NBA: Walker Declares


By Zack Cimini

Time and time again college success doesn’t translate to the NBA. Kemba Walker looks as if he has decided to skip his senior season and declare for the NBA draft. Why shouldn’t he? Academically he will graduate, and he is coming off one of the more prolific statistical seasons from a college athlete. He did this all with a team that was supposed to be unimpressive, and full of underclassmen. The school was also surrounded by allegations that surfaced from the past, and led to a three game suspension for Coach Calhoun next season.

None of that affected Kemba Walker. He stormed the scene in the Maui Invitational. Shocking upsets over Michigan State and Kentucky, which propelled the Huskies from not ranked to the top ten. When the wall of the Big East came and the Huskies finished 9-9 in the conference, it seemed like the Huskies had been figured out. Trying to Jimmer Fredette other teams proved an impossible feat. If there is one conference good at adjusting against one another it is the Big East. Syracuse pulled out their usual zone defense against the Huskies, and that’s when the decline began. Walker scored a season low eight points, and the same concepts were applied by multiple Big East teams.

Turnovers started to pick up for Walker along with poor shooting performances. He just wasn’t trusting his younger teammates, and putting to much pressure on himself. Then the Big East conference tournament came along. The transformation as an improved shooter, ball handler, and scorer was evident all season. The area he showcased that made him the best all around college player and eventual NCAA champion, is what carried this team in the post season. He stopped solely relying on himself, and started feeding and trusting his teammates. Confidence began to brew for his team. The freshman began to shoot the ball better and as a team they matured exponentially on the defensive end.

At around 5’10, Walker must know he’ll have to carry over the play making part of his NCAA tournament run to the NBA. The scorer first pass second mentality has to change by a large ratio. Adapting to guards just as quick as him and likely stronger will take some time. So where will Walker fall in the NBA Draft?

We figure he should still be a top ten to fifteen pick. He should come off the bench and can be an instant impact minutes producer for a team. One area he’ll need to concentrate on is getting rid of the ball upon penetration. John Wall’s speed is one of his best assets, but also gets him in trouble quite often. He’ll dribble into the lane with no where to go with the ball and cause turnovers. Walker made the most of his production upon penetration in college or utilizing his step back jumper.

Will Walker be a bust or solid NBA player? Will go with the latter. He has the drive that you expect to never wane, even when millions become a factor. He’ll always work on improving his game and becoming a better all around player. It’s always tough for a small stature guard to have an advanced career in the NBA.

The best player we can compare Walker too for the NBA is a JJ Barea or Aaron Brooks. Probably a mesh of both. Brooks has the speed to blow by opponents or use his streaky three point shot. While Barea is crafty anywhere with the ball. He’ll take it to the hoop or get creative with his intermediate jumpshot. Either way, Walker will find his niche with a team and sustain a relative long career in the NBA.

There will not be any D-League stints for Mr. Walker.


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