It’s another Flashback Friday: Deron Washington style
It’s hard to believe that Deron Washington last played for the Hokies nine years ago during the 2007-08 season.
Easily one of the most electric athletes to grace Cassell Coliseum, Washington was instrumental in Virginia Tech’s most recent NCAA Tournament appearance back in 2006-07.
During his four-year career, Washington totaled 1,408 points, 689 rebounds, 151 steals, and 115 blocks. He was a well-rounded player who provided countless sparks during Tech’s run to the Big Dance.
That season, the Hokies defeated No. 5 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina in Blacksburg before knocking off the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill later in the year.
With Washington, as the team’s as the team’s second-leading scorer, Virginia Tech finished with a 22-12 overall record and was third in the ACC with a 10-6 conference mark. Tech qualified for the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed which matched Washington and company up with Illinois in the first round.
The Hokies sweated out a 54-52 win over the Illini. It marked Tech’s first win in school history over Illinois in three tries. Virginia Tech went on to fall in an upset in round two to 14-seed Southern Illinois in a 63-48 decision.
The 6’7″ wingman was second in scoring with 12 points and first on the team with 5.3 rebounds per game during his junior campaign. He also led the team in shooting percentage making 50.3 percent from the field. The victory over Illinois was Virginia Tech’s only win in the NCAA Tournament since a 1995-96 opening round win over Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Washington was a far more complete player than many will remember and his stats bear that out. He had a knack for making “winning plays” as Buzz Williams is fond of saying. Deron would no doubt fit in well on this current team built on athletic wing players.
Deron Washington parlayed his successful Tech career into a selection in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Detroit Pistons chose Deron with the 59th overall selection. While he never suited up in the NBA regular season game, he played summer league ball with the Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks while briefly landing in the NBDL.
Washington has made a successful career for himself playing abroad in Israel and Italy. In 2008-2009, his team won the Israeli Basketball State Cup.
He continues to do the kind of things you would expect.
Deron ranks 20th in all-time scoring at Virginia Tech and will forever be a major part of Hokie hoops lore for plays like the infamous leap over Duke guard Greg Paulus.
The lanky small forward brought an electricity to Cassell Coliseum. Any time he touched the ball in the open court a moment of hushed anticipation fell over the crowd. More often than not, the wait was worth it.
Greg Paulus was just one of many unfortunate defenders to find that out firsthand.