Derrick Walton Jr.: 'I just want to be aggressive'

Looking for an opportunity to score, Derrick Walton Jr. led Michigan with 24 points today, as the Wolverines lost 70-62 at MSU.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – With Zak Irvin struggling and Moritz Wagner in foul trouble, Derrick Walton Jr. had to be Michigan’s primary scorer today against Michigan State.

For his effort, Walton finished with a game-high 24 points, on 4-of-12 shooting, making an astonishing 14-15 free throw attempts.

Not bad.

Yet, despite his scoring outburst, Michigan still lost at its rival Michigan State, 70-62, after arguably Walton Jr.’s best game in Big Ten play.

“I know this team looks at me as a leader,” Walton Jr. said. “And when I play and show the phase that it’s time to win. I think it follows suit. At the same time, (my teammates) give me courage to lead. It’s a two-way street; I just try to exude it by playing hard and smart.”

That was evident in the second half, with U-M trailing 32-28 at the half, Walton Jr. answered with back to back 3s to tie it quickly at 34-all.

“I just want to be aggressive,” Walton said of his back-to-back 3s to start the second half, adding: “I think the first shot I took of  the game, I thought it was all net. I left it short and I missed one after that. I kind of settled.

“The second half I just wanted to attack and get the free-throw line, make plays and slow the game down.”

Next up, Michigan plays host to Ohio State this Saturday at 6 p.m.

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