Billy Walker Intro Press Conference

MANHATTAN, Kan. - On Saturday afternoon, Kansas State head coach Bob Huggins introduced new addition Billy Walker to a gathering of the media in the Legends Room in Bramlage Coliseum.

Head Coach Bob Huggins
On the first practice with Bill Walker on the team...
“Good. We’re just trying to get him caught up on enough stuff so that he can play tomorrow. It was good.”

On what kind of playing time he expects for Walker tomorrow...
“I let guys go until they’re tired and then take them out. He just needs to play as many as he can play hard. As he’s playing hard, he’ll decide when he’s tired that’s what they all do.”

“As the game goes on and we see where we can take advantage of people, that’s what we do. Everybody wanted to know how much Jason (Bennett) was going to play and Jason is going to play as much as he deserves to play. Bill (Walker) is going to play as much as he deserves to play, same with Cartier (Martin), Dave (Hoskins) and everybody else. (Bill) understands that, he’s an intelligent guy.”

On the level of expectation and talent level Walker brings...
“I think it’s pretty much been a consensus, I don’t think I’ve said anything anyone else hasn’t said. I know him well enough and I think he understands that he’s got to produce. I’m also intelligent enough to know that he’s done that at every level. He’s never backed away from hard work, he’s never backed away from challenges. I don’t have any reason to believe that that won’t continue.”

On adjustments the team has made for Walker...
“We’ve simplified some things. We’re not going to run a lot of stuff. If he just plays hard and gets to the ball (defensively), all the other things we’ll fix in time.”

On whether or not he is upset with not having a set starting five...
“No because you play different teams. You play different teams that emphasize different things. Sometimes you play teams that are perimeter oriented; sometimes you play teams that are inside oriented; sometimes you play teams that have big post guys; sometimes they have small post guys. We’re going to try to adjust and do the best we can.”

On how Walker’s addition helps the team...
“It gives us another really good player. It makes us deeper. Once he gets in game shape and once he knows what to expect, he’s going to be like everybody else. He’s trying to think his way through things for a while. Once he knows what he is supposed to do and he can react, he’s going to be able to make a lot of basketball plays. He can make plays other guys can’t make because of his athleticism.

On Walker meeting the high expectations...
“I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. There aren’t any absolutes. I know he’s going to work and I know what kind of person he is. I know he’s going to work and he really wants to learn. All you can ask is that people do their best. You can’t ask for anymore of them, but you shouldn’t expect any less either.”

On Walker’s work ethic...
“I don’t know that he’s known anything else. Bill has always worked. He’s worked the whole time that I’ve known him. Kenyon (Martin) was a great worker. Kenyon didn’t know what to work at for a while, once he learned what to work at he was a great worker. Kenyon was my best practice player. (Danny) Fortson was a terrific worker, Danny worked like crazy. My best players, historically, have been my hardest working guys. I can remember bringing (Jerry Tarkanian) in and having him talk to our team and he said when you have a great player he’s your hardest working guy. He said Larry Johnson was his hardest working guy. You go to (Nick) Van Exel, Fortson, (Steve) Logan and Kenyon, they were all great workers and they all wanted to get better. Those were the guys that came in early and left late. It wasn’t our twelfth guy out there shooting balls with the manager, they were working.”   

On Walker’s defensive skills...
“He can be a great defender. He’s fast twitch. Fast twitch guys have an advantage, they can make some mistakes other people can’t make and still recover. It’s going to take some time for him to figure out where he’s supposed to be so it just comes natural and he reacts to it, you don’t have to think about it. We do some things a little differently because we want to put pressure on the ball, we want to make it hard, we want to make the game hard for our opponents. There are different ways to play.

“When I played I didn’t like those guys those guys who were all the time slapping at the ball, in my face, wouldn’t let me cut, wouldn’t let me move. It wasn’t fun. I thought, that might not be a bad way to play.”

Freshman Forward Billy Walker
On whether or not he is ready to play...
"Yes, I am excited about it; it has been a long time since I have played."

On what he has done since he arrived at Kansas State...
"I have just done a lot of running, trying to get in shape for 40 minutes of basketball. I have been working on my game, trying to be more of a jump shooter because at this level you really can't get to the basket as easily as you could in high school."

On what he can contribute immediately...
"I just want to help the team. I am not going to come in and try to score a thousand points or anything. I am just going to let the game come to me and just help the team out where I can. Right now, you can just expect me to work hard."

On his first day of practice with his new teammates...
"They were great; it was like having some coaches on the floor. They broke things down for me and showed me the proper way to play defense and make cuts. It is a learning process but they were great."

On the expectations...
"I really don't care about anyone's expectations, just coach's. He wants to win, I want to win and that is what we are going to strive for."

On what he was looking for in a coach...
"I wanted to play for a coach that was going to work me out hard, stay on top of me, and wouldn't be afraid to say anything to me. I get that from coach."

On if he is nervous for his first game...
"I'll have a few jitters, of course. But, once the ball tips off, it's pretty much just basketball, and I've been doing that all my life."

On his impressions of K-State...
"It's a great place. The people are nice and it's great weather. Right now in Cincinnati, it would be cold. The people here just want to win, so I'll fit right in."

On his first practice...
"The mental part of it is just so tough. There is so much more stuff that you have to know. You have to be in the proper place on defense. You can't use athletic ability. You have to be in a certain spot and place for a reason. That will be the biggest adjustment - the mental part of the game."

On what he wants to accomplish Sunday...
"Just to win. That's all I care about."

On the height of his vertical jump...
"I don't know. I won't get it measured. I want it to be a secret."

On when his first dunk was...
"I believe when I was 12 or 13."

On his overall game...
"I think as a basketball player, your game is never where you want it to be. You can always do something better - shoot better or defend better. I am just working on being a better shooter and a more heady player. I don't want to make dumb decisions with the ball. "

On the Xavier game...
"It's just another game on the schedule. You can't make the games bigger than what they are, so I just take it one game at a time and take what they give."