13 Deron Washington

Senior| Forward | 6’7″ | 210 lbs. | New Orleans, LA
Drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
Expected to play for Hapoel Holon in the Israel Premier League in 2008-09.

Career Stats: Deron Washington

It will be sad, and weird, to go to the Cassell next season and not see Deron out there, or for that matter, his beautiful mother in the stands cheering him on. Deron is VT basketball from an ACC standpoint. He is the face of the program this year. He has played in 65 of Tech’s 66 ACC games all time, missing just the game at wake in 2006 due to a suspension. Every great memory you have of a Hokie game in the ACC likely involves Mr. Washington.

To steal the nickname of my favorite NBA player of all time (Dominique Wilkins), Deron is the ‘Human Highlight Film, Part II’. His dunks have become a regular part of the SportsCenter Top 10. Deron’s insane hops have been his trademark since his arrival in Blacksburg, but he has since developed into a well-rounded basketball player that might have a shot at the NBA in next year thanks to his athletic ability and versatility on defense, able to guard opponents’ 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s.

In Deron’s first two seasons, I jokingly called him “Mr. November” because he would dominate the smaller, less athletic teams. He’d drop 24 on the mount st. mary’s of the world. In fact, Deron led the Hokies in scoring in his first two games as a freshman. But then ACC season would roll around and his thin frame would cost him, in part because he was having to play down low as a power forward, often giving up 20-30 pounds. Sean May really did a number on Washington in Tech’s first ever ACC game against unc, a game VT lost by 35.

In his junior season, Deron elevated his play not just against the patsies, but also the ACC teams. In fact, he was better after the Hokies entered the ACC slate this year than at the beginning of the season. Washington’s points and rebounds were almost 1.5 higher in conference games than non-conference tilts. Deron also hit the game-winning shot against illinois in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (the bank was open late).

This season, Deron has reached double figures in 23 of 28 games. He has not been held under 7 points. His shooting percentage has dropped off, falling from 50% last year to 39% this year, but when VT had to get a hoop at the end of games, like at uva, you knew who wanted the ball: Deron. Washington has also been a leader for the Baby Hokies, giving 100% as always on every play, setting an example for the team.

Deron has figured out how to be successful in this league despite the fact most of the guys he faces out-weigh him. He counters this by putting himself in situations where he can use his superior athleticism. Deron has started getting the ball farther from the hoop and blowing by defenders. They have to respect him more from the outside since he’s improved his jumper. The sky is the limit for D-Dub if he continues to improve his outside shot. Deron’s teammates have also found ways to get him the ball in space allowing him to take the ball strong to the hoop. He is top five in the ACC in free throws per game, which is a great sign. He’s also improved his percentage from the stripe, up from 58% the last two seasons to 66% this year.

Another area that Deron improved over his career is his rebounding. He lead the team in rebounds his junior year, using positioning (boxing out) and his leaping ability to get more boards and eliminating his weight disadvantage.

Deron is a solid defender and can lock down most team’s shooting guard or three. He struggles against big bodies or power forwards that can back him in down low, although he did do a decent job last year against Jared Dudley (he needs the charges to be called to be successful). Deron will have to put on more weight to play small forward in the NBA, and he also will need to improve his ball-handling skills.

Deron was a solid three-star recruit coming out of National Christian Academy in Maryland. He was rated #124 in the nation by Rivals.com before his senior year. He was the lone recruit, of four, to even make it to his junior year at VT (Cooke, Holt, and Witherspoon).

Greatest Game: There’s several games to choose from, as Deron put three double-double’s on the board in 2006-07 and four more in 2007-08. But his performance against uva in February of 2007 was especially clutch because Dowdell was on the bench in foul trouble most of the game. Deron went for 22 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal in this game while hitting 9/16 from the field. His efforts helped lead VT to a 84-57 drubbing of uva and broke the curse against the hoos (four straight losses).

Favorite Memory Senior Year: Do you even need to read what I’m about to say? It’s his twisting, up-and-under layup at the end of the uva game that took the Hokies from sure defeat and gave them a victory at uva for the first in 40 years! It also began a huge freefall for the cavs they never recovered from. What two things could be better than that? Here’s the highlights of the game…Favorite Memory Pre-Senior Year: So many dunks, so little time. There’s his dunk over 6’11” Tyrelle Blair of bc in January of 2007. Or his dunk that was #1 on the SportsCenter Top 10 in February of 2007. But it is a layup of Deron’s that most Hokie fans will never forget. It came in the game at duke in January of 2007 where he literally jumped OVER Paulus of duke and laid it in. Look for Paulus to appear on a Deron poster at a store near you. And let’s not forget Washington’s block of Paulus at the buzzer in overtime which helped seal the 69-67 overtime victory. Let’s call that a close #2.

More Game Film of Deron:

The Dunk against bc, 2/21/07 –

Deron Mixes –

Picture of Niemo arm-curling Deron at the 23rd Annual Hokie Celebration:
Top-Left Picture in the Gallery

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