Sophomore power forward Chris Walker is entering this year’s draft, the University of Florida announced (Twitter link; hat tip to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com). Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported earlier this week that the 20-year-old wouldn’t be back at Florida and would either transfer or enter the draft. Walker isn’t in the top 100 prospects for this year with Chad Ford of ESPN.com or Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. Ford lists the once-heralded college recruit as the No. 61 prospect for 2016, while Givony has him as the No. 20 sophomore for this year.
Walker was No. 7 in the final 2013 Recruiting Services Consensus Index, one spot ahead of Noah Vonleh, who went ninth overall to the Hornets in last year’s draft. Givony projected Walker as a 2015 lottery pick when he decided against entering the 2014 draft, and the same was true at the start of this season, when Givony slotted him 13th. Ford had Walker as the No. 12 prospect at that same time. By mid-January, he was at No. 39 on Givony’s board, and the slide continued.
The 6’9″ Walker saw only 4.8 minutes per game as a freshman, and while his role grew this past season, he still scarcely saw the sort of playing time that usually comes to a top-flight talent. He put up 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.6 MPG, and his final appearance was a seven-minute, two-point outing against Kentucky in an SEC Tournament loss that ended a 16-17 season for coach Billy Donovan‘s Gators.