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‘Canes Hoops: It’s time for Lonnie Walker IV to live up to the hype

Can Lonnie Walker IV provide a spark for Miami while Bruce Brown Jr. recovers from a left-foot injury?

Duke v Miami Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Lonnie Walker IV will have to take on more responsibility as a scorer and defender in Bruce Brown Jr.’s absence.

Brown’s foot injury required surgery and he could miss up to six weeks. He may be able to return for the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

The sophomore guard leads Miami in minute’s (33.7 per game), rebounds (7.1 per game), and assists (4.0). He ranks second on the team in scoring (11.4 per game).

One player may not be able to replace Brown, but the Hurricanes will rely heavily on Walker to take over the team while Brown recovers.

The freshman was a highly regarded recruit coming out of highschool and the ‘Canes need him to live up to the hype.

Walker has been averaging 24.4 minutes per game so far this season, and he could see his minutes go up with the loss of Brown. Walker can finish at the rim, but he has to step up his rebounding skills and fill the hole left by Brown.

The freshman phenom is averaging 10.8 points per game, and his average has been on the rise. Walker will see more touches in the coming games and has to continue to improve his ball handling skills and be more active and physical on the defensive end.

Walker is ready to carry the team on his back. He’s averaging 18.5 points per game in his last six conference games. The 6-foot-5 guard also reached double digits in 10 games this season and hopes to continue the trend against the Hokies.

Miami travels to Blacksburg, Va. to face ACC rival Virginia Tech (16-6, 5-4) 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.