“This was a super hard decision, with Arkansas being home for me, but ultimately I chose my dream,” Walsh said. “I’m betting on myself and taking the chance that I can grind it out and produce at the level I should be. Being able to know what the process will look like, I can come out successfully.”
Walsh, the No. 39 prospect in ESPN’s draft projections, improved his standing with teams at the draft combine by posting 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 40 minutes of action while demonstrating impressive defensive versatility with his 7-foot-2 wingspan.
“Once I got out of Arkansas, I’m now in a position where I don’t have handcuffs on me,” the 6-foot-7 Walsh said. “I’m able to shoot and make plays for people. I have that flexibility to show that I can do all those things. I was stuck in a role, but now they’ll see the real Jordan. That was a small glimpse of me at the combine.”
Walsh averaged 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 24 minutes per game at Arkansas as a freshman. He helped the Razorbacks to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16, defeating No. 1 overall seed Kansas and losing to eventual national champion UConn.
At 19 years old, featuring elite physical tools and the ability to guard point guards through power forwards, he still has considerable room to improve his jump shot, and his overall offensive game continues to gain consistency.
“I feel like the foundation of my game will be a 3 and D player,” Walsh said. “Having 50 percent of that done will catapult me into the type of career that I want and can see for myself.”
Walsh is one of eight players slated to depart Arkansas this offseason, including projected lottery picks Anthony Black and Nick Smith Jr., and potential second-round pick Ricky Council IV. Coach Eric Musselman has a talented group of transfers and freshmen incoming for what will be almost a completely new roster featuring just two players who were part of last season’s rotation.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and international teams.