Demetrius Walker Kevin Van Wijk

Another heart-breaking turn in the Demetrius Walker saga


News broke last night that Demetrius Walker had been suspended indefinitely from the New Mexico basketball team for what is being termed a violation of team rules.

“I won’t say any­more about it,” head coach Steve Al­ford told the Albuquerque Journal. “I want to pro­tect him ob­vi­ous­ly. It’s an in­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion and we’ll just see how it plays out the rest of the year.”

It will be a blow to the Lobos’ depth, but in recent weeks Walker’s playing time has been cut. He hasn’t played in the last four games as freshman Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas has passed him on the depth chart. Walker is a fourth-year junior having redshirted during the 2010-2011 season after transferring in from Arizona State. If he graduates in May, he can transfer to another Division I program for his senior season without having to sit out a year.

“Los­ing a team­mate like that for me per­son­al­ly is tough and I think col­lec­tive­ly we’re going to have to come togeth­er and try to move on,” Kendall Williams, who is close with Walker, said. “Get­ting ready for Vegas, you have to lock in your mind. I don’t think I’d be telling the truth if you said you didn’t feel for D-Walk and that the team’s not going to feel it.”

Anyone that knows Walker’s history will agree with that. As a 14 year old, Walker was put on the cover of Sports Illustrated and touted as the next hoops phenom. But, as was chronicled in the terrific book Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann, Walker was taken advantage of throughout his teenage years, forgotten and neglected when the 6-foot-3 14 year old never was still 6-foot-3 as a 17 year old.

Even from afar, it’s tough to watch Walker’s career take another heart-breaking turn for the worse.

The good news?

He should still get his degree, which is more important than anything else at this point, and he still has another year to play.

One can only hope he’ll find success as a hooper wherever he winds up for that season.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.