|Rebounds per game
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|PER (Player Efficiency Rating)
One of the great parts of watching and following basketball is figuring out how different players can be used within the overall framework of a team. How to use the 6-foot-7 sophomore wing/forward from Santa Maria, California, Cameron Walker, is still a mystery.
Can he defend combo guards on the perimeter? Sometime yes and sometime no.
Can he operate as a stretch 4? We don’t know. He struggled to shoot from outside, but he didn’t get many opportunities.
Can he be a difference maker on the boards? It is unclear.
What is his specialty or his unique quality that helps him stand out as a player?
This will be the interesting part of observing Walker this season. Can any revelations be received about what it is that he can do as a piece in Jerod Haase’s puzzle? I think fans and the coaching staff alike are waiting to see exactly what Cameron Walker is going to be for the Stanford Hoops team.
So, what do we know about Cameron Walker?
When he committed to Stanford he was considered a 4-star recruit, ranked as high as the 71st best player in the Class of 2015.
A raw athlete, Walker’s foot speed and length make him a potential terror to matchup against.
He will need to develop more in his abilities on the floor. so that they maximize upon his athleticism. As a freshman, it was the other way around, he was using his athleticism as a crutch to cover up weaknesses in his basketball technique. This is certainly forgivable; freshman usually need time to get their game up to speed. The velocity which Walker develops his hoops know-how will be critical to his future.
The group of talented, potential-filled wing players at Stanford is stacking up. Between freshman Kodye Pugh, fellow sophomore Marcus Sheffield, and junior Dorian Pickens it becomes tough to figure out how to find minutes to bring along Cameron Walker’s development.
At the reasonable maximum, there is room for 3 of the 4 players listed above to play at the same time. However, it is more likely that only 1 of those 4 players will be playing at any given time. It is a logjam of talent for at least the next 2 seasons. It is always nice to have too much talent and flexibility for the coaching staff, but it results in a good player being underutilized.
I don’t know who the odd man out will be. However, I do have a good idea about what Marcus Sheffield and Dorian Pickens give the Cardinal. Sheffield outperformed Walker on both sides of the ball when they were both freshman. Dorian Pickens is Stanford’s most consistent returning perimeter player. Both Sheffield and Pickens will probably get the lion’s share of the minutes at the 3.
That leaves Kodye Pugh. Pugh has a bit more length than Walker. Kodye appears to be more comfortable handling the ball than Cameron Walker. My guess is that the better man at being a stretch 4 will get more time. The better outside shooter, post defender, and rebounder will get the most minutes by the end of the season filling in for Michael Humphrey when he has foul trouble.
If Cameron Walker wants to have a significant role on this team, he needs to be a specialist showcasing a distinguishing capability that makes him an attractive option off the bench when the right situation plays out on the floor.
Otherwise, he may continue his collegiate career in the same manner of last season. Trying to guide his way threw a slew of different responsibilities and inconsistent minutes. With another resulting year of people trying to figure out the riddle of where Cameron Walker fits in on the Stanford basketball program.