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Chris Walker to return to Florida basketball

GAINESVILLE — Florida forward Chris Walker will return for his sophomore season, he announced Wednesday.

Walker played just 87 minutes this season but was projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick by draft analysts.

"This year has been a great one," Walker tweeted. "And I'm happy to say I will be joining the gatornation again for one more year!"

Walker, 6 feet 10, did not join the team until December due to academic reasons then didn't play until Feb. 4 because of NCAA violations prior to enrolling. He played in 18 games, averaging 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 4.8 minutes.

Florida must replace its starting frontcourt. Walker and transfers Damontre Harris and Alex Murphy are potential replacements.

Draft: Kansas' Joel Embiid will enter after one season. The 7-footer, a potential top overall pick, averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds and was Big 12 defensive player of the year. He missed the tournament with a stress fracture in his back. … Kentucky forward Julius Randle denied a espn.com report that he will leave after one season. The projected top-10 pick who averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds tweeted he hasn't decided.

Ratings: Saturday's semis drew big viewers on TNT's "TeamCasts" despite the main coverage being on TBS. Connecticut-Florida averaged 11.7 million viewers: 7.1 million on TBS, 3.7 million on TNT's Florida coverage and 900,000 on truTV's Connecticut coverage. Kentucky's win over Wisconsin averaged 16.3 million: 10.4 million on TBS, 4.3 million on TNT's Kentucky coverage 1.6 million on truTV's Wisconsin coverage.

Postseason ban: Milwaukee lost its appeal to the NCAA and was banned from postseason play next season because of a low APR score. APR measures progress toward graduation. The Panthers lost to Syracuse in the round of 64 of this year's NCAA Tournament.

Jacksonville: Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne coach Tony Jasick was hired for the same position. He went 52-47 in three seasons for the Mastodons, including a school-record 25 wins this season.

SEC revenues rise: In its first fiscal year with Missouri and Texas A&M (Sept. 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2013), the SEC's revenue rose by about $41 million to $314.5 million, USA Today reported. The rise was attributed to adjustments in its TV contract. The league distributed $19.5 million to Missouri and Texas A&M. According to the report, Missouri got $12.5 million and Texas A&M $12.2 million from the Big 12 in 2010-11, their last year of full shares. The 12 other SEC schools received about $21 million, increases ranging from about $400,000 to $1 million.

Hockey: Union (N.Y.), No. 1 in the coaches' poll and seeking its first national title, faces five-time champ Boston College in Game 1 of the Frozen Four today in Philadelphia. In the other semifinal, five-time champ Minnesota faces seven-time champ North Dakota.

Softball: Taylor Schwarz's two-run single in the fourth and Bailey Castro's two-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh helped visi­ting Florida (35-8), No. 6 in the coaches' poll, beat No. 8 Florida State (38-5) 4-2 to earn a split of the season series.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Chris Walker to return to Florida basketball 04/09/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11:49pm]
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