Derrick Walton Jr is fantastic

Submitted by Rodriguesqe on March 29th, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Lost in the adoration for Jordan Morgan, I think, is the great play of Derrick Walton. He was executing the two man game with Morgan to perfection and was disecting Tennessee all night.

The announcers talked about how much better he is than in December. I agree. Looking at his numbers, they're better than Darrius Morris's freshman year and more efficient than Trey Burkes':

2009-10 Michigan Big Ten 32 24.3 1.6 4.0 .406 1.4 2.8 .506 0.2 1.2 .179 0.9 1.4 .630 1.8 2.6 0.6 0.2 1.6 1.9 4.4
2010-11 Michigan Big Ten 35 34.8 5.7 11.7 .489 5.3 9.9 .533 0.5 1.8 .250 3.1 4.3 .715 4.0 6.7 1.0 0.0 2.9 2.1 15.0
2011-12 Michigan Big Ten 34 36.1 5.2 12.0 .433 3.5 7.2 .490 1.7 4.8 .348 2.7 3.7 .744 3.5 4.6 0.9 0.4 2.8 1.6 14.8
2012-13 Michigan Big Ten 39 35.3 6.6 14.4 .463 4.7 9.3 .506 1.9 5.1 .384 3.4 4.3 .801 3.2 6.7 1.6 0.5 2.2 1.9 18.6
2013-14 Michigan Big Ten 34 26.4 2.5 5.8 .434 1.4 3.0 .461 1.1 2.8 .404 1.9 2.5 .786 3.0 2.9 0.6 0.0 1.6 1.6 8.1

Here are their rankings for reference:

Walton: 45(composite)

Burke: 147(rivals)

Morris: 77 (rivals)

Morris (the Butterfly) and Burke blew up their second year in Beilein's system. I think Walton will, too. I think he will be better than Morris, and in some ways could be better than Trey - though I'm not predicting a NPOY. I think for sure he'll make an all big ten team, and a darkhorse for B1G player of the year.




March 29th, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

"trey lost to ohio"??? really?  the entire team crapped the bed that game.  i like walton's game and i expect further improvement, but there is a slim to none chance of him approaching trey burke status.  that said, i expect him to provide solid point play through his senior year.  it would be nice to have a solid senior point guard.


March 29th, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

"Slim to none"? What else does Walton have to do as a TRUE FRESHMAN do allow you the possibility tht he can morph into a star like Burke? Burke tried to do it all himself whereas Walton seems to play more collectively. Lets see what happens... But SO FAR , Walton is on a very nice trajectory.


March 29th, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

To be fair Burke didn't have as much talent on his teams compared to Walton this year.   I hope Walton can do what Burke did but I think his sophomore year we will find out how great Walton can be.  Their games are different just like Morris was different then Burke.   I hope Walton has the kind of leap that Burke and Morris had cause we might just need it if Nik and Glenn and Mitch goes pro.   IMO I think Glenn and Mitch will stay to get stock up plus I think they just like it a lot here.  Glenn doesn't need the money and he isn't even a 1st rd lock n Mitch isn't either. A little off subject with that but I think we can start calling Michigan point guard U.    


March 29th, 2014 at 2:32 PM ^

Walton and Irvin both have played very well this year as freshman.  Great experience and they are only going to improve under Belien.  The mistakes that Walton makes (sloppy sometimes) are based on trying to make plays, which I can respect.  Just dial it back a little and be a little more cautious with the ball in these tight games.  He will be pretty good in time.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:16 AM ^

In 2 weeks I'll be excited for his sophomore year.  Right now, however, he needs to cleanup some of the sloppy play as he had 3 turnovers last night versus 4 assists, not that he wasn't the only one.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:20 AM ^

Yup, a little sloppy at times. In his defense though, several players at times looked a little out of sorts. So far this team has taken care of the ball very well and hopefully that game was just an anomaly.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

i dont know which ones counted as his turnovers. but one instance, he drove and setup morgan under the basket but morgan read it wrong (led to a fast break, i believe). that for sure counted as a walton T.O. rather than an assist as it should have been.

another walton setup morgan for another dunk but morgan lost it out of bounds raher than finishing the play. not sure who got assigned the T.O.

I dont think the stats tell how well walton is playing.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

Yeah, we had a lot of butterfingers TOs last night.  Morgan had one in the post, Stauskas had one early, Levert had the crucial one when a falling out of bounds GR3 tossed it to him on the late inbounds play...  I know there were a few others as well.  Gotta get some stick 'em on those hands.


March 29th, 2014 at 1:15 PM ^

but it's amusing how high our standards are for him, mainly because we know how good we can be, but how spoiled have the players and staff of this program made us? I don't know if it's players or development but our expectations for point guards at this point are basically "Should be All-Big Ten by sophmore year" because with Darius, Trey, and Derrick, we've just been straight spoiled by how well they've all played and how quickly they've gotten there.

Can't wait to watch Walton next year. He's got All Big Ten written all over him


March 29th, 2014 at 2:36 PM ^

My standards are high for any player that is starting.  If you are good enough to be on the court in crunch time, protect the ball.  He will only get better, but now the cream is going to rise.  There is no longer any room for the sloppy play, the teams Michigan is going to face from this point forward will make them pay for those mistakes.

I expect big things from Walton in the coming years.  Great freshman year. 

snarling wolverine

March 29th, 2014 at 11:23 AM ^

Not sure it's fair to compare his efficiency with Burke's, when Burke was our go-to guy from the start while Walton is a secondary option.  Still, he's come along nicely this season.  

