Thanks to his play in this summer's AAU circuit, Bolingbrook, Ill., point guard Will Walker has been turning heads and drawing long looks from a slew of high Division I basketball programs. Indiana, meanwhile, appears to be one of those programs that would now like to get involved.
Walker has led an Illinois Wolves' AAU team that has been a big surprise at a handful of summer AAU events, including the Bob Gibbons TOC as well as this past weekend in Las Vegas. That comes on the heels of a high school season where the 5'11", 170-pound Walker averaged 25 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals for Bolingbrook H.S., which went 24-4.
A consensus top-100 player nationally and the 12th-ranked point guard in the country according to Scout.com, Walker said he received a scholarship offer from Michigan and Coach Tommy Amaker while he was in Las Vegas to go along with a handful of others that have already been extended. He said he has offers from Dayton, Cal, Marquette and DePaul, while both UConn and N.C. State are looking at him closely as well.
While Indiana hasn't made contact with him yet, Walker said he has heard that Indiana Coach Mike Davis wants to pursue the Illinois prep.
"I haven't heard much from (IU) yet, but I talked to a guy I know from Chicago and he said he talked to the coach while I was in Vegas and he said that he liked me a lot and he was going to start recruiting me and get in on me," said Walker.
Despite Indiana's late start with Walker, it appears that the Hoosiers still have time to make a strong push for the point guard.
"I'm still letting schools get in, but I'm not going to let them get in later on and later on," said Walker, who is currently in California playing in another AAU event. "If they don't get in after these last two tournaments, then I don't see myself feeling like they are recruiting me too hard. If they aren't calling when I get back home, giving me a call, or calling my AAU coach or high school coach, then toward the second or third week after we get back, as August goes on, I'm not going to let anyone else get in."
Walker's play this summer has cemented his status as one of the elite point guards in the Class of 2006. Even he admitted that he had some doubts heading into the series of high-profile AAU events, but he's now convinced that he matches up with the best that the country has to offer.
"Being able to go against these players has helped my confidence a lot," said Walker. "Before, I was wondering how I'd be able to compete with the rest of these guys. But once I started playing against these guys and started getting the best of most of them, then I knew I could play with anyone."
Among the players that Walker has gone up against this summer are Indianapolis' Mike Conley (Scout.com's 4th-ranked point guard nationally), Willie Kemp (#5), Tory Jackson (#9) and Wayne Ellington (#1 shooting guard).
"It will also help me when I go back home, because I'll know that I went up and played against the top guards and got the best of them, so I know I should be killing the guards back home," said Walker.
While Walker's ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter and penetrate are two of the things that have made him a big name in the Class of 2006, it's some of the intangibles that he said he's spending the most time on this summer.
"I think one of my strengths is probably being able to lead my team," said Walker. "That's what I've worked on a lot this summer - being more vocal, getting everyone in the right spots. It's been a lot easier to win games by making sure everyone is in the right spots, making the right decisions.
"It's something I've had to work on, because I'm sort of quiet on the court. It was hard at first, but my coaches kept telling me to talk about what I'm doing in practice, say what I'm doing, if I'm help side, if I'm denying, if I'm on the ball – keep telling my team what I was doing, and that helped me a lot to be able to know I should be talking."
IU, Davis About To Get Serious With Walker?
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