One of my favorite post players in the ACC is Wake Forest senior center Ty Walker. I've always liked his game. He's extremely athletic and quick for a big man. And, his outside shot is pretty solid. He doesn't really showcase it that much during games.
Walker definitely put his outside skills on display when he and I played a little ball a couple days before Christmas at Energy Sports and Fitness in Charlotte, NC. I thought that would also be a good time to find out what was in store for the Wake Forest hoop fans this season.
Me and the big fellow discussed a number of cool topics during our conversation. We talked about him missing the start of this season, expectations and team goals. He and I also talked about Duke point guard Austin Rivers, Christmas shopping and a few other things. Take a look at our conversation from Friday, Dec. 23.
Anthony: (Smiles.) What's going on, Ty?
Ty: Nothing much, man. (Smiles.) I'm chillin.'
Anthony: No doubt. Good to have you here in Charlotte.
Ty: (Smiles.) I'm glad to be here.
Anthony: Aight. I know that you had to sit out to start to season (after violating team rules.) How difficult was it for you to have to wait so long to get started?
Ty: It was tough, man. Just sitting there watching my teammates and not being able to participate at all was very hard.
Anthony: I bet. It's your senior season. I know that you've added quite a bit to your game this year. What can the Wake Forest fans expect from Ty Walker this year?
Ty: Uh, hopefully they can expect some showtime dunks. I'm trying to put up some SportsCenter Top 10 dunks.
Anthony: (Laughs.) Oh, really?
Ty: Yeah. I'm trying to put a couple people on some posters. Just trying to play really big for my team this year.
Anthony: I hear that.You guys had a big win over UNC-Wilmington the other night. I know that was really good for you.
Ty: That was really big. Of course, it was big for me because that's my hometown. But it was really good. We put on a show. It was really good to beat them, especially after they beat us last year.
Anthony: Right. You guys have Yale next Thursday. I don't know if you know this, but C.J. Harris (Wake star guard) has a close friend (Mike Grace) that plays for them. Has he expressed how big this game is to him?
Ty: Yeah, I know Mike. C.J. has been talking about it a little bit. I know they're real close, so I know they're probably going to go back-and-forth at each other a couple times.
Anthony: You guys begin ACC play in January when you host VT. How well do you all expect to do in the conference this year?
Ty: Uh, we're just going to take it one game at a time and see how it goes. If we put our minds to it, and work as hard as we can then we can beat anybody.
Anthony: No doubt. It's Christmas time, man. What are you up to this holiday season?
Ty: Nothing much. Just trying to stay out of trouble and level headed. Got all of my shopping done. I got my mom a couple of things. I got my girlfriend a couple of things. Don't tell her that, though.
Anthony: (Smiles.) I got you.
Ty: We'll see how it turns out.
Anthony: If you could change anything, or add anything to your life what would it be?
Ty: I wouldn't change anything. I believe that everything happens for a reason. You live and make mistakes. You simply have to learn from your mistakes. That's what defines you as a man. So, I wouldn't change anything.
Anthony: Who's the best 7-footer in the ACC?
Ty: I don't know. I'm bias. Of course I'm not going to say that anybody is better than me. So I'll probably just say myself.
Anthony: OK. Let me ask you this. Will your football team win the Music City Bowl against Mississippi State next Friday?
Ty: I think they will pull it out. I'm going to guess the score will 32 to 29. I know Mississippi State has a good program, but I think we'll get them. We'll see how it turns out.
Anthony: Let's close out with free association. I'll say something, and you just tell me what comes to mind.
Anthony: Wake Forest basketball.
Ty: Hard working.
Anthony: Wilmington, North Carolina.
Ty: My hometown.
Anthony: Ty Walker.
Ty: (Laughs.) That could be a lot of things, dawg. Uh, grown up.
Anthony: Austin Rivers (Duke point guard).
Ty: Pure talent.
Anthony: One more. Uh, NBA.
Ty: My dream.