With the way the NCAA clearinghouse has seemed to drag its feet in regards to Florida Gators freshman Chris Walker, this news should come as no surprise. According to an NCAA source of SNY.tv, Walker could very well sit out the entire 2013-14 season. The source stated, “Him not playing at all this season remains a possibility.”
While the Gators have been able to navigate to a top six ranking without Walker, an elite talent like his could be the difference between a Final Four berth and another early exit from the tournament. Florida has fallen in the Elite Eight in three consecutive seasons.
Head coach Billy Donovan is done addressing the situation himself.
“As it relates to Chris, just listen to us and our school. I’m not going to address it anymore,” Donovan said, according to OnlyGators.com. “Certainly we’re hopeful he gets back soon but there’s been no indication that there’s any truth to that at all [playing Saturday]. Whenever he gets cleared, and certainly we all hope it’s soon, believe me, I’m not going to throw a guy in a game and have him pop up and you guys not be aware of it. The minute he gets eligible, cleared, and he’s able to play, I’ll let you know. Anything else that’s out there about that is not true.”
Walker was ranked as the No. 1 center and No. 6 overall player for the class of 2013, according to Rivals.com. At 6’10” and 225 pounds, he would not only provide depth down low, but also athleticism that would prove to be difficult for teams to match up against in the tournament.
As time ticks on, however, it looks like the Florida faithful won’t be given a chance to see Walker team up with Patric Young and Will Yeguete. In the end, Walker may never see the floor at UF, as he’ll be eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft.