Miami Hurricanes Freshman Lonnie Walker Discusses Future

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 29: Brian 'Tugs' Bowen II
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 29: Brian 'Tugs' Bowen II /

Lonnie Walker is the highest rated recruit in Miami Hurricanes basketball history. He is not likely to be in Coral Gables for more than a year. He recently discussed his draft status.

Walker is ranked 15th in the Class of 2017. Dewan Huell and Bruce Brown were 22nd and 23rd in the Class of 2016. They were the previous highest ranked players in the history of the Miami Hurricanes basketball program.

It’s been reported repeatedly throughout the spring and summer that Walker is expected to leave at the end of the 2017-18 season. Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga expects both Walker and Sophomore star Bruce Brown to leave following the season.

The tandem is projected as possible 2018 NBA Draft lottery picks. Draft Express projects Walker 11th and Brown 17th in the 2018 draft.

Several other NBA Mock draft sites have Walker being selected in the first round. The Reading Eagle lists several of the sites that have Walker being a first round pick.

"“ projects him to go No. 7 in the next NBA draft; has him at No. 8; has him at No. 10 …Sports Illustrated has him at No. 11, as does”"

Walker spoke with his hometown newspaper the Reading Eagle about his future.

"“It’s crazy…You don’t want to get it inside your head…but the fact that it’s right there it’s definitely breathtaking…My dad doesn’t like it, but sometimes you have to face reality and deal with it.”"

Walker’s father, Lonnie III Wants his son to have the college experience but understands the reality of potentially having millions of dollars available for his son.

The Eagle asked Lonnie III about the possibility of his son being “one and done” He said .”It’s not in my mind,”

Lonnie the fourth discussed his thoughts about leaving after just one season in college.

"“I’m just going by the grace of God. If it just so happens that I can be a lottery pick, then I’m gonna take my shot.” But, say I don’t play too well this year, (then) I’ll stay another year – or even four years and get my degree.”"

Walker earned a McDonald’s All-American game appearance to match Huell who earned one in 2016. Walker also played in the Jordan Brand Classic this spring, earning Co-MVP of the game.

Walker’s performance in the Jordan Classic was a great measuring stick about other possible one and done players in 2017. Seven of the top ten players in Draft Express’ 2018 Mock Draft played in the Jordan Classic.

Sports Illustrated Jeremy Woo profiled the top 20 prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft in an article last month. He said of Walker:

"“Walker is a prototypical two-guard with good size, strength and explosiveness on the wing. He should be an impact player for Miami, and has a chance at the lottery with his ability to attack the basket, shoot off the dribble and make from three-point range. His 6’10” wingspan could help make him a very good defender. He’s not a finished product, and will have to ease into the right role at Miami and show scouts he can put everything together. Walker’s talent and potential as a scorer really pops, and that could be enough to warrant a high selection.”"

Walker wasn’t thinking about being one and done until Larranaga spoke about it in April. Walker told the Eagle:

"“The fact that he said it shows that he has a lot of trust in me, he understands my potential and what I can be…If he says I can be a one-and-done, let’s run with it…I’ll work harder than anyone else, do whatever I’ve got to do (and) we can turn that dream into a reality and make the people I look up to into people I get to play against. I mean, why not?”"

Next: Miami Hurricanes could be in play for 5-Star Forward Reggie Perry

Walker pairing with Brown could be the most exciting tandem in Miami Hurricanes history. Getting the frontcourt led by Huell to produce could be the 2017-18 season.