Travis Walton, MSU Player of the Week (Jan. 19)
By Adam Ruff/Spartan Sports Network
First of all, this blog is specifically designed for me to fill you in on who the Michigan State player of the week (At least in my opinion…and yes, my opinion does matter). And, for the most part, my “opinion” is the only guideline that I will follow in this blog.
This week, Travis Walton is this week’s MSU player of the week. Not only that, but I’m also going to state the case as to why he will be the team’s MVP for the season.
First, to whet your whistle, here is the Player of the Week segment that aired during the Tom Izzo radio show on Monday.
This week, Travis played lockdown “D” once again…the result: 2 more wins for the Spartans. According to Doug Herner (MSU’s Assistant Video Coordinator & Team Grandpa) T-Walt was good for 8 deflections, 3 floor-dives, and 4 steals…all of which led the team in hustle points.
Last Wednesday against Penn State, Travis was assigned to Nittany Lion star Talor Battle. While Battle did go for 20 points, Travis was responsible for holding him without a field goal for more than 30 minutes in the middle portion of the game (From 13:57 of the 1st half, to the 3:45 mark of the 2nd)
Now, against Illinois on Saturday, Walton was assigned to Demetri McCamey. McCamey came into the contest leading the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game…he left town with no points on 0-9 shooting! How’s that for defense!
Aside from the two games from the past week Travis has been doing it all season long.
Dec. 20: AJ Abrams, Texas. 8 pts, 3-10 FG, 0-4 3FG
Jan. 6: Jon Diebler, Ohio State. 7 pts, 2-8 FG, 1-6 3FG
Jan. 10: Sherron Collins, Kansas 6-14 FG, 8 TO’s
Jan. 17: Trent Meacham & Demetri McCamey
On Monday, I sat down with Travis to see just how he does it…
ADAM RUFF: So, Travis, you’re the inaugural player of the week in my blog…that’s gotta make you feel special!
TRAVIS WALTON: Oh, man, it’s feels great to be the first guy ever (SARCASM)
AR: You know, for the player of the week segment on the Tom Izzo radio show, I used Jay-Z’s “I’m a Hustla” as the music…does that work for you?
TW: (Laughing) Yeah, that great. You know, I’m a hustler, working hard every day in the gym grinding it out. Our team is working hard, hustling to get what we want.
(Now, Marquise Gray and Chris Allen are laughing)
AR: Good answer Travis, thanks for playing a long…Is there another song that might fit you better?
TW: Um….that Eminem song…what’s that song (he asks Marquise)…
MARQUISE GRAY: Oh, the one that Coach G (Mike Garland) had Durrell read?...”Lose Yourself”…is that the one? “You gotta lose yourself in the moment…dum…dum…dum…
TW: You only get one shot…do not miss your chance to…something, something…
MG: (Uncontrollable laughter)
TW: No, if I could pick one song to describe me, it would be “Never would have made it” by Marvin Sapp. It’s a gospel song.
AR: Thanks Travis, I’ll keep that in mind the next time you’re the player of the week…I’m glad we got that figured out…But seriously Travis, last week you recorded 8 deflections, 3 floor-dives, and 4 steals…what does it mean to you when you lead the team in “hustle plays”…
TW: Those types of plays are game-changing plays. You know, anything I can do to make an impact on the game is key to me. All I want to do is win, and those types of plays are what you do to win games…and I was able to do them.
It makes sense that Marquise brought the song “Lose Yourself” up. After all, this is the last shot for Walton, Gray, Goran Suton, and Idong Ibok to win a coveted Big Ten title.
“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”
For Travis – the epitome of a hustle player – it’s his one last shot for a Big Ten title, and you can bet that he’ll make all the plays he can until he gets that elusive title.
RUNNER-UP PLAYER of the WEEK
Senior Forward Marquise Gray
In MSU’s 63-57 victory over the Fighting Illini on Saturday, Gray was a stick of dynamite bringing the energy. Quise scored a quick 9 points and was a jumping jack on the boards. In total, Gray finished the game with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
If Marquise could bring that kind of effort every game, this Spartan team could not be stopped.
Multimedia Director Seth Newman keeps you up to date on Tom Izzo's Spartans all season long.