Lonnie Walker was regarded as one of the top shooting guards in his recruiting class, but a meniscus tear suffered last summer disrupted the start of his college career. Walker recovered in time for Miami’s Nov. 10 opener, and although he initially came off the bench for the Hurricanes, a season-ending foot injury to fellow draft prospect Bruce Brown opened the door for Walker to assert himself as Miami’s go-to scorer.
The Hurricanes’ season ended prematurely with a loss to cinderella Loyola-Chicago in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but Walker concluded his brief college career having erased doubts about his status as a top perimeter prospect in this class.
The Crossover’s Front Office breaks down Walker’s strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparison and more in its in-depth scouting report.
Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami | Freshman
Height: 6’4’’ | Weight: 195 | DOB: 12/14/98 (19)
Stats: 11.5 PPG, 1.9 APG, 34.6 3FG%
• Potent attacker off the dribble. Uses the threat of his jump shot well to blow by defenders.
• Three-point percentage (34.6%) might undersell his long-range shooting ability. Has a compact stroke. Can launch coming off screens or rise and fire off the dribble.
• Impressive athlete who can rise over defenders to finish. Shows good touch around the basket. Makes acrobatic plays.
• Possesses a good frame for a shooting guard. Measured with a 6’10’’ wingspan.
• Combination of length and lateral quickness could make him a three-position defender. Doesn’t cede ground to bigger wings.
• Not a polished playmaker. Doesn’t often make advanced reads out of pick-and-rolls and may never be someone who initiates offense.
• Lacks high-level ballhandling skills. Not clear he can consistently create shots off the bounce. Needs more than straight driving ability.
• Needs to improve shot selection and strike a healthier balance between scoring and distributing. Can get tunnel vision on drives. Overall feel is questionable.
• Tends to get lost on defense. Not as disruptive or impactful on that end of the floor as his physical tools suggest he should be.
Lonnie Walker strengthens his NBA lottery case (February 2018)
Player comparison: Eric Gordon
Walker’s 3-and-D bona fides are clear, but he won’t grow into an elite two-way wing without smoothing out some of the rough edges of his offensive game and improving his awareness on defense.