Michigan junior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. led Michigan with 24-points and seven assists in an 88-68 win over Elon Monday

Michigan junior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. led Michigan with 24-points and seven assists in an 88-68 win over Elon Monday.

Michigan's Derrick Walton Jr. looked like the Walton Jr. of old Monday night in an 88-68 home win over Elon.

"I'm just really happy to be back healthy," Walton Jr. said. "My teammates really encouraged me to be more aggressive. I just took their advice and it paid off for me."

Dealing with a lingering toe injury a season ago as a sophomore, eventually shutting him down for the season, Walton Jr. showed great quickness on both ends of the floor and precision in his outside shot to finish with a game high 24-points for the Wolverines.

"I would say I've been shooting the ball pretty well but just really thank my teammates for giving me the extra pass, to get my feet set and make the shot," Walton Jr. said. 

"A couple times those guys could've took the shot but with the mentality of this team, so selfless, I was the next man to take the shot."

For Walton Jr., an aggressive approach on the offensive end, particularly scoring the basketball, can be a challenge for a player certainly focused on distributing the basketball. Walton Jr. finished the game knocking down 6-of-7 three-point attempts.

Walton Jr. also tied for the team lead with seven assists for the night. But of a concerted effort to score the ball is needed for Michigan and a trait that could come over time.

"I don't want to make analogies to Trey Burke but Trey was really good at sort of hunting a little bit more off a ball screen and that hunting mentality is something that he has to have," Beilein said. 

"I think Trey was more of a scorer who played point guard and Derrick's more of a point guard who can score. We've got to keep having him be more aggressive cause, as you can see, it's a beautiful jump shot."

Not one to shy away from jumping on the defensive glass despite his size, Walton Jr. also managed to reel in six rebounds in his 30 minutes of action.

One area Walton Jr. also attempted to make a greater impact was defensively, responsible for a steal and impressing his head coach John Beilein.

To Walton Jr., there's a method to his madness when it comes to ball pressure near half court.

"With this team, we've got so many different types of athletes, we know if we get out and run it's easy for us to get baskets," Walton Jr. said. 

"Being the point guard I tried to hit it and Caris too. We took it personally and tried to get out and get some baskets."


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