I was honestly thinking this while watching the game last night. Just unbelievable growth this season - Walton’s whole demeanor has changed. He went from more of a passive offensive creator/spot up shooter (ie., just run the offense) to give me the @&#*(@(# ball and watch me work. Not only that, but I feel like these emotions have started to pay dividends on the defensive side of the ball too. Really will be interesting to see how the BT tourney goes, would love to see Walton lead this team on a bit of a run…
It is like he suddenly realized that he is in the fourth quarter of his career and the minutes are winding down.
I love how he claps in his opponents face when D-ing them up. Even Coach mentioned that as part of his positive body language in one of his recent pressers.
I LOVE the clapping too…gets me pumped for the possession and I end up just watching him instead of the ball.
I said in the off-season, when Dylan was asking who’d be the top ranked UM player in his top 25, that I thought D-Walt was capable of a 17,6,6 season…and one that we’d remember. I felt silly for a while, but even I didn’t expect this. I think back to JB’s comments during last season, when he said that Walton had some “Trey Burke” in him and that he had to find a way to get it out of him.
Flash forward a year and, if we take away our preconceived notions of either player, Walton is playing at a Burke like level as his career finishes. Fun to watch, hope we do show our “appreciation” for years to come.
Loved your passionate description of Derrick starting in the second paragraph. Big smile. Others below it also provided superb support for DW’s ascendance. He belonged on the 1st team All Big 10 team.
He woke up in that one second half. I wish I could go back and remember what game it was. We might have still lost I can’t remember. He came out and the announcers made mention of how he looked pissed or his body language was negative and how he wasn’t doing much. He was swearing or looked like he was talking to himself. I was thinking to myself he’s really pissed at himself not just about this game either. You could see the “aha” moment in his face.
He came in and went off. Hasn’t looked back since. Had he been playing this way all year he’d be the big ten poy imo, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him on the wooden watch list. I couldn’t name too many people outplaying him lately, particularly pg.
I’ve never really liked DWalts game - he always lacked intensity and control that I’d want from a PG. Seemed like he would dog it on defense. But he’s been amazing lately and I will view him completely different. His turnaround has been incredible to see and all credit goes to him for making a change!
8 games - 6 wins, loss in OT @ Minny and loss at the buzzer @ NWestern. Not all the guys have been playing that great (Irvin, Wilson), but we’re still winning because we have had elite PG play.
16pts, 5reb, 7asts, 2 steals, 2 TO’s (last 8 games)
I wonder if going against X’s defense in practice has upped Walton’s game. X is amazingly quick and he does not in any way seem like he would ever bring less than his best whetherit is a game, practice, or a pickup game in the park. Seems like an all in all the time type guy.
I expressed most of what I want to say about Derrick in the Zac Irvin appreciation thread. I thank lilweezy19 for starting this thread and all who have contributed to it. It is highly possible that DWalt may go down as my favorite Wolverine ever. Those who know me, know I’ve been a Michigan fan for a long time, since before the days of Bill Buntin and Cazzie Russell. We’re talking so many great Michigan basketball players, Glen Rice and Rudy T, Rickey Green and Michael Magee, Gary Grant, Jalen Rose, and Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Roy Tarpley, Campy Russell, Phil Hubbard, T Mills, Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught, Daniel Horton, Antoine “The Judge” Joubert, Robert Traylor, and of course the more recent greats, THJ, Glen Robinson, Nick Stauskas, and Trey Burke. And there are more. These were great, great players and I loved watching them play. I never saw Henry Wilmore because I was in the army and then starting my own coaching career. My son, who was raised with Maize 'N Blue blood flowing through his veins, got autographs from many of these players as a kid in the tunnel outside the locker room at Crisler. So, when I say DWalt may go down as my favorite, just know he’s in pretty elite company. The way Derrick has put this team on his back for the latter part of this season is amazing. He’s always had the talent. Coach B knows it and begged him to “hunt his shot.” Zac Irvin knows it and told Derrick, “man you gotta stop giving it to everyone else and just take over!” And so, for the good of the team, that’s what Derrick did! The talent has always been there. Yes, it’s at an all time high this year, especially right now, but the talent has been there. He’s grown and matured under Beilein who helped him develop the talent God and Derrick’s dad gave him. And now he has the confidence to use it…fully…all of it. His unselfishness sometimes got in the way earlier in his career, and earlier this year, but that talent has been there. As a coaches son, he always had to make sure everyone was involved. But the kid is good, real good. Make no mistake about that. He could easily take over in high school. It’s more difficult in college. I personally witnessed his triple double in December last year (2015). But his elite play on the basketball floor is only part of why I love Derrick Walton so much. Like Zac and all Michigan players under Beilein, in addition to being a wonderful player, Derrick Walton is an even better person and teammate. He’s a STUDENT athlete, he’s a leader. He’s well spoken, thoughtful, and articulate. He’s a terrific young man. I was so proud of him for speaking out when Zac was struggling. That’s what a teammate and a leader does. “This is BS!” he said, referring to the criticism his best friend and teammate was getting. That’s special. That’s who I would want to play with. I said it in my comment in Zac’s thread, and yes, I know it was a really long comment, Geoff Clarke, but like I said of Zac, Derrick Walton will be a success in whatever he chooses to do in the future. Basketball, business, coaching, it doesn’t matter. He, too, will make us proud. B1G Tournament MVP, you bet your ass he was! Derrick Walton, another one of Michigan’s Leaders and Best! Go Blue!!!
Is Derrick playing himself into the nba? I really think if he keeps this up and Michigan keeps the Cinderella seed going that we roll see him drafted late first or early second, Michael Jordan jumps out at me. He loves drafting winning productive seniors, I could see him backing up Kemba.
I also would like to add that he is starting to enter Burke territory good. This month and a half was better then burkes poy run imo. He actually might be the better pro prospect too. Better perimeter shooter, better defender, quicker, more athletic, great rebounder for his position. He’s playing better then yogi. Look where yogis at.
At the very least he will be on a summer league squad. Which is way beyond what I would have thought possible in January
I absolutely love the way Derrick is playing right now, and yes, I can absolutely agree he’s playing his way into the NBA conversation. But I would not call him quicker or more athletic than Trey. And Trey only played two years.
Walton’s advantage over Trey as a pro prospect is his shooting. He’s a 40% career 3pt shooter and even better this year, while taking a lot of tough shots. That, with his passing ability, gives me a role to fill on offense. He seems to be athletic enough with getting all those rebounds and has been finishing better in the lane – not his best strength, but maybe not a huge weakness.
Trey has been a bit more of a tweener – not a good enough shooter for the NBA, but not big or athletic enough to get in the lane their either.
I have no idea if D Walt can play in the NBA. I haven’t watched the league in years. But his transformation this year has been amazing. He is simply a BOSS on the floor and it’s been awesome to watch.