Monday, July 23, 2012

Florida prep Chris Walker taps UF


Chris Walker, the No. 6-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2013 according to, on Sunday orally committed to the University of Florida. He chose Billy Donovan’s Gators over Kansas University, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Syracuse and Baylor.

Walker, a 6-foot-9, 220-pounder from Holmes County High in Bonifay, Fla., made his announcement Sunday morning via a pre-filmed mixtape at

“I will be playing college basketball for the University of Florida,” Walker said on the tape. “I will be teaming with (Florida Elite teammate) Kasey Hill, and together we will be the best duo in college, and we will win a national championship.”

Hill, who is rated No. 7 nationally, committed to Florida last New Year’s Eve. He is a 6-1 point guard from Montverde Academy in Clermont, Fla.

“Given his size, athleticism and skill set, Walker has tremendous potential. He can run the floor extremely well, and loves to finish in transition,” writes Jeff Borzello of “In a half-court set, Walker can face-up and knock down jumpers or post up down low. Defensively, he is one of the better shot blockers in the class and he can rebound as well.

Vaughn to Magic?: Former KU guard Jacque Vaughn remains frontrunner to be named head coach of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday.

The Sentinel says San Antonio assistant Vaughn met with Magic CEO Alex Martins on Friday in Las Vegas for a second-round interview. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan interviewed six candidates and cut the field to three: Vaughn, Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Michael Curry and Phoenix Suns player-development coach Lindsey Hunter.

Vaughn, 37, played for the Spurs when GM Hennigan worked in that team’s front office.

TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal apparently does not approve of the possible Vaughn hire. On Sunday he tweeted: “Orlando magic is about to hire jock Vaugh over mike Malone or Brian shaw are u kidding me, wow, good luck winning wit Dat team Dwite howard.”

Vaughn’s San Antonio Spurs beat O’Neal’s Phoenix Suns in the 2008 NBA playoffs. In 2006, O’Neal’s Miami Heat beat Vaughn’s New Jersey Nets in the playoffs.

This, that: Former KU guard Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies was named co-MVP of the Las Vegas NBA summer league with Portland guard Damian Lillard. Selby led the league in scoring at 27.5 points a game. Lillard averaged 26.5 ppg. The all-summer league team: Selby, Lillard, Malcolm Thomas, Brad Beal, Tobias Harris, John Henson, Jeremy Lamb, Dominique Jones, Cory Joseph, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Donatas Motiejunas, Jae Crowder. ... ESPN’s Digger Phelps told Kansas City 810 radio WHB that KU’s home game against Texas this season would be part of ESPN “GameDay.” The Big 12 has not yet announced the 2012-13 hoops schedule.


Ralster Jayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I just knew Selby would shine, just as if he had stayed another year he would have shined for KU... He majorly had something to prove with the way his ku year went, and when healthy has the tools to do it, which he has.

KULA 9 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, can't resist--Kansas was a better team with Selby in at 70% than Brady at %100.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 11 months ago

I guess you don't think much of defense, huh?

Sam Brockert 9 years, 11 months ago

HAHAHAHAH that is a funny comment...Wait, you WEREN"T tryin gto tell a joke?

Luke Kading 9 years, 11 months ago

Did you see Selby towards the end of the year? He looked completetly overwhelmed at times, and the team was, in most cases, much better off with Brady Morningstar getting those minutes. I think Selby would have been a star had he stayed for his soph year, and he had his moments his freshman year, but for the most part he just didn't have it.

REHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Kula, in a John Calipari sytem you are dead right. But under Bill Self? Naw. Brady at 100% better fits the schematic than Josh at 70%, at least over the long haul of a 30+ game season. IMHO.

mandomax 9 years, 11 months ago

wow, Shaq is really giving a lot of credibility to that LSU diploma!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

lol..It's like watching Lebron tell kids to finish high school.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 11 months ago

Julius Randle is heavy Duke/UK lean right now.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 11 months ago

From UNC site on July 20:

I’ve long contended that Randle is Carolina bound and I’m not backing off that opinion in anyway. Randle’s recent comments suggest the Heels are in for a dog fight with one of the best recruiters in the nation, Kentucky coach Jon Calipari. Randle talks about the potential of Kentuckys 2013 class:

“I think it could be the best class they’ve ever had,”

“Kentucky says it all,” Randle said. “Coach Cal gets the job done. He’s a great coach, he’s a players’ coach and he’s a great person. Kentucky’s a great school. You see what they’ve done the last three years and what he’s done the last couple years in the draft so that says it all.” Randle told Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog

