Sports Illustrated names Derrick Walton ninth best incoming recruit

Dylan Burkhardt

derrick-walton-adidas-vip-exclusive-run-21[1]Derrick Walton was tabbed as the No. 9 incoming freshman by Sports Illustrated.

It is impossible to replace someone like Burke. The good news for Walton is that he doesn’t have to be Burke. Not even close. The two aforementioned NBA draft abstentions (center Mitch McGary and forward Glenn Robinson III) will make the freshman point guard’s transition into college much less stressful. Walton is likely to replace Burke in the starting lineup (sophomore Spike Albrecht could also see significant minutes), but thanks to the respective returns of McGary, Robinson and sophomore Nik Stauskas, among others, there will be no great need for him to match, or even come close, to Burke’s production. Michigan is considered one of the clear favorites in the Big Ten this season, but much of that opinion is rooted not in Walton himself, but the players returning around him. Walton’s impact may not be as statistically pronounced as some of the other players on this list, but he will be asked to log major minutes on a team very much in contention for a conference championship. As “impacts” go, that feels pretty big.

Daniels: “I like Derrick’s toughness and his speed. He’s certainly going to have a lot of opportunities from the get-go. He’s a guy that’s won a lot of games at the high school level and I think he fits into what Michigan wants to do pretty well.”

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  • Gordon

    High praise for a 4-star. Did something change? Regardless, good to hear.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    glad to hear that the experts believe in Irvin & Walton being contributors this year…what do you guys think of Donnal? will he get any pt this year with our stacked frontcourt already? obviously next month will see where beilein feels his at…

    • Northern Blue

      It’s tough to say, I think the only way he gets on the floor early is if he can hit the 3 above 35 percent and can play at the 4. There is no room at the 5, with McGary, Morgan and Horford there. I really dont see McGary playing the 4 unless its just on offense he does so with Morgan playing te 5, and the two switching on defence. Hes young for this class though and he already looks plenty skilled so i think the future is bright with him… the physicality, defence and rebounding might take a year or two for him though. In my opinion I see a very good upperclassmen in Donnal. Maybe even a 2nd round pick because of his “stretch 4 ability”

      • kamOV

        I think he plays.. Bacari tweeted he’s more skilled and athletic than he knew before he came in. He’s 6’10 can hit the 3.. i think its a caris situation. 6-8 minutes a game at the stretch 4 position

    • geoffclarke

      IMO, about 70 of the 80 minutes at the 4 and 5 will be used by Morgan, McGary, and Robinson. That leaves at most, IMO, 10 minutes for Horford and Donnal – two players who will see a significant bump in playing time next season. If it were me, I would give all 10 of those minutes to Horford in hopes that he would be the starting 5 next year, and redshirt Donnal. As we saw with Morgan, redshirting can be a very positive thing for a freshman big man. Donnal could have a good redshirt freshman season with a much higher ceiling than Morgan.

      Of course I reserve the right to change my opinion after seeing Donnal play in the exhibition games.

  • Wayman Britt

    Well if the football team doesn’t get it’s act together soon, more of us fans will be chompin’ at the bit for UM basketball.

  • Mattski

    Still believe a lot of M’s success will rest on Walton’s performance. Won’t have to set the earth on fire, but will need to be running the team with some confidence by season’s end. He’s a freshman and we can expect that he’ll be shaky from time to time.

  • gobluemd16

    I can’t wait any longer for the season to start. Obviously like M football, but nothing excites me more than basketball season.

    • DingoBlue

      I’m with you on this one. November is the best month until March if your b-ball team does well!