are as fun to watch as any team in the field. Having heard so much about the Terriers’ 3-point shooting prowess, I made sure I had a front-row seat to watch Fletcher Magee & Co. take the NCAA stage for the first time in front of a national audience.

And they did not disappoint.