Chris Walker Could Debut This Month for Florida; Eli Carter to Redshirt (UPDATED)
Florida freshman Chris Walker is taking one online class and could potentially join the lineup by the Jimmy V Classic Dec. 17 in New York, according to a report by ESPN’s Andy Katz during UConn’s 65-64 victory over the Gators Monday.
The 6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American out of Holmes County (Fla.) High School is attempting to reach the NCAA Division I level’s minimum requirement for freshman eligibility.
Florida is currently playing without several key players coach Billy Donovan had counted on, including Walker, point guard Kasey Hill (ankle), big man Damontre Harris (indefinite suspenion) and guard Eli Carter (broken leg), who will take a medical redshirt this year, sources told SNY.tv.
The Rutgers transfer broke his right leg in February of last season while at Rutgers. He was averaging 14.9 points per game.
Donovan told reporters Sunday that Carter would likely be redshirted.
“That’s probably something that’s going to happen,” Donovan said. “But right now, I think he’s just trying to see – can he get better?
“But as I said before, we’re not going to waste a year just to have him be a guy that’s going to spot somebody to give him a breather. I think he’s done too much in his career. We owe it to him to get him fully healthy and healed and ready to play.”
Guard Scottie Wilbekin also injured his right ankle in the UConn game, and will be reevaluated Tuesday, according to reports.
Theoretically, if Florida — which lost on a buzzer-beater mid-range jumper by Shabazz Napier — gets some of those players back, they could be a transformed team come 2014.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.