It may not be for the reason that he hoped, but Derrick Walton Jr. is going to Phoenix, Ariz. after all.
The field for the 29th State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships was announced Tuesday afternoon, and Michigan’s senior point guard found his name among the eight-player group that will be competing in the event’s 3-point contest. The event will take place at 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at Grand Canyon University Arena, and will be aired on ESPN. It will also feature the dunk contest and the women’s 3-point contest.
Walton will be competing against UCLA’s Bryce Alford, Arizona State’s Torian Graham, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, Iowa’s Peter Jok, Duke’s Matt Jones, Iowa State’s Nazareth Mitrou-Long and Grand Canyon’s DeWayne Russell.
This season, Walton notched a team-high 98 made 3-pointers — good for the third-best single season mark in Michigan’s program history. He also notched a 42.2 field goal percentage from beyond the arc, second only behind Duncan Robinson (42.4) among players who attempted more than 100 shots from 3-point range.
Walton’s long-range shooting was a significant improvement from his junior season, during which he made just 63 treys and shot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Thursday will mark the final time that Walton has an opportunity to represent the Wolverines. He finishes his career as the only Michigan player to record at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in a career, having played 127 total games. Walton also finished with 499 assists — good for fourth in program history — and claimed the single-game assist record with his 16-assist performance against Nebraska on March 5.