Comparing STATS of SR Walton to SO Simmons

Submitted by alum96 on April 25th, 2017 at 8:52 AM

FEELINGSBALL:  Love this move from a strictly POSITIONAL standpoint.  Assuming the bigs return, the 1 was the most unknown quantity on the team going into next year with a little used backup PG now expected to step in and go 30 minutes a night.   The 3 is also a question but at least you know what you have in Duncan with his 8-9 ppg and 47% shooting - Matthews is potential upside.  PG you want uber talent or experienced solid talent - we had neither at this point.  X (37%, 26% from 3) could develop into something good, or could just be a long term backup - we don't know.  Now we can let him develop for another year in a 10-13 minute a night role while Simmons runs... err, point.

STATS!  Please ADJUST for competition.  Walton had Big 10 athletes across from him for 2/3 of the year while Simmons was obviously in the MAC.  So we're not doing apples to apples.  That said this looks quite appealing when you compare senior yr Walton (his best obviously) vs sophomore Simmons (also his best).  (p.s. I didn't realize just how bad Walton shot his SO and JR years until looking at his ESPN page - mid and upper 30%s yikes)

Here are the side by sides -they compare favorably .... again without an adjustment for competition. 


  • DW 34.8
  • JS 36.5


  • DW 10.3
  • JS 10.6

FG %

  • DW 43.6%
  • JS 46.5%

3 PT FG %

  • DW 42.2%
  • JS 41.0%


  • DW 4.5
  • JS 6.1

FT %

  • DW 87.6%
  • JS 77.9%


  • DW 4.8
  • JS 3.5


  • DW 5.0
  • JS 7.9 (!!!)


  • DW 1.7
  • JS 4.0

Shooting is not the issue here as some seem to feel; it's more about limiting those turnovers. But offset by a massive assist rate.  Edges to rebounding (duh), FT%, turnovers to Walton - Simmons better in assists, overall shooting %.  Nearly a wash on 3 pt FG%. 

If this was JR yr Walton vs SO yr Simmons, Simmons would dominate in everything except turnovers and rebound.  So even if we only get junior year Walton production walking in the door as a sure thing next year most would take that gladly.  [Walton's JR year - 9.2. shots a game, 37.7%, 38.7% 3pt, 81.3% FT, 5.4 REB, 4.5 ASS, 2.0 TO]


Webber's Pimp

April 25th, 2017 at 9:04 AM ^

A Very good pick up. I saw nothing to indicate that X was a starting caliber PG. I hope Im wrong but we need cover at the position while we wait for DeJulius who is starting to generate buzz. I like that simmons gets to the FT line allot (more than DW) and shoots a good percentage from the charity strike. Here's hoping DJ and Moe decide to come back for one last NCAA run. Otherwise none of this will matter.

uncle leo

April 25th, 2017 at 9:16 AM ^

For Simmons (last year's stat), they seem to be cut out of a very similar mold. If he can provide similar production to Walton and play that role, this team will be in business. PG was the biggest area of concern going into the off-season and that has been addressed.

Something tells me Beilein got the willies having to do this, but it's necessary in 2017.

Naked Bootlegger

April 25th, 2017 at 9:17 AM ^

Three things I love about his stats:

1.  FTA:  He can attack the basket and draw fouls.   We need this capability on our roster.   X displayed some ability to attack in the later stages of last year, but JS is a proven commodity.  

2.  FT %:  He can nail FT's.

3.  Assist rate:  He might have been forced to play MAC hero ball, but his assist rate is excellent.   He will drive and dish, and Michigan offers more weapons than a typical MAC roster. 



April 25th, 2017 at 9:22 AM ^

What excites me about him as a player is the massive assist rate and the fact that he did a lot of it using the ball screen and with sub-par talent around him.  Imagine him running that ball screen surrounding by shooters (Duncan/Wagner) or talented bigs (Wilson/Wagner).  

The biggest challenge will be getting him to realize that he doesn't have to do everything in this offense and take step-back long 2s or contested 3s.  But I think once he sees the talent around him he's going to fall in love and try to average 10 assists per game.  

It does stunt the growth of X and the incoming freshmen a little, but we know how hard it is for freshman guards to play and thus counting on Brooks/Poole to be significant contributors was risky - especially when combined with the fact that X barely played 10mpg this year and has his own weaknesses as a PG.  

I love the pick-up.  And I also think it might help convince Wagner/Wilson to stay when they look at his assist numbers.

We are back

April 25th, 2017 at 9:27 AM ^

Only thing stats can't measure is Walton's heart down the stretch, hopefully this kid will play with passion and leadership like Walton, Burke, and Morris.

SF Wolverine

April 25th, 2017 at 11:09 AM ^

but, he appears to also have been the #1, #2 and #3 options on that team.  I assume MAC coaches figured that out and adjusted.  I don't think the analysis on the front page is wrong to be optimistic that when he is part of a well-oiled Beilein machine that he could be very effective.


April 25th, 2017 at 1:47 PM ^

If we get DJ Wilson and Mo Wagner back I know Ill be marking down Michigan to win it all next year. Bamba or no Bamba.

Simmons was a great addition. Now Im not worried at all about Walton leaving