Filling the shoes of an All-American point guard is never an easy task, but 4-star signee Derrick Walton appears to be more than capable of doing so.
Walton excels in transition, which is where his speed and athleticism can create openings for others. Finishing plays off on the fast break is not a problem for Walton either. In this sense, Walton is a lot like departing sophomore Trey Burke, which means the offense will not change very much this season.
Scoring is another facet of the game in which Walton has the ability to dominate. The 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year in Michigan will need to become a more consistent shooter, but Walton can rack up monster games when he catches fire.
Anything from mid-range is a very high percentage shot for Walton, though.
Not only does Walton have the potential to be a dynamic scorer, he makes sure to get all of his teammates involved as well. Slick passes and dump-offs in transition helped Walton average 10.1 assists as a senior at Chandler Park (Mich.) Academy.
At the defensive end of the floor, Walton is as active as anyone. In addition to the 26.2 points per game Walton put up in 2012-13, he grabbed 7.7 rebounds and forced 5.4 steals.
The only knock on Walton's game right now is his strength. Things are going to get physical in the Big Ten and Walton will need to add some muscle to handle the meat-grinder that is league play.
With Walton at the helm of the offense, Michigan will continue to be at its best when it gets out in transition. Spike Albrecht's 17-point outburst in the national title game has made this an open competition for the starting spot at point guard.
Look for Walton to beat out Albrecht, though, and replace Burke in the starting five. Thanks to Walton and Albrecht, point guard play will yet again be a strength for the Wolverines in 2013-14.