15 - Kemba Walker

6-1, 184 Point Guard
UConn Junior
05/08/90 (31.4 yrs)
Bronx, NY
High School
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Tim Hardaway/Bobby Jackson

Strengths: Walker’s game is marked by "electricity" and explosiveness. Plays with an undefinable burst, seemingly moving in warp speed while everyone else is standing still- yet he remains for the most part under control, with the ball on a string. Working in his favor is a freakish blend of raw speed, breathtaking quickness, ultra-aggression and sneaky power. Scores from anywhere on the court (23.5 ppg). Can’t be contained by a single defender off the dribble, be it in the half court or most notably in transition. Splits double teams and traps in a blink. Changes direction at FULL speed. He is a master at creating space, using jab steps, cross overs and pump fakes to shed defenders. Highly creative with the rock in his hands and finishing at the rim. Able to complete plays through contact with a full head of steam. Also able to re-adjust angles and avoid shot blockers by hanging and improvising in mid-air. Constantly in attack mode, frequently living at the charity stripe (7.7 attempts). Scoop shots and floaters are not foreign to his arsenal either. Overall shooting aptitude has improved dramatically since arriving on campus. His range shooting is now a real weapon (33% on 5.5 attempts), despite a myriad of low percentage, bail out chucks. He’s always been extremely comfortable shooting step back J’s off the dribble, but displayed a new wrinkle coming off screens as the season progressed. Solid elevation and high release. Tremendous two-footed leaper in space. Despite his gift for the putting the ball in the bucket, he’s very much a facilitator (4.5 apg), creating open shots for others by commanding a second/third defender. Prolific rebounder for his size (5.4 rpg), completely unafraid to mix it up with bigger bodies. Excellent lateral quickness with fluid hips. Beats the offensive player to the spot. Opportunistic defensively- if you’re careless with the ball, he’ll take it back the other way for a deuce (1.9 stl). His motor never runs low (38 minutes per). A true winner with a warrior’s spirit.  

Weaknesses: His measurement of 6’1 with shoes was a win, but he remains an undersized commodity, his standing reach of 7’7.5 is the same as 5’10 PG Isaiah Thomas. Defending the new breed of NBA point guards will be a severe challenge. He takes a ton of hits in his 184-pound frame, and while he’s been anything but fragile, it’s a concern over the long haul. Walker’s an unselfish distributor and a dynamic playmaker, but he’ll never be mistaken for an orchestrator or true lead guard. Connecticut’s half court offense was largely late clock isolations: can he get a team organized and operate an NBA style, functional system? Has a tendency to play out of control times, but to his credit he has learned to pace himself when the situation calls for it (2.3 turnovers). It’s difficult to cage a lion, and as a result he will go through patches where he gets caught up in the emotion of the game. Too many out of control shot attempts, attacking the trees wildly when there’s simply nothing available. Fearless is a great quality as long as it doesn’t reach the point of reckless. Criticizing him for lack of efficiency (43% fg) is probably unfair given the tremendous burden placed upon his shoulders. Nevertheless, he does have a tendency to waste possessions. He finished in traffic at the collegiate level, but the NBA paint is a different animal. Continued advancement in the mid-range, pull up game will go a long ways in getting more quality looks and saving his body. Shooting stroke needs fine tuning, particularly from range. Arc on his jumper brings rain and inhibits consistent results.

Adam Ganeles 5/24/11

Strengths: A point guard with amazing speed, his quickness and ability to change direction make him the player he is … Slick with the ball in his hands, Walker has great potential if he’s able to fix a few flaws in his game … His shot isn’t fully there yet, however it improved dramatically from his freshman year to his sophomore year … He’s become a better spot up shooter, and his pull-up jumper off the dribble is what will propel him to become and effective guard at the next level …  Doesn’t have consistent range yet, but he has a smooth and fluent motion, leaving the door open to hitting 3 pointers in the NBA … Has a good feel for the pick and roll, an important quality to be successful in the pros … He’s very effective getting into the paint, which not only opens up opportunities for himself, but his teammates as well … For his size (5’11), he finishes pretty well around the rim … He’s explosive, and has a quick first step … His aggressive nature enables him to shoot 6 free throws per game … He has above average vision with the ball, showing the ability to hit the open man, open up the floor, or thread the needle … Defensively, he plays in your face on the perimeter, and his quickness allows him to keep his man in front of him … His athletic ability and defensive awareness get him 2 steals, which illustrate his ability to read passing lanes …

Weaknesses: Kemba’s main flaw, other than his size, seems to be his poor decision making … Occasionally takes bad shots, and forces the issue … Being under 6 feet tall at the next level will hurt him, as he may struggle to convert in traffic … Gets his shot blocked too often, a problem that will only increse at the next level if he doesn;t make an adjustment … Tends to force up shots or unrealistically attempt to draw fouls in the paint, when he should look to penetrate and kick it out … Sometimes has his mind set on his next move before he sees what’s given to him … Still turnover prone, although he plays 35 minutes per game so the ball is in his hands a lot … He lacks consistent range on his jumper, and will need to improve in that department … Defensively, he’s quick and moves well, however his lack of size at the next level will allow other guards to shoot/pass over him … Lack of strength might allow others to push him around against taller, stronger guards … Should look to add a better floater in the lane instead of penetrating in so far every time …

Overall: Walker is a fast as they come, and with his aggressive style and ability to blow by practically anyone, he has potential to be a quality point guard … He will need to learn to let the game come to him better, and his size might scare off some GMs … His pull-up game, quickness and playmaking ability however can make him into an effective player, regardless of his size …

Jonathan Wasserman – 3/9/10

Strengths: Has the makings of an excellent pro point guard … Superb end-to-end speed and quickness. Can ignite a fastbreak completely on his own … A terrific rebounder for his size, Walker often outleaps big men for boards and takes the ball coast-to-coast … A dynamite athlete capable of throwing down an array of high-flying dunks … One of the most explosive guards in all of college basketball … Possesses a nice outside stroke and has the ability to pull up off a pick-and-roll and knock down a contested 3 pointer … Shows good instincts and court vision when he gets into the paint … Excellent free throw shooter (84% through 12 games)… Plays with tremendous passion and seems to have the makings of a vocal leader despite being a freshman on an experienced UConn team … A strong on-ball defender …With a bit more technique, Walker can become a shutdown defender on the perimeter.

Weaknesses: Lack of size (he’s listed at 6-foot-1, but is probably closer to 6-feet) creates some limitations on both offense and defense … Like many young players, Walker often gets caught trying to do too much … Many of his turnovers are the result of overdribbling or making an extra pass when it is not needed … Still lacks experience and can be a bit erratic with the ball … Assist to turnover ratio is essentially 1-to-1 (2.8 assists per game and 2.7 turnovers). Needs time running the show fulltime (instead of splitting the load with AJ Price) …

Kevin Duffy – 1/2/09

YouTube Clip – 3/13/2011

YouTube Clip – 3/16/2011

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