DeVon Walker’s season is over before it even started.
The junior swingman, who had the opportunity to compete for a starting job or at least sixth-man minutes at the small forward position, suffered a torn ACL on Friday and will likely seek a medical redshirt for the 2014-15 season.
After making minimal contributions in his freshman campaign — averaging 0.8 points per game in 25 appearances with a team-worst .182 field goal percentage — Walker improved in his second year with the Gators.
The Winter Haven, Fla., native made seven starts last season and saw his minutes more than triple from his freshman year. Walker finished fourth on the team in blocked shots (13) and three-pointers made (19).
Walker had career days early in the season against Southern and Middle Tennessee State. After scoring just four points in the first three games of the year, he scored 20 points on a combined .429 shooting clip against the Jaguars and the Blue Raiders, joining Patric Young and Casey Prather as the only two UF players to produce double-digit point totals in both games.
With Walker out of the mix, Florida’s starting small forward spot will likely be between redshirt junior Dorian Finney-Smith and incoming freshman Devin Robinson to start the season.
Finney-Smith is the reigning Southeastern Conference Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 8.7 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds per contest off the bench last season.
The Virginia Tech transfer also set career highs in field goal percentage (.370) and assists per game (2.05) in his first season with the Gators.
Robinson was a five-star prospect and the No. 20 recruit out of Christchurch (Va.) School. The 6-foot-8, 180-pound Robinson averaged 25.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during his senior year while also playing for the Richmond Squires Amateur Athletic Union basketball team.
Alex Murphy, a transfer from Duke, could also vie for starting time in the second half of the season. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Murphy will be ineligible to compete until December.
Murphy, the brother of former Florida and current Utah Jazz power forward Erik Murphy, made 36 appearances during his tenure at Duke, including five before deciding to transfer to UF on Dec. 18.
The Wakefield, R.I., native averaged 2.1 points per game on .491 shooting in the 2012-2013 season. He made a career high 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes of action in Duke’s 90-63 loss to Miami on Jan. 23, 2013.
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