Randle has also mentioned Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, N.C. State, Baylor and Texas as potential schools but insists he has no official list. Earlier this month Randle indicated he wants to visit Kentucky and Ohio State soon. He visited Chapel Hill during a break in his high school season.

master16 9 years, 11 months ago

HCBS can certainly do a lot even with lesser talent (although this year's team did feature his highest draft pick ever at KU) but his only national championship victory featured Rush, Chalmers, Collins, Arthur, Russ Rob who were all elite ranked players in their highschool class. So, I would still sleep a little better if we picked up some highly touted guys.

ParisHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

master16 said "HIS (meaning Self's) highest draft pick ever at KU".

Gooden never played for Self.

Sam Constance 9 years, 11 months ago

Not a Bill Self player.

(sorry, for some reason, the first reply didn't show up when I first visited the page, even though it was posted 14 hours before mine)

Sam Brockert 9 years, 11 months ago

Danny Manning was taken number 1 overall.

Dustin Engelken 9 years, 11 months ago

The key being Bill Self's highest draft pick at KU. Danny and Drew picks were pre-Self.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Thank You!!

Raef was the #3 overall.

Also..The NBA changed the rules that allowed a team to claim a local college player in exchange for giving up its first-round pick for Wilt.

texashawk10 9 years, 11 months ago

T-Rob is the highest drafted player of the Self era at KU. Gooden an LaFrentz were Roy era players and Manning was Larry Brown era.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

Ralster: I'd say the difference between Walker and Tarc as far as reaction is that we had no fall back plan after missing on Tarc .. the "all of his eggs in one basket" thing that Self admitted to (leading to the scramble for Anderson and Traylor). Here, we have other top targets on the radar so missing on Walker, while certainly not good news, isn't really bad news. My guess is the big guy we very much need in the 2013 class will be a solid, top 50 player.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 11 months ago

Tarc was a year behind Anderson and Traylor. Tarc committed to U of A in the fall of 2011, well after KU had signed Anderson and Traylor.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

You're right .. the scramble had nothing to do with Tarc. The scramble was related to Self being admittedly surprised when Kieff and Selby turned pro.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 11 months ago

Jermaine Lawrence would be a nice addition as well. It has been reported that he has a high interest in KU.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Florida has already signed Damontre Harris, another Kansas recruiting target. Billy is building a team that will challenge Kentucky in the SEC and make a strong run in 2014 or sooner.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 11 months ago

I had wondered if losing Harris could be a bad thing in regards to Walker. Could be he likes the idea of having a proven shot-blocker/rebounder already there in the post to work beside and have a better chance to focus on offense. Billy D's UF teams aren't going anywhere, don't know that he'll ever win another title, but he gets some good players.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Billy has already proven that he can win the NCAA. Actually, he has one more championship than any other coach has done at KU. As long as he can bring in the talent, he is quite capable of doing it again.

Eric Mitchell 9 years, 11 months ago

Walker sounds a bit too confident which is not uncommon for an elite player. Would I love to have him? Of course, but I believe KU would do better with players who are realistic enough not to pretty much gurantee an NCAA Championship when they haven't even played their senior seasons of high school ball. Confidence is arguably the most important intangible in basketball, but that sounds a bit much to me. I think the downfall of KU in 2010-2011 was Josh Selby's lack of confidence after his injury.

On a side note I completely agree with ralster about Selby and wish him and Jacque the best.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 11 months ago

Who had the better or more laughable comments...Wlaker or Shaquille?

Robert Brock 9 years, 11 months ago

I felt bad when Selby left for The League but it enabled the Jayhawks to get to the Final Four and the championship game.

jhox 9 years, 11 months ago

We could have beaten Kentucky with an outside shooter like Selby. Yes, his D needed a lot of work, but had he retuned for a second year healthy, he would have been a big asset. The unfortunate thing I'd that he was injured nearly all of his one year at KU, and other coaches use his lack of production against Self in recruiting, when the truth is that a healthy Selby would have excelled.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 11 months ago

A healthy Selby did excell. He just wasn't healthy (and eligible) for enough of the season for it to matter enough.

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 11 months ago

“I will be playing college basketball for the University of Florida,” Walker said on the tape. “I will be teaming with (Florida Elite teammate) Kasey Hill, and together we will be the best duo in college, and we will win a national championship.”

