The Miami RedHawks might not be any good this year - they were picked to finish fifth in the MAC East - but it won't be because of Eric Washington.
Washington, a senior point guard, is one of the MAC's more exciting players and he happens to be very good. At the helm of Miami's offense, he does a little bit of everything for the RedHawks. He scores, passes and as long as he's on the floor, Miami's offense works off and around him.
Washington's highlight video perfectly showcases what makes him such an interesting talent. He's confident pulling up the moment he gets some pass, runs well off the ball when others have the rock and has the moves to operate in isolation out of a simple pick and roll. These are very simple basketball things, but Washington does them at a level that few point guards in the MAC can.
The pace that he plays at is another aspect of his game that makes him exciting. While he at times pounds the ball a little too much, he more often than not is moving towards the basket in some direction. Even if he's off ball on a fast break, he's positioning himself to make a run at the basket or set up for a three.
When he's at his best, Washington gives coach John Cooper a player he can be creative around. What he does with the ball in his hands forces defenses to collapse and that opens up space for his teammates to either shoot or attack.
Washington could get better too. Last year, he shot 45.1 percent from the field on 9.5 attempts per game and averaged 14.2 points per game. Although Miami returns four its five starters returning, Washington will probably take on a bigger role in the offense this year. If/when he does that, shooting closer to 50 percent would be ideal. He could also get little better as a passer to - last year he averaged 5.5 assists per game, but also averaged 3.4 turnovers per game. With the offense in his hands, it'd be ideal for him to be a little more trustworthy.
Not unlike Washington, his year's Miami team isn't expected to be good, but it is veteran heavy and has a chance to come together to become something meaningful. Washington is at the very center of Miami's hopes of making some kind of run the MAC.