On Wednesday afternoon Tennessee basketball big man, Derrick Walker, put his name in the transfer portal. It’s surprising news if you ask us.
Derrick Walker wasn’t a huge piece of the puzzle for the 31-win Tennessee basketball team last season. However, hearing the news of his name in the transfer portal makes little sense to us. Now, there is no guarantee that Walker was going to develop into a good basketball player, but you would have to think more minutes were coming his way next season.
Senior, Kyle Alexander graduated, and there is potential that Grant Williams stays in the NBA Draft. Not to mention that Admiral Schofield and potentially Jordan Bone are gone as well. While Walker certainly isn’t playing the point or small forward position, that is additional 64.6 minutes up for grabs.
Last season, Walker played 5.3 minutes per game, which was the least of all the scholarship players. He scored just 25 points, which again was the worst of the scholarship players. Both minutes and points per game were down from his freshman season. In fact, he regressed in almost every statistical category.
Will the departure hurt the Vols?
Probably not. That’s not a knock on Derrick Walker, the person, he’s a great kid, but he didn’t bring much to the table basketball wise.
So, what does this mean for Rick Barnes and the program? Was Walker told, “hey we’ve got some guys coming in, and they are going to play a more significant role?
Truthfully, there is no telling. However, maybe this opens the door for former Virginia Tech big man, Kerry Blackshear. I can’t begin to explain how big a get Blackshear would be, especially if Grant Williams decides he is going to stay in the NBA Draft.
To be fair and clear, Walker can still come back to Tennessee. Just because his name is in the portal doesn’t mean he will find another team. But, good luck to him with whatever happens.