Florida’s Chris Walker declares for NBA Draft

Sophomore center Chris Walker, a highly-touted five-star prospect who struggled to make an impact in two years with the Florida Gators, has decided to leave the team to try his hand at becoming a professional basketball player.

Walker has officially declared for the 2015 NBA Draft, joining junior guard Michael Frazier II, who left the program weeks ago. Walker’s declaration comes two days before the NBA’s Sunday draft declaration deadline.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Parsons, Jackson, Easley

1 » Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz spoke with the media on Thursday and provided some perspective on the team’s decision to sign former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. “We worked him out and we saw improvement from the last time we saw him,” he said. “[We] had exposure to him live when we played New England when they practiced here. When we worked him out, we saw a great deal of improvement in him.” Ultimately, the Eagles decided “that it was an opportunity to bring in somebody who could compete for a spot,” and all indications are that Tebow will get that chance, a legitimate one at that – unlike some of his other stops..

2 » Forward Chandler Parsons, in his first year with the Dallas Mavericks, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering what appears to be a serious right knee injury. Parsons, who was averaging 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per game for Dallas, was a full-season starter for the Mavericks and the team’s key free agent signing in the offseason. The Houston Rockets, Parsons’s former team, leads the Mavericks 2-0 in their first-round series. Fellow former Florida F Corey Brewer is averaging 15.0 points in 26.5 minutes per game for Houston thus far in the series. He’s shooting .500 from the field and .571 from beyond the arc.

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Report: Chris Walker not expected back at Florida

Florida Gators sophomore center Chris Walker, a highly-touted five-star prospect that has struggled to make an impact in the college ranks, is not expected to return to the team next season, multiple sources told Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels.

According to Daniels, Walker has not decided whether to transfer to another program or play professionally, but the end result will be the termination of his career at Florida.

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Billy Donovan to Oklahoma City rumors flare up after Thunder fires coach Scott Brooks

Updated Thursday at 8:25 a.m.

The Oklahoma City Thunder fired head coach Scott Brooks on Wednesday, and Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has already been tabbed as a “serious candidate” and the potential favorite to replace him.

Yahoo! Sports‘ Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported Brooks’ dismissal, cited in the story that “Donovan is expected to become a serious candidate” to replace Brooks, the second time he mentioned Donovan’s name with the Oklahoma City job. ESPN‘s Marc Stein has called Donovan the “natural favorite” to replace Brooks, while the network’s Jeff Goodman immediately referred to the fact that Thunder general manager Sam Presti hired two front office members off Donovan’s staff just one year ago.

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Florida Gators in 2015 NBA Playoffs: First Round

With the 2014-15 NBA Playoffs underway, 10 of the 11 former Florida Gators basketball players in the league advanced to the postseason.

The Gators are represented on nine of the 16 playoff teams with four starters and six reserves active for competition. The 10 total UF players in the postseason marks the most of any school this year.

OnlyGators.com breaks down how each player fared during the 2014-15 regular season as well as their respective outlooks for the playoffs, which began on Saturday.

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TWO BITS: Beal on Donovan, Wambach honored

1 » Former Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal, now with the Washington Wizards, appeared on The Dan Patrick Show Friday and discussed whether he believes Florida head coach Billy Donovan will be successful in the NBA should he choose to leave the Gators. “I think he’d be great. I agree with the rumors. I think he’ll definitely leave. He won’t pass that opportunity up too many times,” Beal said. “And I think he’ll be a tremendous coach. He loves playing the pick and rolls. He loves to space the floor and he loves to give his players freedom. I definitely think he’ll excel in the league.”

Read without context, that can be taken as Beal suggesting he knows Donovan will leave Florida; however, in the context of the question, it is more of an assessment of his former coach’s ability to succeed in the league, especially since the “rumors” are not guaranteeing he is leaving the Gators but rather citing it as a possibility.

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Report: Billy Donovan a ‘serious candidate’ to coach Oklahoma City Thunder

Should the Oklahoma City Thunder decide to move on from head coach Scott Brooks, whose partnership with the team is currently being “evaluated” by executives, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan “could emerge as a serious candidate” to be his replacement, according to Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brooks has gone 545-338 in seven years with the organization, finishing first in the Northwest Division in four straight seasons and making the playoffs in five consecutive campaigns. But Oklahoma City has yet to win an NBA title under Brooks and the team is facing some tough decisions in 2015-16 with injured superstar Kevin Durant’s health and contract situation both major concerns for the franchise.

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KeVaughn Allen, Keith Stone sign National Letters of Intent with Florida Gators

Two of the four members of the Florida Gators‘ 2015 men’s basketball signing class – four-star guards KeVaughn Allen (North Little Rock, AR) and guard Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) – put ink to paper on their National Letters of Intent during National Signing Day on Wednesday.

The Gators have not announced their 2015 signing class, which also includes two other four-star prospects in forward Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL) and Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL). A source told OnlyGators.com last week that Dickerson and Hayes had previously signed their NLIs.

Allen remained committed to Florida despite heavy pressure from those close to him to remain in state and play for Arkansas. Stone as long been a dedicated UF commit who was simply waiting until signing day to make his pledge official.

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