Walker named Big 12 Rookie of the Week

IRVING, Texas Freshman forward Bill Walker earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for the second time on Monday after scoring 19 points in helping the Wildcats topple a top-10 opponent for the first time since 2004.


Walker earned his first Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor on Dec. 10 after averaging 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in games against Notre Dame and California.  He is also the second Kansas State player to earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors twice this season after fellow freshman Michael Beasley was honored on Nov. 19 and Dec. 26, 2007.  In all, either Beasley or Walker has captured Player or Rookie of the Week honors six times this season.


In the Wildcats’ lone game of the week, Walker posted 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range, in helping Kansas State earn a 75-54 win over No. 10 Texas A&M on Saturday.  He also added four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes of action.  His five 3-point field goals were a career-high, surpassing the three against Wagner on Dec. 29, 2007.  It was the first win over a top-10 opponent since the Wildcats topped No. 7 Texas, 58-48, on March 4, 2004, while the 21-point margin was the largest over a top-10 opponent in school history.


The 19-point effort continued Walker’s impressive play of late, as he has been averaging 19.5 points on 50 percent shooting (51-of-102), including 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from 3-point range, with 6.4 rebounds per game in the last eight games.   


The former high school All-American is finally healthy after playing in just six games as a true freshman in 2006-07 before going down with a season-ending ACL injury against Texas A&M in the first Big 12 contest.  He is second to Beasley in scoring (16.0 ppg.) and rebounding (6.3 rpg.), while he is averaging 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in 26.2 minutes per game.  He has now scored in double figures in 15 of his 20 career games, including 11 of 14 games this season.


Off to its best conference start in more than 15 seasons, Kansas State (12-4, 2-0 Big 12) hits the road for Boulder, Colo., to play Colorado (9-8, 1-2 Big 12) on Wednesday.  Tip is set for 8 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on ESPNU with Dave Armstrong and Doug Gottlieb on the call.