Walters granted fifth year

Although it was expected news, it was good news on Wednesday for the Wildcats. The team learned that Kirk Walters has indeed been granted an additional season of eligibility.

Due to a concussion and fatigue stemming from a bout of mono, the senior big man played just three minutes in two games a year ago. He had just a single rebound and one shot attempt in the limited action.

Walters bolsters a front court that lacks experience and production. He is expected to be the lead candidate to start at center, joining sophomore Jordan Hill on the front line. At the very least he'll give the Wildcats a potential shot blocking/altering presence in the middle that they lacked a year ago.

"If we get some to block shots, we can extend our defense on the perimeter and take more chances," Josh Pastner said back in March. "Last season we did not have that presence in the middle and out defense suffered."

The irony is that Walters was pulled out of redshirt opportunities in each of his first two seasons. Injuries and transfers prevented him from sitting out as a true freshman and after a lack of post production the next season, Walters was pulled from the redshirt in an effort to provide some help for Channing Frye and Ivan Radenovic.

"I'm glad that we can count on having him back," said head coach Lute Olson. "In a way, this was a blessing for Kirk. The extra year of maturity will benefit him next season."

For his career Walters has played in 78 games, starting 26. He has averaged 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds a game. All 26 starts came his junior season when he posted averages of 6.1 points and 3.5 rebounds a game.

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