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Notebook from Spiece Run N' Slam

5/7/2012

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Derrick Walton Jr., one of two Michigan basketball commits playing in the Spiece Run N’ Slam this weekend, didn’t show much emotion even though in the moment, it would have made sense.

Seconds after draining a 3-pointer over a defender to force overtime in an elimination game Saturday night, Walton stood there, smiled and pumped his fist a little bit. In many ways, it was just another big moment for him in a tournament where he played extremely well the first two days.

“I didn’t know (it was going in),” Walton Jr. said of when he raised up with less than two seconds left in his final game Saturday.

But once it left his hand, Walton Jr. knew it was going to fall and the Mustangs beat the Illinois Wolves, 77-73, on Saturday night on their way to winning the U17 title at Run N’ Slam on Sunday.

In the game against the Illinois Wolves, he also made one of two free throws with 3.5 seconds left in overtime to seal the win. He finished with 24 points in the overtime game, part of an impressive tournament for him.

Walton Jr. showed he wants the ball at the end of games and the future Michigan point guard had no problem handling the ball throughout the tournament in games we saw. He is a very smart passer and has a good jab step to create space for his shot when he needs it.

Walton Jr. looked sharp in transition both offensively and defensively. He led the break with ease and was also able to cut off opposing ballhandlers when they were trying to push the ball on his team.

The 6-foot point guard created well for teammates, often dishing to an open man at the precise moment his teammates’ defender left to help on the drive. All in all, a good weekend for Walton.

He didn’t play on Sunday for the Michigan Mustangs due to an injury, according to the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times.