By Corey Johns
Loyola fell 75-61 to Bucknell in game they just couldn’t seem to figure out how to stop the 3-point barrage, but it was Greyhounds freshman Andre Walker who shined brightest, even in defeat.
On Wednesday night, the guard from Westbury, New York, led the Greyhounds with his third-straight 17-point outing – the fifth time this season he scored more than 15 points, including 17-point effort in his first-ever college game earlier this season at Texas Tech.
Currently averaging 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game, Walker appears to be a lock to make the Patriot League All-Rookie team, but he also seems like a major contender to win the conference’s Rookie of the Year award.
Lehigh’s Kahron Ross would apper to be Walker’s top competition, and is averaging more minutes as the Mountain Hawks starting point guard, and is leading his team with 5.8 assists per game to go with 9.2 points per contests. Walker’s own teammate, Cam Gregory, will also be in contention, averaging 7.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as the Greyhounds starting power forward.
But it is Walker who changes games.
When Walker drove hard from the top of the key over to the left side and pulled up for the mid-range jumper, drawing a foul while sinking the shot, or when he drove down the left side of the paint, completely disregarding the three fouls he already had to make an aggressive move to get a great layup and foul, it showed how dangerous he truly is on he court.
Top players are fearless. They aren’t going to dial it down because they have fouls on them. They aren’t going to second-guess their shots if things aren’t falling for them. And they aren’t going to avoid contact when they know they are better than the defender.
Walker, like a true scorer, creates his own shot and does it with the natural ease of a fifth-year senior. It’s truly something special and something the Greyhounds can really build a championship team around in the future.