UL's Washington dominating with double-doubles

Tim Buckley

NEW ORLEANS — It was shortly before the 2016-17 season began, and Bryce Washington — UL’s junior big man — was talking about his plans.

Bryce Washington, who has nine double-doubles this season, goes in for an easy layup in UL's recent win over Loyola of New Orleans.

At a listed 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, he plays the most at — and seems best-suited for — the power forward spot in the high-scoring style the Ragin’ Cajuns employ.

But as a strong-passing big with good floor vision and a knack for knowing nuances of the game, he can be plugged in just about anywhere.

In the 5 spot when UL goes small? No problem. Point-forward? Washington has done his fair share of that too so far this season.

“I don’t classify myself as any position,” he said then.

“I believe I can play 1 through 5. … But I have to dominate every position; I have to dominate everybody.

“You can be 6-11, but I’m still gonna dominate you. You can be 5-5, and I still get to dominate you,” Washington added. “That’s my mindset with everything. Every practice, I have to dominate you.”

More often than not so far this season, Washington has done much of that.

He’ll get another chance for more of the same Saturday afternoon, when UL visits Southland Conference-member University of New Orleans at Lakefront Arena here.

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It will be a homecoming of sorts for Washington, who played his high school ball at St. Augustine School in New Orleans.

Washington was a two-time All-District pick for the Purple Knights, playing on their 2011 Louisiana Class 5A state-title team as a youngster, helping them to a 25-10 record as a junior and leading them to a 27-8 season and 5A appearance while averaging a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double as a senior.

And he was his high school salutatorian, graduating with a 3.96 GPA.

Washington has the double-double thing going again this season, leading the nation with nine in 11 games.

That’s six more than he had all of last season, when then-senior Shawn Long — now in the NBA Development — claimed most of the boards.

Washington struggled from the floor in UL’s most-recent outing, a 73-60 loss at Georgia at the SEC on Wednesday night in which the 8-3 Ragin’ Cajuns were held to 30-plus points below their usual scoring average and their eight-game winning streak was snapped.

But he still had a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

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That came after a week in which Washington earned Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honors for having two double-doubles — both 19 points and 10 boards — in wins over Louisiana Tech and Loyola of New Orleans.

The week for Washington was very much as-expected by Cajuns coach Bob Marlin, who doesn’t at all mind seeing his big with the ball in his hands as he pushes play up-court.

“He gives us a guy with strength, with size, that can go over the double-team when they come and attack it,” Marlin said.

Beyond that, Washington handles things with a sense of patience and calmness that allows teammates to do the same as the Cajuns get into their offense.

He’s just as comfortable playing the post as he is initiating a set when need be, which appears to help everyone around him.

The desire to dominate, it seems, is accompanied by an ability to be deliberate too.

“He understands,” Marlin said, “and it really takes a lot of pressure off guards Jay (Wright) and P.J. (Hardy) and Frank (Bartley IV).”

Cajuns getting it done on the boards


UNO coach Mark Slessinger’s club has played some bigger programs this season, losing to Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Southern Cal while beating Washington State and Tulane.

He seems concerned about the Cajuns, though.

“They’re really good in offensive transition,” Slessinger said. “They can score very early in the shot clock and attack you. They’ve done a good job with that.

“They’ve got several guards that can score a lot of different ways. Their posts are skilled. They can shoot and pass, and they really try and stretch you out and not let you pack it back.

“It’ll be interesting to see how we can match up,” he added, “and see if we can use some of our strengths in different areas to put them in some tough situations.”


After playing UNO on Saturday, the Cajuns return to the Cajundome to face Pepperdine on Tuesday night.

That’s their final game before a lengthy stretch off that ends with the start of Sun Belt play on New Year’s Eve at Arkansas State.

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   WHERE: Lakefront Arena (10,000), New Orleans

   WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday

   TV: Cox Sports Television (CST)

   RADIO: KPEL 1420 AM and KHXT 107.9 FM with Jay Walker

   ABOUT THE CAJUNS: UL’s eight-game came to a close with Wednesday night’s 73-60 loss at Georgia. … Frank Bartley IV (team-high 18.4 points per game) had his first double-double as a Cajun at Georgia. … Bryce Washington is averaging a 14.9-point, 11.8-rebound double-double.

   ABOUT THE OPPONENT: UNO has been idle since Sunday’s 83-49 at Northwestern of the Big Ten. … The Privateers also have lost at Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Southern Cal, but they have a win at Washington State and they’re 3-0 at home including a victory over Tulane. … Senior F Erik Thomas averages a team-high 20.5 ppg.