by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Coming into Friday’s game against UMBC, Kemba Walker had scored at least 29 points in five straight games. With the winless Retrievers coming to town, speculation was rampant about just how many points Walker could score.
Walker, though, managed just 24 points, but with 13 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with those points, Walker became the eighth player in school history to record a triple-double.
It was the first triple-double since Hasheem Thabeet had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks against Providence in 2009. Walker’s 24 points are the most of any of those eight players with a triple-double.
No. 7 Connecticut probably didn’t need a performance like that from Walker to blow past UMBC 94-61, but it’s little surprise to anyone that he accomplished another incredible feat. In a season where Walker has become the early leader for National Player of The Year, each game has become a must-see spectacle.
From The Day.com:
Coach Jim Calhoun praised Walker for unselfishly looking for his teammates.
“When you see a guy averaging 30 points a game pass up on layups to give other people shots, I know everyone is praising Kemba, but he’s deserving of that praise,” Calhoun said. “He’s capable of so many different things. … He created for his teammates and also created for himself.”
Calhoun recognizes that there is going to be a night when Walker doesn’t have his scoring touch. That’s why he is so thrilled with a game like this — a game where Walker builds the confidence of his teammates. He most likely will not average 30 ppg, and when Connecticut is at its best this year, it will not need him to.