Walker Trying Not To Do Too Much
Erving Walker
Erving Walker
FightinGators.com Insider
Posted Jan 18, 2011


It’s rare that Erving Walker feels helpless. He’ll take the big shot when his team needs points and doesn’t mind being the main scoring option. However, there is a bad habit in his game that still causes the helpless feeling to creep into his mind.

Erving Walker is counted on to run the offense as the point guard. Ideally, he would play off the ball and be able to create his own shot, but he has adapted to the point guard position since coming to Florida.   

Since taking over the position at the start of last season, Walker hasn’t struggled giving the Gators scoring as the point guard. His issues come in trying to make too many things happen.  

Head coach Billy Donovan, a former point guard at Providence, has spent time working on calming Walker down. His eyes often light up when he sees a lane to the basket. Walker’s quickness allows him to beat a defender off the dribble and get to the basket, but it’s what happens next that has become the issue.  

For some reason, one Walker can’t even explain, he leaves his feet.  

“(The turnovers) happen with me leaving my feet,” Walker said. “It’s a bad habit and something that I need to get out of. I just need to keep my dribble.”  

For someone who has been a scorer his entire playing career, it’s easy to understand why Walker gets overanxious. When the point guard is driving to the basket, he sees an opportunity to score or set up a teammate for an easy shot.  

The aggressiveness Walker plays with sometimes pays off when he threads the needle for a perfect pass or drills a long range three-pointer, but the coaches are trying to spend time making Walker a smarter player.  

“Where he gets into trouble is when he leaves his feet, there are times when a hole or gap gets closed down,” Donovan said. “That leaves him in a position where he can’t make a shot, so he has to find somebody late. He has to stay on the ground and not commit to the rim so early. He thinks he has a clear layup, then a hole gets closed down. That’s when you see him up in the air trying to find somebody late. We’ve got to eliminate those plays.”   

Despite missing the front end of a crucial one-and-one from the free throw line against South Carolina, Walker has been the go-to player in crunch time this season. That’s one of the reasons Donovan recruited him so hard out of high school. The Florida head coach saw a winner. He saw a player that would do anything to help his team.   

But more than anything, Donovan saw a player who hated to lose.   

“There are guys that have the awareness of making the winning play, whether it’s a shot, steal, or block out,” Donovan said. “All players want to win, but I look it at the other prospective of- which guys hate losing? He probably gets more displeasure out of losing than he does pleasure out of winning.”  

   


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