ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 22:  PJ Washington #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts after a play in the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats during the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at Philips Arena on March 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

3 Reasons PJ Washington is Going to Be a Breakout Player for Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcat fans are going to be in good hands this season. After a strong freshman campaign, sophomore PJ Washington is back and should be better than ever. Here are three reasons why this Wildcat is poised for a breakout season. 

3. Double-Doubles Should Be on the Rise

Last season, Washington had only two double-doubles on the year, but finished in double figures in 23 of 37 games. He averaged 10.8 points with 5.7 rebounds, but he's shown that those numbers can and will go up. During the preseason Bahamas trip he finished with 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.7 steals a game. With more shooters around him, the likelihood of him get more double-doubles is rising. 

2. Down Twenty Pounds, Up in Athleticism

After dropping 20 pounds in the offseason, Washington is lighter and is able to move faster across the court. Last season, he suffered from a relative lack of quickness and athleticism. Being able to get up for a rebound faster and staying with opponents up and down the court are key to elevating Washington's game. 

1. More Space to Play With

One of Washington's struggles last season was not getting to the rim as much as he liked. With an increased level of shooting around, finishing at the rim is easier. As an old-school forward, Washington is at his best when there's enough space around him to operate within. Finishing last season shooting 52 percent from the field, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a big jump in that number now that he'll have more of the floor to work with.