The Only Colors continues to look back at the 2021-2022 men’s basketball season. We will examine how each Spartan performed individually during the most recent basketball season, where he is at this point in his MSU career and what we might be able to expect during the 2022-2023 season.
Tyson Walker went through some expected struggles during his first Big Ten season, but the Northeastern transfer clearly found his footing late in the year.
36 games (28 starts), 22.6 minutes, 8.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 42.7% fields goals, 47.3% three pointers, 81.0% free throws
It’s hard to really quantify how Walker has developed from the year before because he was in a totally different situation at Northeastern before transferring to Michigan State. He was the clear cut go-to-guy and by far the most prolific scorer for the Huskies, but at Michigan State, he was used much more like a traditional point guard out of the gate.
He took way less shots in a Spartan uniform (6.8 compared to 14.6 during his sophomore season at Northeastern) and overall had to adjust to the size and strength of Big Ten opponents. While he also showed the defensive ability that made him a Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player Of The Year in 2021, he clearly wasn’t allowed to freelance as much since, for example, his steal numbers went way down from 2.4 to 0.9.
Just like for his fellow point guard A.J. Hoggard, Walker’s season was littered with ups and downs. In the earlier part of the year, it showed how tough adjusting to a new level of play can be, especially considering how he had to learn on the fly to be a Tom Izzo point guard. He actually was Izzo’s first transfer point guard ever, complicating things on both ends. Even the great ones like Cassius Winston took their time of really getting a grasp for what the Hall Of Fame coach wants and demands out of his floor general, and those players came directly out of high school without learning a completely different college system first.
Now, most of Walker’s struggles throughout the year can be considered of the mental variety. After being a scoring playmaker at Northeastern, Walker wasn’t sure at MSU when to look for his own shot or when to create something for his teammates in the early going. His reaction was to mostly to defer, even if it was a detriment to the entire offense and bogged things down quite a bit. At times the lack of aggression from Walker almost became infuriating. The most frustrating part for the fans and for the coaching staff was that overall, it never really looked like the junior had problems getting his shot off even against better competition.
Now, that wasn’t necessarily true for his finishing…
Read More: Michigan State Spartans Men’s Basketball 2021-2022 Season Review: Tyson Walker 2022-05-13 19:45:00