Who is Derrick Walton Jr.?

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on November 26th, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Maybe I shouldn't ask this coming off a loss, but I just love this kid's game, and I have to ask: Who is Derrick Walton Jr.? Have we ever had a point guard or a player like this?

He'll miss a shot or make a turnover, but he never seems to make a mistake. I feel supremely confident with the ball in his hands in transition, and I don't think I've ever felt this confident in a player before. He's unflappable. So my question is: Who is he? Have we had this player before?

I'm older than all of you put together, so my frame of reference goes all the way back to Henry Wilmore, whom I saw play as a kid (he was my dad's all-time favorite player). But I'm thinking back to Rickey Green, Eric Turner, Gary Grant, Rumeal Robinson ... we've had great ones, but I don't know that we've had this player before.

So, who is Derrick Walton Jr.?



November 26th, 2014 at 5:54 PM ^

I don't think Walton will ever be as great as Burke, because Burke had it in him to be brilliant, so of course I was confident in Burke. But there's just something calming about Walton leading the break. Whereas Burke might try to do something spectacular, Walton will always do the right thing. Not as spectacular, maybe, but always the right thing.


November 26th, 2014 at 5:58 PM ^

Given name is Derrick Walton Jr. ... Born April 3, 1995, in Detroit, Mich. ... Son of Angela and Derrick Walton Sr. ... Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts ... Undecided major ... Personal Notes ... Right-Handed ... Verbally committed to Michigan (August 1, 2011) ... Signed with Michigan (Nov. 16, 2012).


November 26th, 2014 at 6:57 PM ^

Why doubt it?  I am shocked a mid major has not come for him yet.  Even if his ultimate goal is to be HC here if someone comes for him next year to be a HC it would probably be best for his career to go and get that experience.  He could come back with that under his belt when Beilein retires in 5 years or whenever. 

I am just glad he is being overlooked - the more years our player benefit from Jordan the better for our program.


November 26th, 2014 at 9:15 PM ^

5-6 years is an eternity in the coaching profession.  We are about to go through 2 entire staffs and onto our 3rd in football in that time frame.  To sit as an understudy for half a decade in 1 of the top 10-15 programs in the country when every year there are 20 decent coaching positions that open (different than football, there are way more opportunities for head coaches in basketball) is a low probability.   Going to a Marquette or Georgia Tech program and then coming back in 2020 is not at all unreasonable.

I am biased but I can't think of too many programs where I'd rather have an assistant coach.  Programs like Duke Kansas Kentucky North Carolina have a bevy of HS All Americans so you can't really tell if its development or just rolling through 2-3 HS All Americans (or in UK's case 6) every year.  Michigan and programs like Wisconsin you can see there is actual development going on.  Florida is another one who gets a lot of good players but not necessarily the same as the big 5-6 programs, and has a great head coach that any assistant would benefit from being around for 5 years.  Assistants at those type of schools would most interest me.

I also think there is an advantage for a coach to get exposure - even at a lower profile program - to being responsible for everything in a program.  Not all coaches are made to be HCs.  Sometimes you get a Jimbo Fisher, and sometimes you get a Will Muschamp in football terms.

carlos spicywiener

November 26th, 2014 at 5:58 PM ^

incredible rebounding guard, not as elite a distributor as morris, or a polished a scorer as Burke, but a better balance of the two than either IMO.

I know he wears #10 to honor his dead friend. I hope he comes back next year..


November 26th, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

I think he deserves so be higher than that, but yeah - he would need to jump a massive amount to be a 1st rounder this year, especially when you add in the elite frosh PGs and Mudiay.

EDIT:  Interesting note from that page is that Monte Morris is two spots ahead of Walton.


November 26th, 2014 at 7:04 PM ^

Here is Jeff Goodman's first round of mock (before the season began) - just to put in perspective how difficult it is for "short guys" to get drafted in the 1st, only two players in the entire first round are under 6'5 and those are PGs late in the 1st, and one of those is Tyus Jones who had a ton of hype coming out of HS.  Again - Burke was a massive outlier at his size.



November 26th, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

No, but Burke proved he was elite in other areas.  He was the NPOY.  If you can prove you're awesome, teams will look past the measurables (to an extent).  Walton hasn't proven that yet, and although it's entirely possible Walton has a soph year like Burke had, it certainly isn't likely.


November 26th, 2014 at 6:06 PM ^

"Have we ever had a player like this?"  For real?  Aren't we coming off back-to-back Big Ten players of the year, including a guy was was the National POY? 


Walton's a nice player.  He doesn't even rank on our history charts yet.



November 26th, 2014 at 6:08 PM ^

I should have been more clear. When I said "a player like this," I didn't mean to imply he was our best player ever. He isn't, and won't be. I'm just trying to think if we've had a player with this kind of game before. We've had players with BETTER games, but have we had one with this kind of game? Somebody who played like Walton?


November 26th, 2014 at 7:18 PM ^

E.g., Caris = Mini Durant, Zeke = "Pocket Magic" (although I hate that comparison). 

So Derrick Walton = Mini - "A kind of player Michigan hasn't had". 

Who is that player?

I don't have a ready comparison, but I kind of like it that way.  Means he has the potential to be memorable, and all ours.

San Diego Mick

November 26th, 2014 at 6:15 PM ^

But Trey would be my all time PG for us and I go back to the early 70's as a fan.

My all time team:

PG  Trey Burke 1st, Ricky Green 2nd

SG  Jalen Rose 1st, Nik Stauskas 2nd

SF  Glen Rice 1st, Cazzie Russell 2nd

PF  Chris Webber 1st, Phil Hubbard 2nd

C    Roy Tarpley 1st,  Juwan Howard 2nd


So many more great players are left off this team, we've been spoiled in BBall except for an unfortunate era from late '98 to early '07 and even in that period we had some pretty damn good players.


November 26th, 2014 at 6:13 PM ^

Some of the particulars in the games to date:

19-41 overall from the floor, good for a 46.3% FG%

8-17 from three point land, good for a 47.1 3FG%

Those combined make for a personal eFG% of 56.1%

His 27 rebounds is second overall on the team, and Walton is also 3rd in assists on the team. His A/T ratio is a solid 3.0, good for second on the team as well. His average contribution of 13.8 points per game is also third most on the team and he is one of only three players with a PPG average over 10. 

True Blue Grit

November 26th, 2014 at 6:31 PM ^

At least if your name means you graduated in 1982.  (If it's your age, I apologize)  I think it's too early to anoint DWjr as the best point guard we've had.  I think he's good.  But IMO you can't compare him yet to upper classmen players like Rickey Green or Gary Grant who were here as seniors.  Honestly, Michigan really lacked pure point guards for so many years, I almost think Trey Burke and DWjr (so far) are in a class by themselves.  Gary Grant may be my favorite Michigan guard of all time since he could pretty much do it all and played non-stop with few rests and almost never got into foul trouble.  But he was a bit of a hybrid of a guard to me.  Somewhere between a shooting and point guard. 

Rumeal Robinson may have been the best pure athlete to wear a Michigan basketball uniform.  I'm positive Bo would have loved to have him on the football team.  But, he was not the best ball handler I've seen due to his high dribble which resulted in too many turnovers.  And his outside shooting was definitely streaky. 

But getting to what I think was your question, the book is still out on "who Derrick Walton Jr. is".  He has the potential to be one of the great Michigan guards though.