H: 7' 0"|
W: 220 lbs
(27 Years Old)
|RSCI: 39 ||
High School: New Hanover
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
After scoring just 10 points in 11 games last season, Ty Walkerís freshman season at Wake Forest was, in a word, quiet. Emerging in his senior season at New Hanover HS (NC) as one of the top center prospects in his class, Walker spent the vast majority of last season on the bench after declining the opportunity to redshirt, forcing him to improve his game in practice. With James Johnson moving on the NBA, but Al-Farouq Aminu, Tony Woods, Chas McFarland all returning, this season may be a transformational one for the young center Ėas heíll likely see considerably more minutes, but will have to maintain his intensity in practice to earn additional time. As far as the NBA goes, Walker has a lot of ground to cover to legitimize his stock, but size is always at a premium, and heís amongst the more impressive players weíve covered in that regard.
Standing right around 7í0, Walker boasts a 9í5 standing reach and a 7í6 wingspan. To put those numbers in perspective, our measurement database shows that he ranks amongst the longest players we have data for in the last 20 years, matching Hasheem Thabeetís standing reach and JaVale McGeeís wingspan. While those numbers are certainly impressive, Walkerís physical profile remains a bit question. Entering Wake Forest weighing in around 210 pounds, he was far too skinny to effectively utilize his excellent length in the ACC, and while heís added a considerable amount of bulk to his frame, heís still a ways away from being ready to handle the rigors of the NBA on the block.
Aside from Walkerís excellent length and slender frame, he displays very nice end to end speed for a 7-footer and the leaping ability to make his presence felt as a shot blocker and offensive rebounder. As Walker packs on weight, it will be interesting to see how it impacts his mobility and explosiveness, as heís quite an athlete for his height.
Walkerís athleticism accounted for essentially the entire small sample size of possessions he had last year, as the vast majority of them came on catch and finish dunks. Considering Walker played only 42 minutes last season, it will take him some time to translate the hard work he put in during practice into game settings. Displaying nice touch, a decent feel for passing the ball, and some versatility, Walker has some things to offer on the offense end if he can improve his strength, develop the consistency of his post game, and be more physical down low.
Though most big men take at least a year to really display their talents, Walker may take a bit more time on the offensive end, but will make an immediate impact defensively. Playing at the back of Wake Forestís rotation will allow him to come off the bench and vigilantly protect the rim without too much pressure on him to stay out of foul trouble. Walker conceivably could have offered the Demon Deacons an intimidating shot blocking presence last season, but his lack of strength certainly would have limited in one-on-one situations on the block and made him a target of teams with experienced post scorers.
Extremely confident in his ability to take his game to the next level, Walker is a focused player who will essentially be a freshman this season. Playing next to another raw sophomore in Tony Woods and a senior who was comparably unproductive in his first season at Wake, Chas McFarland, Walker will get the chance to show how far heís come since his high school days, but may not get the minutes to put himself on the 2010 draft radar. A late bloomer on the high school level, Walkerís NCAA career may follow a similar trajectory. Considering how much work he has to do on his physique and his lack of experience, Walker seems like a candidate to use up all of his eligibility, which means weíll be keeping tabs on him for years to come.
Over the last year, Ty Walker has been one of the hottest names on the high school level, regardless of class. Itís pretty hard not to pay attention when you hear mumblings of a relatively unknown athletic seven footer who owns a 7í6 wingspan. The presence that Walker provides on the defensive end is unmatched at the high school level, as there is no other player with his combination of length, timing, and leaping ability in the class of 2008.
While he does not score many points for his loaded Boo Williams squad on the AAU circuit, Ty has shown off his offensive game throughout this past season at New Hanover HS. He has shown the ability to consistently knock down the 17 foot jumper, has incredibly soft touch, and has proven to be an adept passer from the high post. The athletic big man plays more of a complimentary role on the offensive end for Boo Williams, playing next to fellow top 10 prospect Ed Davis on the frontline.
There are very few players in the class of 2008 who offer as much potential as Walker does as far as the NBA is concerned. He desperately needs to get stronger and improve upon his back to the basket game, but if (or when) that happens, we have a player whom NBA scouts will be drooling over. When you combine Tyís freakish length with his excellent height and athleticism, itís easy to see why there are only a handful of prospects ranked ahead of him in the class of 2008.
Rodger Bohn: Youíre one of the longer, if not the longest players the class of 2008 has to offer. Can you tell me your height, weight, and wingspan?
Walker: Iím 7í0, 220 pounds. I have a 9í5 standing reach and a 7í6 wingspan. I wear size 19 shoes. Iím a little blessed with my height for my age.
While Walker never scored more then 10 points in any of the games that we observed, he exhibited more in terms of upside then any other player in the class of 2008 present in Pittsburgh. He stands a legit 7 feet tall with phenomenal length (wingspan rumored to be 7í5) and a frame that certainly has the potential to fill out. While he is not a scoring machine at the moment, he is easily the best shot blocker that his class has to offer. Ty combines his super length and athleticism with remarkable timing, allowing him to block 4-5 shots per game while staying out of foul trouble. He will almost certainly make an impact from the day he steps foot on campus at Wake Forest, solely based on his ability to change the game on the defensive end.