Walker Ready to Run the Point
Erving Walker
Erving Walker
FightinGators.com Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2009

Last year, it was all about Nick Calathes. With his departure to professional basketball, the Florida Gators will now look to Erving Walker to run the point guard position.The 5-8 sophomore will be making the transition back to the position his had played his entire life up until last season when he played off the ball because Calathes ran the offense.

Erving Walker expects the transition back to point guard to be an easy one.

“That is my natural position I played it in high school,” Walker said. “Last year with Nick being here, I was off the ball, but that’s my natural position so there’s nothing I’m uncomfortable with.”

Although Walker does want to have the same type of success as Calathes, he wants to establish his own identity on the court.

“You try to be good or whatever, but I’m not trying to follow in Nick’s shoes. I’m my own style of play; he’s got his own style of play,” Walker said.

Almost a whole foot shorter than Calathes, Walker has to bring a different style to be successful at the college level.

He has been working hard on improving those aspects of his game that have made him good, and he has been trying to add another wrinkle in his game to bring himself to another level.

“Just being low to ground, my quickness helps and creates space, but the floater is a good shot for little guys so I’m actually working on that shot a little more,” he said.

Walker can also expect to be played differently by defenses now that he is running the point compared to being off the ball.

He said he is ready for defenses to try and pressure him more and be more physical with him.

Walker plans to continue playing his aggressive style, but he will need to be smarter about how he plays.

The Gators have no other true point guard on scholarship that is eligible to play — freshman Nimrod Tishman, a point guard from Israel, has not yet been cleared by the NCAA to play in games. With little depth behind him, Walker will need to stay out of foul trouble.

“Nobody wants to get in foul trouble, so I’m going to play the aggressive defense that I always play, aggressive offense,” Walker said. “You don’t want to pick up a cheap foul, but you still want to play aggressive.”

That also means more minutes on the court for Walker, which requires him being in great physical shape.

UF head coach Billy Donovan told Walker that this would be the toughest season he has ever played and worked with the sophomore to prepare him for what lies ahead.

“It was a good summer for improvement, a lot of conditioning, weight room. Coach D is definitely going to help me out at point guard,” Walker said.

As for Walker, he knows he has a difficult road in front of him, but you will not hear much argument from him about his increased role.

“It’s definitely not going to be easy, but I’ve never heard of a player complaining about playing a lot of minutes,” Walker said.

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