ESPN: Derrick Walton is top “sleeper” in class of 2013

Dylan Burkhardt

derrick-walton-adidas-vip-exclusive-run-21[1]ESPN’s updated top 100 slots Zak Irvin at No. 22 (5-star), Derrick Walton at No. 30 and Mark Donnal at No. 89. ESPN tabs Walton as the No. 1 “sleeper prospect” in the class of 2013.

1. Derrick Walton, PG, Michigan
Final ESPN 100 rank: No. 30

Remember, Trey Burke was ranked No. 84 in the Class of 2011 and developed into a Wooden Award winner in his two seasons with Michigan. Walton, who will replace Burke and take the mantle as Michigan’s point guard, has some similar traits to Burke as he is small, tough and competitive. Although we have Walton ranked No. 30, which is relatively high, he still has to fight for everything he earns — which is what makes him special. Walton will lead the Wolverines and will have a wealth of talent around him with a mixture of scorers, size and a strong incoming freshman class coming in with him. Look for him to push the pace with a high-speed dribble and find teammates off penetration with his peripheral vision. Walton is battle tested and has played on the travel team circuit against some of the nation’s best point guards and had his way. Don’t be surprised to see him get more assists than points in any given game, yet he can also make big shots when his team needs them most. He is a clutch performer with the perfect mindset for his position. The opportunity is there for Walton; look for him to capitalize on it.

Watch Walton’s senior season highlights or AAU highlights from last summer here.

  • Daniel

    I would be ok with a 10 points 11 assists per game stat line for Derrick.

    • cameron brooks

      11 assits is crazy……. how about 7 assists

      • Daniel

        Yeah, 11 assists per game would make him the top average assists leader for recorded NCAA basketball. So that’s probably not realistic.
        6-7 a game would be fantastic, though.

  • Hypothetical. Michigan gets “Yogi Ferrell type” production from Walton. How satisfied are you? How good is Michigan?

    • Indiana_Matt

      I don’t think you could be upset with that. Ferrell is 7.6 points and 4.1 assists. I do think that Walton could push 5 assists though. And I think we’re top 3 in the conference and Final Four bound once again.

    • Daniel

      Is Indiana this past season a fair comparison? frosh PG, serious big (Zeller/McGary), great perimeter shooter (Sheehy/Stauskas), athletic 3 (Oladipo/GRIII), returning from a loss at the national championship game.

      • Lost me at the NC game part…

        • Daniel

          Sorry. Sweet sixteen. I got a little Kansas in my IU.

      • DoubES

        I have been making essentially the same comparison myself when projecting for next year and this gives me confidence as IU was an upper echelon team throughout the year. Here is my take:

        Walton = Yogi (similar players in a lot of ways)
        Stauskas > Hulls (comparable shooters, but Nik is NJAS)
        Irvin = Sheehy
        GRIII = Oladipo (GRIII is not as strong a defender but better Offense)
        McGary = Zeller (Inverse of GRIII/Oladipo comparison)

        What we don’t have is a match for Watford, but other than that we compare well to what was a quality team.

        • cameron brooks

          irvin is 10x better offensively than sheehy there is no comparison lol

    • BlueBear_E

      I would want to see slightly better shooting and TO stats as well. How about Yogi Stat line except 5.1 APG, 1.6 TPG, 43.3 FG%, and 32.3 3P%. He needs to be a good enough shooter to keep the floor spaced and make teams pay for staying under the pick’n’roll. Those stats would give Michigan a chance to challenge MSU for the B1G title. He may be #5 in PPG, so we don’t really need him to score that much.

    • cameron brooks

      he was considered one of the best passers in the class.. he doesnt need to be like trey as a frosh. just needs to get everyone involved.

    • UM Hoops Fan

      Can I take his conference shooting stats — Yogi shot 35% from 3 in conference (30% total) and 43% overall (v40%) — but his overall A/TO ratio (closer to a 2-1 than 1.7-1)?

      As a general matter, though, yes — “Yogi Ferrell type” production is pretty much what I’m expecting, although I’d hope to get the shooting numbers a few notches up.

    • DingoBlue

      Agree with hoping for A/TO ratio, hopefully that becomes a non-issue with Beilein preaching ball security. I think if is PPG is similar to Yogi, then I’m hoping he’s dishing out more assists on average. I don’t mind if he’s not scoring tons of points, but I hope he sets his teammates up well.

  • Carcajou

    How can the 30th ranked player in the nation be a “sleeper” of any kind??

    • cameron brooks

      they are saying he’s probably better than 30.. underrated..

      • Cary Bear

        So….I’m left to wonder why they don’t rank him higher haha.

        Also, it’s not that big of a strech for them to say that because his rating of 89 is equal to the #23 player in the country so even ESPN doesn’t distinguish him from a top 25 prospect that greatly. Obviously, it’s better that he makes the list rather than not…but it seems kind of foolish to me, overall.

    • $584645

      He is the 30th best recruit in the nation, however, because he seems to have found the perfect fit in Michigan, he has a good chance of being the best player in college basketball in a couple of years.

  • cameron brooks

    8 PPG and 7 assists MY PREDICTION

  • Champswest

    First, he has to beat out Spike. That won’t be as easy or happen as fast, as most people seem to think.

    • DingoBlue

      I think this is fairly agreed upon by UMHoops commenters. Spike has a year in the system now. Derrick won’t start from game 1, but his talent I feel will definitely earn him the starting spot over the course of the season. Regardless, I hope the 3 PGs teach each other and compete to give the best results on the court.

      • fresh

        I think that this is the most absurd idea that people keep bringing up……nobody knows, including the coaches whether spike or walton will start…………….whoever shows the most over the course of workouts/practices will start……….for anybody to think one person or another has a position locked down is a fool to put things mildly……

        • cameron brooks

          I’m pretty sure 5’11 spike who is a below average defender wont start in the BIG he’s a good solid player but not starter sorry

    • cameron brooks

      spike will start the year, but walton will start the Conference games. Spike is a great shooter with a very high IQ and vision. but walton is also an amazing passer faster more athletic and bigger. Spike is very solid, but not BIG 10 starting martial at the moment

  • donbrake

    I agree. I think with the emergence of Spike from our tournament run, he will be the starting PG and Derrick will come off the bench. But that could be even a blessing in disguise, as he won’t have as much pressure on him from the get go.

    • cameron brooks

      spike isn’t a BIG ten starting PG