Walker Silently Doing the Job

Michael Beasley is sure to be the Big 12's Player of the Year, if not the premier player in the nation, but Kansas State also has another player who is a first-team all-Big 12 candidate in Bill Walker. Walker is in an elite class of Beasley (KSU), Aleks Maric (NU) and Richard Roby (CU) as the only players in the league to rank among the Top 11 in scoring and rebounding in Big 12 games.

Michael Beasley, Michael Beasley, Michael Beasley you get the idea.

Indeed, Michael Beasley has been the talk of the Kansas State basketball season as the 6-foot-10 freshman is on track to become the National Player of the Year.

But don't forget the recent play of Bill Walker.

Had it not been for Beasley, Walker would be getting rave reviews like few Wildcats before him in the last two decades.

In Big 12 games only, the 6-foot-6 Wildcat freshman is averaging 16.6 points per game, to rank sixth high in the Big 12, and his 6.6 rebounds ranks 11th high.

While the numbers are pretty fancy, coach Frank Martin says that his power-forward could care less about statistics, and, isn't fazed a bit by the second billing he's getting to his teammate, and roommate, Mr. Beasley.

Bill cares about winning, Martin said. If he scores six and we win, he's the happiest player we have in the locker room. If he scores 30 and we lose, there is no one more peeved.

Walker started the season as a small-forward, but slowed by an off-season knee injury, he was moved inside to play along side Beasley.

He's so powerful in tight areas, marveled KSU assistant coach Brad Underwood. He has the strength to play inside, but is also still capable of playing outside.

Demonstrating that is the fact that his 25 3-pointers leads the team.

As for overcoming the knee surgery, one who was not concerned was Martin.

When you're around Bill, the last thing you worry about is his toughness and his will, Martin said. He has an unbelievable passion for winning. You need that to overcome some of the things he needed to overcome.

Martin went on to say that the latest knee injury that came in January of 2007, has partially forced Walker to change his game.

He's gone from a high-flyer, and dunker, to a guy who is playing the game of basketball, Martin said. He's one of our best passers, if not our best passer, and defensively he has the ability to take the strength of a player away from them.

Underwood refers to Walker's high IQ for the game as one of the reasons he's playing to first-team all-Big 12 status.

Bill understands the game, and he understands how he can feed off of Mike, and Mike can feed off of him, Underwood said.

Walker is shooting 44 percent from the field, and while Underwood says that he'll never be a Cartier Martin-type shooter, he added, He's worked hard on his shooting, and he's shown the ability to make timely shots.


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