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Saturday / February 25.

Chris Walker Close to Florida Debut, Won’t Play vs. Memphis

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Chris Walker is close to making his college debut for Florida, but won’t compete against Memphis Dec. 17 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

“I would say him playing in the Memphis game is not going to happen, no,” Florida coach Billy Donovan told reporters Monday.

It had been thought that Walker might debut in the Memphis game.

Donovan said the 6-foot-11 Walker has completed his online academic work and his fate now rests with the Florida admissions department and the NCAA Clearinghouse.

A McDonald’s All-American, Walker was ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester, but is expected to enroll for the spring 2014 semester, at which point he could have a major impact on the second half of the season.

“He’s got to go through an admissions process like any other student here for the second semester,” Donovan said. “Now it’s kind of out of our hands and we’re just waiting to hear back of what the ruling will be in terms of him being a qualifier, being able to start school.”

It’s possible Walker could begin practicing Saturday.

“I don’t believe that he can practice until after the last day of final exams once he’s cleared,” Donovan said.

He added: “He’s gotta be enrolled and cleared by the Clearinghouse.”

Florida will host Andrew Wiggins and Kansas Tuesday night in an ESPN game, and will have both Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill back for the game.

Donovan also confirmed that Rutgers transfer Eli Carter will redshirt this season. That news was previously reported last week by

“I think we’ve made a decision that he’s not going to play anymore,” Donovan said. “…He will not be available to play the rest of the year.”

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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.