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2017-18 MAC Men’s Basketball Top Player Countdown: #5 Jaylin Walker Kent State

The lone returner of the trio

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Kent State and UCLA Bruins Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I was never fully sold on the Kent State Golden Flashes last season, because it seemed like it was a three man team. They would have killed it at a Gus Macker. Jimmy Hall and Deon Edwin moved on, but Jaylin Walker remains.

The cupboard isn’t bare for the Golden Flashes as they head into the new season, but I do expect them to rely heavily on the 6’1 junior from Detroit. I’ll be honest, I have always been leery of players under 6’2 that wear the number 23, but Walker is slowing changing my opinion.

Walker had a tremendous MAC tournament, including a 30 point performance in the championship game against Akron. He was 5-13 from downtown against UCLA in the NCAA tournament. He is also a sneaky good rebounder, grabbing 14 against Central Michigan and their duo of good rebounding guards, and was close to another double double a few other times.

Last season, he averaged 15.8 points per game, on 13.8 shots, 7.8 of those from beyond the arch. He hit 33% of his three point attempts, which is the magic number. Any less than that, I would prefer someone else to take the shot. This season, he will probably be asked to take more shots, and I don’t think he will have a problem with it.

In the exhibition game against Wooster this year, he scored 19 in 27 minutes. He was 6-14 from the floor, but 5 of 9 from three. I am guessing that we will see a few more minutes, a few more shots, and a few more points all season from Mr. Walker.