Ex-UM star Walton needs NBA team to roll dice on him – The Detroit News

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Former Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. hopes NBA teams look beyond his 5-foot-11, 189-pound frame and see his desire as a potential draft pick.(Photo: Michael Allio / Associated Press)

When Derrick Walton Jr. looked at the box score, he could hardly believe what he saw. He moved his finger across the stat line with his name.

Nine points. Seven assists. One turnover.

Walton’s eyes got big.

At last week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago, the former Michigan point guard impressed himself, but the bigger question is whether he impressed the NBA scouts and executives in attendance at Quest Multisport Center.

That Walton even was at the combine was a boost, as he was an alternate but with several of the top prospects skipping parts of the combine, Walton tried to make the most of his opportunity. He shot 2-of-7 from the field and 1-of-3 from beyond the arc.

“I played decent; I didn’t make as many open shots as I’m accustomed to making, but first-day jitters, I got them out of the way,” Walton said. “I played a good floor game, but I’ve got to be better on defense. It’s a new game and I’m getting accustomed to it.”

As one of the few seniors at the combine, Walton is trying to show that his four years of experience at Michigan aren’t a hindrance. Last season, as a senior, Walton wasn’t projected to be an NBA prospect, but midway through the season, something clicked.

He boosted Michigan to the Big Ten tournament championship and to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament — coming within a shot of beating Oregon — and playing the best ball of his career. Things have

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