Jarace Walker had an impressive high school career, where he averaged 16.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game as a senior. He was invited to the 2022 McDonald’s All-American Game and the Nike Hoop Summit. The five-star recruit decided to play collegiately at Houston. As a freshman, Walker won AAC Rookie of the Year and was voted to the All-AAC Second Team behind 11.2 points on 47/35/66 shooting, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.23 combined blocks-plus-steals. He posted career marks of 25 points, four threes, 13 rebounds, five assists, six blocks and three steals. Houston was the runner-up in its conference tournament and made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Walker’s bulkiness mixed with his lateral movement as a forward has made him into one of the best defensive prospects in his class. He’s shown the ability to both prevent bigs from bullying him and switch out on the perimeter to cut off ballhandlers. The off-ball instincts are great as well, so he can rack up helpside blocks and jump into passing lanes. Offensively, he showed catch-and-shoot three potential at Houston, which he’ll need to utilize if playing next to a traditional big. But Walker’s strong from and vertical athleticism still make him an option in the pick-and-roll. When defenses collapse, he often makes the right pass.
If Walker reaches his ceiling, there’s Defensive Player of the Year potential due to his size, quickness and instincts. He won’t be running an offense, but he should be able to play within the flow of almost any system, whether than be as a bulky four or a small-ball five. His vision will really shine on a team where movement and sharing the ball is encouraged for all five players on the floor. Due to his frame, he draws comparisons to Larry Johnson or Corey Maggette, but he may end up playing more like Draymond Green tilted more towards scoring rather than passing.
— Profile by RotoWire