Thanks to class of 2013 power forward Chris Walker (Watch List) for doing the interview with us. He talked to us about his favorite schools, his favorite coaching staff and much more in our in-depth conversation. In case you missed it, check out our lengthy recruiting update on Walker in which he talks more about possibly teaming up with class of 2013 center Nerlens Noel (Watch List) among other things.
My list of schools is Kentucky, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Kansas, Alabama, Syracuse and Baylor. They all have good coaching staffs and most of them sends guys to the pros.
Do any of those schools stand out?
Kentucky, Florida and Syracuse. I just like them the most, they just standout to me.
Which school called you first and does that mean something to you?
When Baylor head coach Scott Drew talked to me first at midnight [when coaches could start calling], I was just like, dang, coach Drew called me first and other coaches didn’t? It made me put them in my list of schools.
Who else called you on that first day?
Baylor, Florida, Ohio State, Syracuse, Kansas, Memphis, Tennessee, Alabama, N.C. State, Auburn and a lot more. Oh yeah, I’d also put Texas in my top schools. I’d make it a top five and put Texas in there with Kansas, Syracuse, Florida and Kentucky.
What were some of the coaches telling you?
[Kentucky head] coach [John] Calipari was telling me about all the people he’s put in the pros and if I come to Kentucky he won’t just give it to me, I’ll have to work hard to earn my minutes. When he told me that it really stood out.
Did you have any favorite schools growing up? Does it help them at all in your recruitment?
Yeah, Kentucky. I just liked the way they played, their colors and their fan base is crazy, I just love everything about them. It maybe helps them a little bit but if they have guys already their in 2012 I won’t go their, that’s also something I’m looking at. I’m definitely going to take into consideration who coaches already have. If guys like [class of 2011 power forward] Anthony Davis (#1) are already at Kentucky, I probably won’t go there. That’s another thing I’m looking at.
Speaking of fan bases, which fan base would you say is recruiting you the best and the hardest?
Kentucky (Editor’s note: Chris said Kentucky before I could even finish my question).
Does that impact you at all?
Yeah, Everyday they are writing something to me on Twitter… it just shows they’re crazy.
So do you think when fans sends guys messages on Twitter it actually helps?
Yeah, I think it does a little bit.
What are you looking for in a school?
I want to go to a school that produces pros, has a great fan base, has great academics, has a good basketball team and has a coach that I have a good relationship with.
Do any of the schools on your list embody what you just described?
Probably Baylor, I know they’re good, Florida’s good and Kentucky.
What type of system do you want to play in at college?
I want to play in the Run’N’Gun, a system that attacks the rim and lets their big man play out on the perimeter some.
I’m going to Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State.
You didn’t mention Louisville on your list, why do you want to take a visit?
I just want to get a feel for them before I put them on my list. Also, the Louisville head coach got in touch with me on Facebook the other day.
How often do coaches contact you on Facebook?
Coaches are contacting me every single day (laughing), it’s every coach really. They are always talking to me on Facebook or calling me, it’s constant, but I like that they can message me like that. Sometimes they send videos and highlights of their schools and that kind of stuff.
Has any video stood out at all?
I really like Florida’s, it was nice, it was just dunking highlights from this year.
Are there any players that you want to play with in college?
In my class, me and [power forward] Julius [Randle] (Watch List) are talking about teaming up. I want to play with Nerlens Noel (Watch List) too, you never know what will happen. Probably Nerlens Noel though because me and Julius play the same position, but me and Nerlens have been talking about teaming up.
How serious is that kind of talk? Is it more joking around or is it actually serious?
I actually want to play with Nerlens, we would get it done, we would have a good front court.
Have you guys talked at all about any particular colleges you want to go to?
We’ve actually talked about scheduling visits on the same day. We’ve talked about visiting Kentucky, Florida and a bunch of schools.
It seems like you guys talk a lot, who do you think his favorite school is?
I think his favorite school is also Kentucky.
So Kentucky is your favorite school too?
Yeah, but I don’t know for sure though.
Which school is recruiting you the hardest?
Florida, I talk to them like everyday on Facebook. They also send me a lot of videos on Facebook like highlights of all of their dunks from last season.
Are there any older guys recruiting you?
[Class of 2011 shooting guard] Austin Rivers (#2) of Duke is recruiting me, [class of 2011 power forward] Quincy [Miller] (#7) is trying to get me to go to Baylor and [class of 2011 shooting guard] Brad Beal (#5) wants me at Florida. They’re always hitting me up, it’s crazy. They are mentoring me too and not just recruiting me. They are giving me advice on what to say and what not to say.
What are they telling you to not say?
Stupid stuff on Twitter (laughing).
Who’s doing the best?
Quincy is doing the best. He’s always sending me pictures and stuff and is telling me how cool the campus and coach Drew are.
Why do you play basketball?
I love playing basketball… and it opens up a lot of doors. I love being able to play against great competition, I get to compete against the best players in my class and I enjoy it.
You said before that academics are important, why is that important to you?
I want to make sure the school I go to has good academic programs as sort of a back-up plan. I want to be able to do something after basketball.
Who has helped you the most in the recruiting process? What have they done?
My parents have helped me the most in the recruiting process. They just tell me not to feed into everything and not to get big-headed. They just want me to stay humble.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
This year when I had like nine dunks in a high school game. One time a guy tried to take a charge but I jumped over him and dunked it and everyone was like, ‘oh my god.’ (laughing)
What’s one thing that people probably don’t know about you?
That I’m 6’9, because everyone is always asking me how tall I am; and that I’m humble and I just want to be the best person I can be on and off the court. I’m also pretty smart.