Best duo...have to earn that.

Championship? Not if Bill and the boys have something to say.

AsadZ 9 years, 11 months ago

Very happy to see Game Day coming back to KU. It does provide great national exposure.

I am not going to lose any sleep on not landing Walker. If we can get another Big within top 20-30 we will be fine.

Good luck to Vaugh. He would be a great hire for Orlando.

Jayhawk3 9 years, 11 months ago

Wasn't last years KU - Tex game supposed to be represented by GameDay, but instead they went with Duke - UNC again?

KUfanInFlorida 9 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I was kinda bummed about KU not landing Walker, but it wasn't really that much of a shocker because he was a Florida lean anyways. Barber and a top 30 big is a must get though.

Timmay97 9 years, 11 months ago

I sometimes feel that ESPN is skeptical about having College Gameday at Allen Fieldhouse. The mere fact that KU loses maybe (on average) once every OTHER season pretty much shows that it's almost a guaranteed win.

Having said the above, Allen Fieldhouse is unlike any other college venue out there. And I do believe they love showcasing it, along with the extreme crowd noise. It makes for REALLY good TV. And the fact that KU's fan base is so extreme, they probably don't hurt THAT much for ratings.

KU always seems to be on in at least one college gameday. However, it just seems it's never at home (as I'm sure they have had their fair share).

Adam Bengtson 9 years, 11 months ago

It's about ratings. ESPN doesn't typically schedule Kansas in primetime slots when they are at home. They schedule Kansas on the road for prime time for good television. People know it is hard to win on the road so they tune in to see if the game is close. ESPN does not want to see a Kansas 97 Oklahoma 65 score.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

A few things to consider regarding missing on Walker -

Our stock of low rated big guys right now .. Lucas/Peters/Traylor .. does not have to render a star. And it may end up being a positive when pursuing top post men.

What Self has done is infuse our program with guys that have development potential. Guys that may suffice this coming season in various roles, but once developed, could be players. And who knows, there may be a surprise there.

Remember, if we land a solid big guy for 2013, and say one or two for 2014, what do we really need from this group of three players?

Not much more than should be expected.

Ellis may very well end up playing the three. But if not, he appears to a three year player at the 4. We add a solid top 50 big guy in 2013. We only need help from two of the three we have now, right?

So if one completely flames out, not a big deal.

Of Lucas/Peters/Traylor -- If one, by his sophomore year is a solid rotation guy and by his junior year, can be of starter quality; and a second simply be a solid 4th post player in a rotation by 2013, we are fine.

Better yet, a top post player is likely not going to see any of the three (Lucas/Peters/Traylor) as a significant roadblock. The only way they become roadblocks is if they really play well. And in that case, we're happy as well.

I expect that Self will nail down a top big guy for 2013 -- one that everyone will be happy with. He isn't playing this the way he played it with Tarc.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

REHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

jb, sometimes it is frustrating to find comments deleted. Recently I wrote a perfectlty legitimate rational post about my hopes that legal or social problems would not badger this squad. Some joker replied, "Huh?" So I countered, "Duh?", and my reply was automatically wiped out. I thought it odd, so the next day I entered it again. Same deal: it never made print, and I didn't even get the violation statement which you received. HEM is right. Weird. Can anyone just "suggest removal," and SHAZAM?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Hey, HEM, do you recall what I said here? I don't recall saying anything provocative. Wasn't this where I just wrote "copy and paste"?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

Yes it was copy and paste. Your post must have been deemed outside of the evolving standards of decency. So many interpretations of copy and paste, you know. Even Chief Justice Warren would have censored you.


jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Tapping in headlines must stop.

I know two readers of this board that have committed suicide after seeing tap in the headlines.

I know one that has left his wife for an angus steer.

I know another that self-immolated with a bunson burner.

I know three more that have tried to microwave their heads.

One even threatened to help Mitt Romney outsource jobs through Bain Capital!!!!

Make the tapping stop!

Make it stop before more in Jayhawk nation take their lives, or worse, help outsource more jobs.


Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

The steer probably tasted better, depending on the cut.

Bain Capital? I'm strictly non-political when posting here. No one gives a damn who I vote for anyways.

Christian Laettner (w/ Coach K and a much better cast) clearly outplayed Shaq in their only college meeting.

I just threw that out there absolutely no reason.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Thx for the Laettner recall.

