Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Source: Florida’s Walker Could Miss Entire Season; Mock Draft Has Him Going No. 20 to Celtics (UPDATED)
There is still no word from the NCAA on Florida’s Chris Walker and it’s possible he could miss the entire season, an NCAA source told SNY.tv Wednesday.
“Him not playing at all this season remains a possibility,” the source said.
A McDonald’s All-American, Walker is projected as the No. 10 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com. Yet on Chad Ford’s new Big Board, Walker is projected as the No. 20 pick in 2014 to the Boston Celtics, who are also projected to take Australian point guard Dante Exum at No. 4.
Walker joined the team on Dec. 14, but has yet to play while the NCAA takes an extended look into his situation.
Meantime, Florida coach Billy Donovan sounds increasingly frustrated by the situation and said he didn’t expect the 6-foot-10 freshman to play Saturday vs. Tennessee.
“As it relates to Chris, just listen to us and our school. I’m not going to address it anymore,” Donovan said, according to USA Today. “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.”
There have been reports that the NCAA is looking into impermissible benefits, but Donovan said he wasn’t aware of the full story.
“The hardest part for me is I don’t know all the details because it doesn’t involve our institution,” he said. “I’m just focusing on our team, the guys that are here right now and letting our administration handle it. I have not been privy to any conversations between the NCAA, our school, Chris or any of those other things.
“The only thing I’ve been trying to do with Chris is each and every day trying to help him get better as a player, provide the resources he needs academically, try to work with him on the court to get better. In terms of all the details and hangs up, I don’t know all those details because when there’s something going on like this, there’s ethical conduct forms that are signed. That stuff has to be kept confidential, be kept between Chris and the NCAA, kept between our administration and the NCAA. I’m not involved in any of those conversations. I trust our administration and what they’re doing. Hopefully it will be resolved in a timely fashion. I know everyone is involved one way or another to know what’s going to happen.”
Donovan previously said that there were too many expectations on this current freshmen group, including Walker, and that he was trying to shield him from some of the hype.
Phot: USA Today
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.