On Sunday morning at 8 am, Chris Walker — a top ten recruit in the Class of 2013 — posted a video to youtube to announce that he would be committing to Billy Donovan at Florida.
In the video, Walker all-but guaranteed that he would win a national title while at Florida if you consider “We will win a national championship” all-but a guarantee. Guaranteeing a win in anything is always a bad decision, particularly when the game you are guaranteeing a win in won’t take place for 20 months and especially when John Calipari’s recruiting class for that season could feasibly be Andrew Wiggins, the Harrison twins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and James Young.
That said, it is worth noting that Florida has a chance to be pretty good in their own right.
By then, Erik Murphy, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario will have graduated while Patric Young will, in all likelihood, have made his way to the NBA Draft. But transfers Damontre Harris and Dorian Finney-Smith will become eligible in 2013, combining with Walker to give the Gators a very good core along their front line. Throw in then-seniors Scottie Wilbekin and Will Yeguete, a highly-regarded class of four perimeter players in the Class of 2012, another top ten recruit in the Class of 2013 in point guard Kasey Hill and whoever else Donovan can land while recruiting in 2013, and … well, maybe what Walker said isn’t so outlandish after all.
It is way, way (way, way, way) too soon to start talking about favorites for the 2014 national title.
But when that time does come, don’t be surprised if Florida is in the mix.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.