Filling His Role

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kyle Washington has consistently improved throughout his freshman season and now he is about to play in an event he's yet to experience... the ACC Tournament.

Kyle Washington has consistently improved throughout his freshman season and now he is about to play in an event he's yet to experience... the ACC Tournament.

"I'm going to be focused so I can play to the best of my ability," said Washington. "I'm just trying to leave my mark."

Washington's season numbers don't pop out. He's averaging just 4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds. He's shooting just 42.4% from the field and 55.6% from the free throw line.

However, Washington understands his role. He's rotating at power forward with fellow freshman Lennard Freeman, looking to do the dirty work for the Wolfpack.

"I want to be there getting rebounds, playing defense, and score when I can," said Washington.

One of his roles has been to set screens for ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren.

"What makes him T.J. is he plays extremely hard," said Washington. "He's extremely focused. He's in here all the time and I try to follow that. He's in the gym all the time working on the little things, his form, his footwork."

Now Washington, Warren and the rest of the Wolfpack are preparing for Thursday night's ACC Tournament opener. They didn't know Tuesday evening who they would be playing, either No. 10 seed Miami or No. 15 seed Virginia Tech.

"Both are tough teams," Washington said. "You don't want to underestimate them. What makes this conference great is everybody can beat everybody. We have to come in with that mentality."

It also sounds like the Pack will be looking to play with an edge and they are hoping to make a deep run into the ACC Tournament and earn a NCAA bid.

"People underestimate us but we have a lot to prove," said Washington. "We have a lot of pieces in this building.

"We just need to win as many games as possible. We're not thinking about any number. We're thinking about surviving and advancing. Win a game, and then win another game."


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