Friday, January 20, 2017

Shooting guard Lonnie Walker commits to Miami

Five-star wing Lonnie Walker has committed to Miami.
Walker chose the Hurricanes over Arizona, Kentucky, Villanova and Syracuse. He's the program's highest-ranked commitment since ESPN's recruiting database started in 2007.

Walker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Reading High School (Pennsylvania), is ranked No. 19 in the ESPN 100. He has already signed his letter of intent.
Miami received Walker's first official visit in late September, but this was presumed to be an Arizona vs. Villanova battle for much of the fall. Villanova had been recruiting him the longest and had the in-state pull, while Arizona made its move in September and October. However, after Walker took his official visit to Tucson in mid-October and didn't commit, Miami became more of a threat. He also took an official visit to Kentucky in early September.

"It was beautiful," Walker told ESPN in October when asked about Miami. "The environment, the people, I meshed with the players really well. Ja'Quan Newton, Dewan [Huell]. The coaches and assistant coaches, I mesh with really well. I thought it would take a little bit longer to talk to the players and hang out and everything, but it sort of just snapped right away."

Miami has had success with players from the Philadelphia area the last few years. Newton and Davon Reed -- who both played in the same AAU program as Walker -- are on the roster now, and assistant coach Adam Fisher is from the suburbs of Philly. Fisher was the lead recruiter on Walker.
Walker should make an immediate impact for Miami as a scorer on the wing. He's a good athlete that can score in a variety of ways. Walker is aggressive going to the rim, but is also excellent in the mid-range and make shots from the perimeter. He averaged 16.7 points and 4.1 rebounds for Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer, shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range.
Walker is the third five-star recruit to commit to Miami in the last two classes, after Bruce Bowen and Huell pledged in the 2016 class. He is the third ESPN 100 prospect in Jim Larranaga's 2017 class, joining Chris Lykes (No. 52) and Deng Gak (No. 93), along with New Zealand native Samuel Waardenburg.

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