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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Future Gator Chris Walker certainly has no shortage of self-confidence

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Chris Walker (Getty Images)

The last time Florida landed a one-and-done caliber talent, he was so selfless and humble Billy Donovan had to encourage him to stop deferring to his teammates and start shooting more often.

Don't expect a repeat of that with the Gators' next one-and-done.

Although forward Chris Walker is every bit the talent recent lottery pick Bradley Beal was, the outgoing class of 2013 standout possesses confidence that can sometimes border on cockiness or brashness.

Last month, he guaranteed he'd win Florida a national championship when he committed via video. Then in an interview with the Panama City News-Herald this week, Walker strongly hinted he intends to turn pro after one season and offered a glowing evaluation of how his game has improved.

"NBA draft people have said I'm like a sick mix of Kevin Garnett and Perry Jones III," Walker said.

"I can shoot threes now. I can finesse you. I can dunk on you. I can guard anything, and I'm rebounding better. When I block shots I catch the ball. I can post you up with my back to the basket and hit you with a post move. Or I can face you up and use my quickness to blow by you."

Confidence is an important attribute for a top prospect, but critics of Walker suggest he may have too much of a good thing. Whereas Beal was incredibly unassuming for a kid who had been pegged for stardom for years, Walker thus far has bravado about himself more reminiscent of Austin Rivers.

At the same time, like Rivers, Walker can back it up.

Walker, a Florida native and Rivals.com's No. 6 player in the Class of 2013, has been the Gators' top target for several years. The athletic 6-foot-9 forward will help fill the void in the paint created by the likely departures of rising junior Patric Young and rising senior Erik Murphy.

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