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Report: Kemba Walker leaving Connecticut, entering draft

Apr 12, 2011, 10:51 AM EDT

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Butler v UConn Getty Images

Kemba Walker, who led Connecticut to the National Championship, has decided to leave college and enter the NBA draft.

That according to Andy Katz of ESPN. UConn has a press conference called for Tuesday where that will beocome official. And it is the right move. (We should note, as was pointed out in the comments, Walker is graduating in three years, but he could return for one more season if he wished.)

Walker is expected to be an NBA lottery pick (Draft Express has him as the fifth rated prospect). He’s the kind of small (6’0”), quick guard that has been in vogue in the NBA and he has an impressive step back shot and midrange game. But he is not an elite NBA athlete in the John Wall or Kyrie Irving kind of way, he’s going to have to adjust his game to the faster and longer guys he will regularly face in the NBA. But he should be a solid NBA point guard at the least, and there is value in that.

One other thing to like — Walker has been a big game player, stepping up on the biggest stages to make plays. He was a force when UConn needed him in the Big East and NCAA Tournament. You like having those kind of guys on your team.

  1. minnesotablizzard - Apr 12, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    “One other thing to like — Walker has been a big game player, stepping up on the biggest stages to make plays. He was a force when UConn needed him in the Big East and NCAA Tournament. You like having those kind of guys on your team.”

    Ugh..sounds like Jonny frickin Flynn.

  2. minnesotablizzard - Apr 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    I think Kemba will be much much much better than Flynn, but the size similarities and big games in the big east are scary similarities.

  3. zblott - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    This is without a doubt the best time for Kemba to come out. The draft is shallow and weak, and he just had a great tourney against mostly weak teams. If he waits to next year, he drops at least 15 spots in the draft.

    • evanhartford - Apr 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      zblott, I wouldn’t call Walker overrated or underrated. I think everyone expects him to be anywhere from “good” to “ok” in the NBA. He’s a lottery pick because he’s one of the best players to come out of college, period. He also’s VERY good at distributing the ball, evidenced by his APG both during the regular season and during the tournament. He’s very difficult to guard because of his speed and hopefully his ability to penetrate (and dish the ball out) will translate at the next level. I think that’s the biggest question mark.

      And don’t discount the teams he faced as “mostly weak.” UConn’s RPI was among the highest of any team and the Arizona/Kentucky/San Diego State are/were all GREAT teams.

  4. collegebasketballqueen - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Hey you bunch of dweebs- He may be leaving UCONN in 6 weeks BECAUSE- he is graduating with a 3.5 out of their College of Business with a finance degree. Yes he has 1 year of eligibility left, but why hang?

    There is really no need for him to stick around and eat a scholarship as a Grad Asst.

    Like how that little bit was left out of the Article. Just ask Odom. He’s another 3 and done w a degree!!!

  5. uconn98 - Apr 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    He is not “leaving” college for the NBA. He is graduating in three years.

  6. jimsjam33 - Apr 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    What a shock ! Surprize Surprize .

  7. lebronsinsecurity - Apr 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    I wouldn’t say I expect him to be a great player, he should be pretty good.. I do however have much respect for him treating his collegiate experience as a real collegiate experience, getting a degree! The one reason why I hate the NCAA is the false assumption that college is simply a platform to get drafted, not actually going to real classes.. I’m currently a senior at a bigger University, and i’m tired of hearing about the athletic scholarships half these kids are getting while treating it like a joke, while academic scholarships are almost non-existent now.. Don’t get me wrong, some collegiate athletes are bright intelligent individuals…Unfortunately the majority of them would never even see a college campus if they didn’t win the genetic lottery.. I know the majority of you will adamantly disagree with me, but it’s been proven over and over again, except for the few minor exceptions such as Kemba…

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