Rich Washington came into Wake Forest as a consensus three-star recruit listed in the top 30 of his class at the small forward position.
Due to a logjam at the SF and PF position in front of him, Washington spent much of the year learning from the bench, appearing in only 17 minutes throughout the season.
He made his collegiate debut in the season opener against Radford, scoring two points. Although he played sparingly the rest of the year, he added a rebound and a couple of assists in his five minutes against Charlotte in early December.
Obviously the year didn’t go as he (or anybody) would want it to their first year on campus, Washington got a chance to learn behind some talented and more experienced players as a freshman.
Time will tell what role he will have on the team moving forward, but his shooting and defense has been applauded here and there throughout the year in practice reports.
Having not been to any practices I cannot confirm, nor deny the validity of these claims, but I would not write him off just because he didn’t play very much.
While it is somewhat rare in the ACC to not play much your freshman year at all and then become a key contributor, it does happen on occasion.
There is a reason that Coach Danny Manning offered him a scholarship, and obviously he sees value in the young man. That in itself should tell us something about his game given the guys that have been brought in and developed already under the eye of this staff.
I think there will be minutes for the taking at the three next year, and at 6-6, 180, with a year under his belt, I think he can at worst take over the Greg McClinton role of defense, rebounding, and perhaps add an element of stretching the defense.
There is certainly value in getting a lot of practice time against guys like Keyshawn Woods, Austin Arians, and Dinos Mitoglou at the 2-4 positions, so hopefully he took the year to work on his game and now is ready to contribute moving into next year.