One thing he's got to improve on is decision-making when he's trapped under the basket.  Three times last night he tried to force in a difficult pass to a big man and it ended up a turnover.  Better to just kick it back out to the perimeter if the play isn't there.




March 29th, 2014 at 11:28 AM ^

I agree.  Seems like his court vision is coming along really well as long as he is up top running the offense.  When he gets under the basket, I don't know its panic, or trying to do too much but that's where he needs improvement.  But he is a freshman and was probably the 2nd or 3rd best player for us last night.



March 29th, 2014 at 1:06 PM ^

that is the key.  i like the fact that he even drives the lane for a freshmen.  most freshmen guards are a bit skiddish in doing that.  i expect him to improve his shot too when driving against the bigs.  trey burke was one of the best i've ever seen at doing that for a guy his size; along with isiah thomas.

snarling wolverine

March 29th, 2014 at 11:37 AM ^

Burke set a school record for assists last year.  He was a pretty good team player.

I just think it's hard to compare them in general.  The offense went through Burke when he was here, whereas now it primarily goes through Stauskas and LeVert, with Walton as a secondary option.  Next year I think we'll see him more as a primary ballhandler.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:25 AM ^

love Walton. I love how he works the baseline as a passer and the way he gets underneath defenders in the lane a laTrey Burke.....but to win tomorrow he has to cut down on the careless passes he had against does Levert. We know thy are both capable of passing and handling the ball much better, and i think they will.

Hopefully this team practices inbounding, rebounding, and ball security on the off day. Tennessee should have been a good warm up game for UK...i hate UK...beat em to a pulp.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

The inbounding is so frustrating.  It seems like the inbounder is late on the pass most of the time, allowing the defender to catch up to the reciever.  Seems like it would be a no brainer for a Beilein coached team.  Very strange.  I think we're really lucky to get KY instead of Louisville for that reason alone.  Their press would've killed us.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

I think he's overlooked by most teams because he is not the focal point in the offense. There are 4-5 other guys who take that role over him. In previous years it's always been about the PG position, but not this year. A lot of his early success can be attributed to that, along with sharing a bunch of his minutes with Spike. Next year though, when he takes on a presumably much larger role in the offense, will be the true measure of his talent.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:37 AM ^

Walton is... People here have unappreciated his play this year, because without it we probably wouldnt have won the title.

NOTE however, that Glenn had a great game last night all around. Key was driving into Maymon over and over. Bravo Glenn.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:39 AM ^

I've been thinking the same for the last couple of weeks.  While he doesn't have the pts Burke had as a freshman he also isn't the only option at pg with Albrecht there to pick up the slack when he struggles.  If he puts in the offseason work that Burke, Stauskas, and LeVert have he could really blow up next season.  Unlikely he wins NPOY but he should be all B1G and compete for B1G POY.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

I enjoyed this comparison but my thought yesterday was how nice it would be to have a junior PG one of these days and it looks like Walton will be it.  Burke is an outlier and you cannot track someone to be a NPOY so Morris seems a more similar track. 

I think Morris jumped to the NBA 1 year too early so part of me is now worried since PGs usually tend to explode in this offense in year 2 and with potential losses of "the big 3" Caris Nik and Irvin would be the new big 3.  Hence you could see that PPG get to mid teens next year.

I know...first world problems but for gosh sakes we see with Morgan how nice it is to have SOME experience on the court.  Really would like to see Walton be here 3 years.

I do want to say I am amazed at his clutch FT shooting.  I know he is 78% but it seems in the last 5 minutes of a game is like 90%.  His 3 pt shooting is also much better than I anticipated; 40%+ for a freshman ?  Nice.

Mr. Yost

March 29th, 2014 at 11:50 AM ^

But I'll take the win.

That said, he's got to clean up some of his decision making. Spike over dribbles too often and Walton picked up his dribble or jumps and gets caught in the air too often.

They both got to meet in the middle a little bit.

Walton is going to be SCARY good next year if you go off of the progression from Freshman to Sophomore year.

I think he'll tighten up his shot too...his form is very inconsistant, sometimes he kicks and has a hitch in his jump like BJ Armstrong, other times he's straight up and down. Fortunately for us he banked in the "kick" form shot and swished (or swissssed) the straight up and down shot. 3 points is 3 points.


March 29th, 2014 at 11:55 AM ^

And his ceiling is high.  He seems to have all the qualities to be great.  He has great athleticism and a great basketball mindset.  He doesn't seem to get rattled.  And he has a superb shooting stroke.

I can see why he was a top 40 player (per rivals) coming out of high school.

I think he was unfairly criticized by some earlier in the year by people who forgot he's just a freshman.  And not Trey Burke.  At least not yet..

It will be fun to seem him grow as he's called on to do more playmaking and creating.


March 29th, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

Just curious - was there a 3rd guard offered outside of Monte Morris and Walton Jr?  I know both have had quite good freshman seasons on winning balanced teams.  With this staff I am of mind, if Monte Morris had come here they'd have developed him into a quality player just the same.  I think the story is whoever pulled the trigger first on the offer would be a Wolverine (talk about a unique offer) but I cannot remember if there was a 3rd guy in the running for said offer.

For comparison sake - Monte Morris key stats which are quite similar and in fact probably a bit better in terms of efficiency for a PG (higher assists per game, lower turnovers).   Also happens to be working with an excellent staff at Iowa State.

  • FG:  43%
  • 3 PT:  41%
  • FT: 85% (wow)
  • Assists: 3.7
  • Rbs:  2.6
  • Pts: 6.8
  • TO: 0.8
  • Minutes: 28.1