It’s the first day of the fall semester, and 2013 incoming McDonald’s All-American freshman UF signee Chris Walker is still not on the Gators official basketball roster.
But that does not mean Walker won’t be eligible to play in UF’s season opener Nov. 8 against North Florida. At least not yet. There is a drop-add period through August 27 (a week from Tuesday) in which the 6-foot-10 forward can enroll in fall classes.
But in a more likely scenario, Walker may not enroll until December to ensure he meets NCAA eligibility requirements. He took three online courses over the summer in an effort to complete his core courses. Those grades then need to be reviewed by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Based on his last ACT score (16), Walker needs to finish with a 2.6 GPA or higher to gain initial NCAA eligibility.
“The one thing that we’ve tried to explain to him in the work that he’s finishing up in doing is he doesn’t need to rush it,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said last month. “He just needs to do it correctly and the right way.”
From a basketball standpoint, Florida has a deep enough frontcourt to get by if Walker doesn’t enroll right way. Patric Young is back for his senior season, and Will Yeguete, who had offseason surgery to repair cartlige in his knee, is rehabbing and on schedule to return in September. In addition, the Gators add former South Carolina center Damontre Harris and former Virgina Tech forward Dorian Finney-Smith, who are both eligible after sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules.
Casey Prather also is back for his senior season and sophomore forward DeVon Walker has made strides in the weight room to become physically stronger after being pushed around as a freshman last season.