Balance Defines Walton's Game (with Video)

Derrick Walton's strong play continued at the Spiece Run-n-Slam tournament in Ft. Wayne, IN last weekend. The Michigan commit proved to be among the event's top point guards thanks to his ability to balance setting up teammates with getting his own offense. GBW spoke with him about his approach to the position, the growth of his game, and more. **Video interview and highlights included.**

To the average basketball fan a point guard’s job is to bring the basketball up the floor and set up his teammates, but a floor general’s role is much more complicated than that.  For instance, sometimes he has to manage egos on the team. He has to make sure he rewards his big guys by getting them involved in the offense.  He can’t just pass the ball; he has to hit guys at the right time with the right pass for the right shot.  He has to encourage and direct his teammates when the game is not going well. On top of all of that, he must score with the opportunity presents itself or the situation demands it.  It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but Chandler Park Academy point guard, Derrick Walton is doing it.

“I just try and keep everyone happy making sure I get my teammates involved in the game,” said Walton during the Spiece Run n’ Slam All Star Classic.  "As a point guard that is what I try and do. In my last two or three games I haven’t had to do a lot of scoring, so I just want to get everyone their fair share of touches.”

In one of the later games, however, Walton strapped the team on his back and rescued it from a tournament ending defeat.  Down three and his team on the brink of elimination he nailed a huge three pointer to force overtime.  He added another big triple and multiple trips to the foul line in the extra session en route to 24 points and the victory.  It was an example of his ability to adapt his game to his team’s needs.

Some lead guards wouldn’t be able to adapt to sharing the ball with another point guard the caliber of Flint Beecher’s Monte Morris. That, though, is not how Walton is built.

“I don’t have a problem with playing with Monte,” he said.  “We have known each a long time. It is like playing against a two-headed monster with me and Monte.  He gets in the lane and I am up and down the floor. Guards will have a tough time guarding both of us”.

That kind of unselfishness serves Walton well every time he is on the floor.  It’s was particularly beneficial during his run on the USA team that participated in the Albert Schweitzer tournament in Germany last month.  Despite little time to practice together and extremely stiff competition, the Red, White, and Blue managed to earn a seventh place finish.  It was yet another challenge that helped the future Michigan point guard further grow his game.

“I thought it was a good experience -- something new to get ready to play in a college atmosphere,” he said.  “I had a chance to play against older guys that were bigger and stronger.  They were more skilled (than) the average guy in the states. It has given me an advantage, going over there, to be more mature and more poised and being used to the shot clocks.”

For the full video interview and highlights of Walton in action at the Spiece tournament, press play below.


The Michigan Insider Top Stories

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To the average basketball fan a point guard’s job is to bring the basketball up the floor and set up his teammates, but a floor general’s role is much more complicated than that.  For instance, sometimes he has to manage egos on the team. He has to make sure he rewards his big guys by getting them involved in the offense.  He can’t just pass the ball; he has to hit guys at the right time with the right pass for the right shot.  He has to encourage and direct his teammates when the game is not going well. On top of all of that, he must score with the opportunity presents itself or the situation demands it.  It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but Chandler Park Academy point guard, Derrick Walton is doing it.

“I just try and keep everyone happy making sure I get my teammates involved in the game,” said Walton during the Spiece Run n’ Slam All Star Classic.  "As a point guard that is what I try and do. In my last two or three games I haven’t had to do a lot of scoring, so I just want to get everyone their fair share of touches.”

In one of the later games, however, Walton strapped the team on his back and rescued it from a tournament ending defeat.  Down three and his team on the brink of elimination he nailed a huge three pointer to force overtime.  He added another big triple and multiple trips to the foul line in the extra session en route to 24 points and the victory.  It was an example of his ability to adapt his game to his team’s needs.

Some lead guards wouldn’t be able to adapt to sharing the ball with another point guard the caliber of Flint Beecher’s Monte Morris. That, though, is not how Walton is built.

“I don’t have a problem with playing with Monte,” he said.  “We have known each a long time. It is like playing against a two-headed monster with me and Monte.  He gets in the lane and I am up and down the floor. Guards will have a tough time guarding both of us”.

That kind of unselfishness serves Walton well every time he is on the floor.  It’s was particularly beneficial during his run on the USA team that participated in the Albert Schweitzer tournament in Germany last month.  Despite little time to practice together and extremely stiff competition, the Red, White, and Blue managed to earn a seventh place finish.  It was yet another challenge that helped the future Michigan point guard further grow his game.

“I thought it was a good experience -- something new to get ready to play in a college atmosphere,” he said.  “I had a chance to play against older guys that were bigger and stronger.  They were more skilled (than) the average guy in the states. It has given me an advantage, going over there, to be more mature and more poised and being used to the shot clocks.”

For the full video interview and highlights of Walton in action at the Spiece tournament, press play below.

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