College coach has high praise for new Alabama basketball player
By WVUA-23 Sports Reporter Tyler White
Tide basketball’s season came to an abrupt halt losing 71-64 at the hands of San Diego State, but Tide head coach Nate Oats is not lingering on what could have been. He’s already stocking up talent for next season.
Earlier this week, Alabama received a commitment from former Wichita State forward Jaykwon Walton.
Prior to Wichita State Walton was putting his talents to the test in the same city as his new school. He spent a year at Shelton State Community College and helped the Buccaneers advance to the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Hutchinson, Kans.
“Jaykwon was a pleasure to coach,” said former Shelton State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Joe Eatmon. “He went through his ups and downs. He had a knee injury that kind of sidetracked him after playing really well in the summer, but Jaykwon is one of the most skilled offensive players I’ve ever coached.”
Eatmon thinks there are a few reasons why Walton will mesh well with the Crimson Tide.
“Coach Oats really likes shots at the basket and he likes the three-ball. That’s two things that Jaykwon does really well,” said Eatmon. “He finishes at the basket well and he shoots the three with range. He shot it, I think, 42 percent this past year at Wichita (State). Those are two things Alabama likes to do, as well as the passing aspect. He knows where to put the ball and when to put it there on time on target. He fits the system perfectly I think.”
Walton has proven to be a great scorer everywhere he’s been. He averaged 12.9 points per game at Shelton State in 2021-22, and 13.9 points per game last season at WSU. Eatmon says Walton’s mindset is even more acute.
“Jaykwon is a winner,” Eatmon said. “He’s won nearly everywhere he’s been other than Georgia. He won a state championship in high school at Carver, he won a championship with us at Shelton (State) and he led Wichita (State) this year in scoring. He’s a winner. He’s got that winning mindset wherever he goes. Jaykwon is going to be a leader not a follower, but a leader wherever he goes. I think he’ll be an asset to Alabama on the court and in the locker-room.”
Tide fans will have to wait until next season to see how big of an impact Walton ends up having for the team, but if you believe coach Eatmon, then there is a lot to be excited about in the City of Champions.