Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Kemba Walker 2009-2010 M.V.P.
Kemba Walker deserves the M.V.P award with his resurgent play down the stretch of the year. When Dyson struggled, it was Walker that stepped up and took charge of the team. He was more assertive with the ball in his hands, solid on defense, the best outside threat, and was UConn’s best free throw shooter. His season was a polar opposite of Jerome Dyson’s. During the first half of the year, Kemba was hesitant in his shot selection and would take his first shot six to ten minutes into the ballgame. He tried to be the distributor of the basketball, but the team needed him to be a more focal part of the offense to compete in the Big East with Dyson’s and Robinson’s offensive struggles..
Walker’s jumper improved throughout the season and became UConn’s most deadly outside threat with Dyson’s inconsistency and Coombs-McDaniel’s confidence issues. He never really developed a mid-ranged game, which he needs to do in order to break the zone that gave him problems all season. He has a tremendous first step and is beginning to get the feel for the pick and roll offense that Calhoun primarily uses. If he can master the pick-and-pop, then NBA scouts will be drooling, because he has all the offensive tools.
His defense is underrated and does a great job of creating charges. His speed allows him to anticipate and get position on his opponent. With the little amount of depth behind him, he wasn’t as aggressive early in ballgames and didn’t get as many steals as he could have, but he has a knack for passing lanes and does a solid job of swiping at the ball. It will be a necessity for him to remain in ballgames next season and he might need to become less aggressive of an on the ball defender.
With Walker definitely returning, it gives UConn a solid foundation to work with, though he will have a ton of unproven talent to work with. He will be surrounded with some young but athletic pieces, but with freshmen, it is impossible to know exactly what output that they can consistently give you on a day in, day out basis. He will have to shoulder much of the offensive load until scoring options emerge. If he progresses even more this upcoming season then he should be among the best point guards in the country.