At this point, most incoming collegiate basketball players are on campus and getting a jump start on their school work and their workouts. For the Florida Gators and their top incoming prospect, this has yet to become the case.
Chris Walker, who is widely considered to be the top center prospect within the class of 2013, has yet to receive academic clearance. According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, Walker has yet to receive a qualifying ACT score and he is still taking three separate online courses to gain enough core requirements to enroll at the university.
With the return of Patric Young in the team’s front court, the expectations were top ten worthy for the Gators and at this point, they still are, but this could be a potential speed bump. Walker is a unique talent at 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball particularly well for his size and he has undeniable athleticism that makes a him a potential NBA prospect even though he is fresh out of the high school ranks.
Walker still has plenty of time to gain eligibility, but this is certainly a red flag and one that Florida cannot afford if they hope to compete atop the SEC standings this upcoming season. No, Walker isn’t the tipping point for the Gators’ expectations by any means, but he’s still a very important factor. Throw in the recent suspension of starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin and Florida’s expectations could potentially be taking some off-season hits that could not have been predicted.
Gators’ fans should be patient though as it is only June. Hopefully Walker can get eligible because he is a true talent that can certainly send some instant shock waves through the conference in 2013-14.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS