Depending on how you define “mid-major” and “high major,” the leading scorer in all of college basketball usually doesn’t come from a high-major power conference. Houston’s Aubrey Coleman took home the honor last year. And going back to 1998-99 (take a look at the list here), I guarantee you’ve never heard of any of the scoring champions, other than Davidson’s Stephen Curry in ’09 and Adam Morrison in ’06 of course.
Why? Because power conference teams have more depth and talent than the small schools, enabling them to spread the ball around and away from their most talented player. The little guys can’t.
Connecticut’s 6-1 Junior point guard Kemba Walker is the nation’s leading scorer, averaging 26.5 points per game. In addition, he leads the Big East in steals.
By Paul M. Banks
If UConn has a very successful season, I’m predicting Walker won’t be #1 when all is said and done.
In their 73-70 win over #8 UConn, #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish limited the nation’s leading scorer to 19 (8 below his average) on 8-23 shooting. Thus ended Kemba’s 11 game 20+ scoring streak.The streak was the third longest in school history. (Donyell Marshall is first with a 23 game streak)
So was it the defense of ND’s Ben Hansbrough?
“Not saying he didn’t do a great job on me, he did. The whole team did, but I got every shot I wanted, I just missed. I got shots that I usually make, I just couldn’t hit ‘em tonight. And I just missed some easy ones that I’ve been making all season and it happens some nights. not every night is going to be a good night for me,” Walker said.
Yes, there are going to be a few more nights when Walker’s shot isn’t falling. The Huskies will sink or swim depending on if anyone in Walker’s supporting cast develops into a legitimate second or third option. If Alex Oriakhi or Shabazz Napier or Jeremy Lamb shows major progress, easing the offensive burden off Walker, the Dawgs will be wicked good. And go wicked far in March madness (sorry, listening to Jim Calhoun talk about his New England team inspired me to write in chowderhead adjectives).
After a sophomore season in which Walker earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST Third Team and First Team USBWA All-District, he augmented his game substantially in the offseason.
This summer he competed in Las Vegas as a member of the United States Select Team (one of just ten collegiate players) which helped the USA National Team train for the FIBA World Championships where the squad eventually won the gold medal.
“It helped me a lot, I learned so much from those guys and it helped me mature,” the 2008 McDonald’s High School All-American said of the experience.
Walker was named MVP of the Maui Invitational, where he took the Huskies on his back and willed them to wins over Michigan State and Kentucky. He holds the record for most 2nd half points in the Calhoun era (29 vs. Wichita State) and has cored 30+ on five occasions already this season. Since the 11-0 start, the Huskies have lost 2/3, but both were to top 15 opponents.
“We’re fine, all the good teams got to go through adversity, the best ones overcome it and that’s all it is right now,”
he said in South Bend.
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