Also, sorry about not putting a "Warning: Political Content" at the top of my post. I always try to do that in order to give readers a chance to scroll on. Forgot to this time because I was trying to have some fun with the post. But, yep, I owe you an apology for not warning you up front. Sorry.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

No apology needed. Those are just my rules for myself. But thank you..classy as always.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Bulletin for Fatquille O'Kneel...

Stop bullying our Jacque.

When I was a Los Angeleno, and you were a new Laker, I used to defend you endlessly to doubters, when you still acted like a man of substance.

When you showed you had the quickest feet a 300lb footer ever had, I told people how amazing you were and how much you were changing the game.

And when they roughed you up and you bulldozed them into the cheap seats I said they had it coming.

I even looked the other way when you layed out Jayhawk Greg Ostertag, because he was a clown that needed a wake up call.

And when you went to the Heat I told people you would get them a ring for sure.

But now you go after my Jacque and all bets are off, you Fez headed Sidney Greenstreet m!@#$%^r.

Jacque Vaugn ain't Greg Ostertag, my dear Lord of Lard.

He's a wily little bastard and he'd eat a depleted uranium round, if it would help his team win.

Tweet-hits on Jacque betray Prince Porcine has nothing left in life to do but light bucket farts with a police taser.

And if Jowly O'Kneel tries to take a poke at our beloved Jacque to try to intimidate him out of the Magic head job, Jacque will not take it and smile, like Greg had to when you were a star and he was not. Jacque will likely twirl behind the morbidly obese white dwarf of a former star that Shaq has become, reach between his cellulite encased loins, grab his teeny scallops, yank them back, pull them up, and tie them around Shaq's fat throat in a full Windsor before Jabba the Hoophutt knows what choked him.

Don't threaten Jacque's paycheck and don't tread on Jayhawks any more, you sebaceous endomorph.

Very truly yours,

Your former loyal defender,


Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Not just because of the remarks quoted in the article above, but I, personally, have NEVER liked S*** Shack. Now that he's retired he seems to be getting his ugly mug in advertisements for a number of products on TV, but I'll never buy a product he advertisers (if I can in anyway help it.) He always seems stuck on himself. He has the charisma of Play-Doh. And I've always considered him a dunderhead, which the quote from above would seem to prove out. A real life Rocky Balboa from the Rocky II movie.

Let me suggest a scenario for a BB game with S Shack: I'd bet on a team of high school All-Americans every time over a team of NBA players if four rules were set in place for the game. 1. That charging fouls were called "by the book" against both teams. S.S. would foul out in no time. 2. S Shack would be the only one on his NBA team allowed to shoot the ball. 3. Double teaming wouldn't be allowed. 4. (And most telling) Neither team would be allowed to shoot the ball within 10 feet of the goal. Guaranteed, S*** Shack would lose every game. He's less a BB player than a bull in a china shop and, except for his size, is very one-dimensional. He's one of the few NBA players I would never pay to watch.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

Dat post mad u seem lik u r realy meen to shak. Wat wit dat?

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

HighEliteMajor, are you high on something - Maui Wowie or Kauai Electric? Or are you just imitating what S*** Shack most likely sounds like in everyday life? ROFLMAO

BTW, Unibrow {:-< , after he gets stuffed a few times in the NBA.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Is Semi Ojeleye another in-state player who was never interested in Kansas and Kansas had no interest in him i.e. Willie Cauley?

Yes, this has been discussed ad nausea but I still haven't seen an article where Willie Cauley actually stated his disinterest and reason.

I'm sure Cal would love to get another highly ranked Kansas high school graduate.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Looks more like Coach K has Duke in the lead to sign him.

Not sure if that's better or not.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 11 months ago

Semi's games and body type is very similar to that of Breanne Greene.

My guess would be that staff is not recruiting him because between Greene and Ellis we already have our wing players of the future

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 11 months ago

Good point although Greene prefers playing at the 2 position. Pretty sure that will change under HCBS. Purely guessing, but I see him at the 3 which is practically interchangeable under most circumstances.

Martin Shupert 9 years, 11 months ago

KULA, what planetoid are you from? Selby was a disaster. Morningstar was the glue the team needed. You're certifiable. Get help. If anyone else carried that thought around long enough to actually believe it, look to one judge of talent. It's you against the world and Bill Self is in charge of that world. LOL Get your eyesight checked.

TexasHawk44 9 years, 11 months ago

Who is Breanne Greene? Is she as hot as Justine Randle or Angie Barber? Hope we keep recruiting them regadless /)

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