Chris Walker wants a scholarship offer from Kentucky, and he wants it now.
The consensus top-10 recruit from 2013 told Rivals.com on Thursday that he didn’t feel like a priority for UK. He said he was “sort of” bothered by the fact that he’s still waiting on a scholarship offer despite drawing rave reviews from recruiting analysts and NBA scouts this spring. He also said if the UK offer doesn’t come soon, the Cats might as well not even bother.
“If they don’t offer me this month or pretty soon I’m probably just going to cut them,” Walker said in the UK-centered Q&A.
This isn’t the first time Walker has voiced his frustrations about UK’s slowly developing recruitment. Last fall, Walker tweeted that he would make his college decision in November. Kentucky was thought to be a favorite, if not the favorite. But the UK offer never came, so he backed off an announcement. On December 1, things came to a head.
“UK not interested in me so i’ll do the same when they get interested I will also,” Walker tweeted. He added “Things can change as soon as they change.” It probably wasn’t the best way to curry favor with John Calipari and company, and it surely didn’t do anything to further his goal of landing an offer.
There are two schools of thought as to why UK hasn’t offered Walker: Julius Randle and Twitter. Randle is a fellow 2013 star who does have a UK offer and, like Walker, is projected as a power forward. Randle is rated higher, but not by much. And while Randle has said UK will be one of his five official visits, there aren’t many who count the Cats as his favorite. Walker has acknowledged he might be Plan B, but he’s also said that Calipari envisions him in the center role at UK. So Cal obviously thinks Walker and Randle could co-exist.
That leaves Twitter. Walker’s an avid (and sometimes irreverent) user of the social media tool. And that’s not likely to change. “Sometimes I just like to have fun. I am young and that’s all. It’s fun for me,” he told Jody Demling last weekend. Calipari has been tough on Twitter users in the past, and Walker’s tantrum last December is the type of self-inflicted PR mistake the UK coach has tried to avoid.
Calipari also knows how much Walker has praised UK, and that can be used to his advantage. Shortly after all but issuing UK an ultimatum over the timing of an offer, Walker called the school “awesome” and raved about Calipari’s coaching philosophy. UK assistant coach John Robic is watching Walker this week, and the recruit is clearly expecting an offer sometime in July. If he doesn’t get it he could very well cut the Cats from his list. But if Walker remains uncommitted and Calipari gives him a call later this fall, no one would be surprised if he put UK back atop his list.
As Walker said, things can change as soon as they change.