Thursday, April 26, 2018
Miami, Lonnie Walker, NCAA Basketball
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Guard Lonnie Walker Declares For NBA Draft

19-year-old shooting guard Lonnie Walker entered Miami as a five-star recruit. The 6-foot-5 Pennsylvania native was one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s best freshmen and one of the Hurricanes’ best offensive weapons. After one year in South Beach, Walker has declared for the NBA Draft.

He shared the news on Twitter Wednesday night.

“I’m making a decision that I thought would never come true,” he wrote. “After reviewing my options with family and coaches, I’ve decided to enter the 2018 NBA Draft and will hire an agent.”

Miami was a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but it drew an unfortunate first-round opponent: No. 11 Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers upset the Hurricanes and advanced all the way to the Final Four. In Walker’s final collegiate game, he scored 12 points on 12 shots.

NBA Future

Walker is projected as a mid-first-round pick. NBADraft.net currently has him slotted at No. 15. He is an athletic wing who can score, so he presents a package NBA teams covet. He also has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, so you know Jay Bilas will love him. Oh, and he also has the Clutch Gene.

Walker played in 32 games this season and averaged 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He shot 34.6 percent from three-point range and 73.8 percent from the line.

He doesn’t always have the best shot selection, but when he’s feeling it, he can really score. Jim Larranaga inserted him into his starting lineup midway through the season. Shortly thereafter, Walker hung 25 and 23 on Louisville and Florida State, respectively.

Walker was the 16th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2017. Other top-ranked prospects from that class who are expected to go at the top of the NBA Draft: DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Michael Porter Jr.

About Aaron Mansfield

Aaron Mansfield is a freelance sports writer. His work has appeared in Complex, USA Today, and the New York Times. You can reach him via email at aaroncmansfield@gmail.com.

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