Lonnie Walker IV had a productive freshman season with the Miami Hurricanes. By the end of the year, Walker led the Hurricanes with 11.5 points in 28 minutes per game. The Hurricanes finished the season with a (22-10) record after earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, Walker’s lasting memory in college basketball will be a couple of miscues in the Hurricane’s loss to the Loyola-Chi Ramblers. Despite not finishing the season on a high note, Walker feels it’s time to test the NBA Draft as a potential lottery pick.
Walker turned the ball over and missed the front end of a 1 and 1 in the final minute of their first-round loss to the Ramblers. Interestingly enough, if Walker would have made those plays, we may have very well seen the Hurricanes in the Sweet 16 and beyond. Moreover, a Hurricanes run in the NCAA Tournament would have opened a lot of eyes to Walker’s ability on the court. Instead, Walker is still an unknown commodity as players still decide whether or not to enter the draft and sign with an agent.
As a freshman, Walker shot 41 percent from the field. He made over 34 percent of his 3-point attempts as well. Therefore, scouts know Walker has a lot of offensive tools to work with. Still, he only managed three games over 20 points this season. As a result, Walker is coming into the draft process as a project more than anything. He had a career high 26 points against Boston University. Walker scored an ACC high of 25 points against the Louisville Cardinals. He also produced two games with five assists. Still, his game should translate well at the next level.
In addition to becoming a quality shooter, Walker has elite athleticism. However, there’s no real expectations for him to become a factor next season. While some may think Walker is a lottery pick, there are only a certain number of selections. Therefore, everybody can’t become a lottery pick. Walker may become one of the casualties of leaving extremely early. Still, he seems like a lock to become a first-round draft choice.