Brownsburg (Ind.) sophomore guard K.J. Walton scored 11 points and seven rebounds in the Bulldogs loss to Avon (Ind.) 54-51 Friday night.
Walton fouled out late in the fourth quarter on an offensive foul (his third of the game) and was never able to get in a rhythm offensively all night.
“When I started off, I got in the game. I just tried to force too much,” Walton told GoBlueWolverine.com. “And when they start to setup the charge instead of pulling up (for a jump shot). But will learn for next time—I will play smarter."
“I just try to score whenever I can. I really don’t think that certain people can stay in front of me. When my teammates get me involved, I just try to score whenever I can and help my team win.”
Walton’s contact with Michigan has been limited up to this point, but there is definite interest on his part.
“I definitely like the program,” he said. “I know there is a lot of people from Indiana like (Michigan 2013 commit) Zak Irvin that’s going there. So I definitely like the program.”
While Walton hasn’t set visits to Ann Arbor, he says a visit will likely happen in the future.
What is exactly is Walton looking for in a program?
“First thing is academics and then after that I want to see if they have a good program,” he replied. “Are they going to win? How is the coach going to treat me? Is going to help me get better? And that’s pretty much what I am looking for.”
As far as a decision timeline, Walton says he will take a patient approach to his recruitment.
“(A decision) will probably be late junior year or start of my senior year just to see who all is going to start recruiting me. Yeah, I will probably wait till after my junior year.”
For more insight on Walton, we caught up with Brownsburg coach Ronald Norad after the Bulldogs’ loss. Norad, who starred for Butler from 2008-12, talks about Walton’s game in an exclusive interview.
Josh Newkirk: What’s your assessment of K.J. Walton as a player?
Ronald Norad: “He is very athletic. He is really athletic. When he uses his athleticism, he is pretty good.”
Josh Newkirk: I know he is a young guy, but what are some weaknesses he could improve on?
Ronald Norad: “I think he has to more tuned defensively. It’s like, he is so long, but he doesn’t use his length well. He can have his hands be more active. He can be closing out with his hands higher. And he just doesn’t use his length well—yet--So I think getting him to want to play defense more is something I think we can really instill in him, so he can be that much better.”
Josh Newkirk: Walton finished the night with seven rebounds. Can he be guard that can be a force on the glass?
Ronald Norad: “What he is really go at is going the offensive glass. He’s a great cutter. He is really good at finding that ball on the offensive glass. He did it a couple times tonight. Now, we have to get him to be that aggressive guarding the ball, off the ball, and what we are doing, and then going to the defensive glass.”
Josh Newkirk: Now, is this a fluke thing tonight with the three offensive charges?
Ronald Norad: “He had couple last week too. So he needs to realize when he needs to kick. When he has the ball everybody focuses on him. So he needs to realize when he needs to kick. And he needs to realize when he needs to shoot a pull up (jumper.)”
Josh Newkirk: I noticed he can create off the dribble. How has he developed as a finisher?
Ronald Norad: “We’ve really been working on finishes as a group. I don’t think we finish that well as we possibly can all together. Obviously, he had some opportunities to finish and didn’t. But that’s not just him, that’s all of us.”
Josh Newkirk: As far as a prospect out there, Walton is already getting looked at by some top schools. What’s the limit on him? How good can he possibly be?
Ronald Norad: “He can be really good. If he gets a motor 100 percent of time. He can be pretty high level. His athleticism is already pretty high. If he can combine that athleticism with some toughness and a motor that never stops—man—he can be a really good college basketball player and maybe a little further than that.”