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Derrick Walker Announces Transfer Destination

Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

Two weeks after he put his name in the NCAA transfer portal, Tennessee forward Derrick Walker has announced where he’ll be transferring to.

Walker took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to announce that he’ll be transferring to Nebraska to play under new Cornhusker head coach Fred Hoidberg.

Nebraska hired Hoidberg this offseason after he was dismissed as head coach of the Chicago Bulls in the NBA during the 2018-19 NBA season. Hoidberg has rapidly overhauled Nebraska’s roster since taking over, and Walker is the latest addition to the Cornhusker’s roster.

Walker, a 6-foot-8, 236-pound forward from Kansas City, Missouri, signed with Tennessee out of Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas and joined the Vols prior to the 2017-18 season. As a freshman, Walker appeared in 34 of the Vols’ 35 games and showed signs of growth and progress as the season went along.

As a sophomore, though, Walker’s playing time actually decreased.

Walker appeared in just 30 of Tennessee’s 37 games this past season, and he averaged only 5.3 minutes per game after averaging 8.8 minutes a game as a freshman. The sophomore didn’t play in two of the Vols’ three NCAA Tournament games and didn’t play in UT’s first game of the SEC Tournament against Mississippi State. Walker failed to play more than six minutes in any game in the month of February onward.

In his 5.3 minutes of play per game this season, Walker averaged 0.8 points and 1.1 rebounds while making 10 of his 19 field goals. As a freshman, Walker averaged 1.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 8.8 minutes a game, making 28 of his 47 shot attempts.

It’s unlikely that Walker will be able to play in the 2019-20 season and will likely have to sit due to NCAA transfer rules unless he can get a waiver.

Tennessee wasted no time in filling Walker’s roster spot. Shortly after Walker put his name in the transfer portal, the Vols signed four-star 2019 power forward Olivier Robinson-Nkahmoua, effectively giving the new power forward Walker’s vacated scholarship spot.

The Vols could have some more roster attrition this offseason depending on the decisions of juniors Jordan Bone and Grant Williams. Both Bone and Williams are currently testing the NBA Draft waters, and both are participating in the 2019 NBA Draft Combine this week. Both players have until May 29th to withdraw their names from the draft pool if they wish to return to Tennessee for their senior seasons. If they don’t return, then UT will have two more scholarship spots to fill before the 2019-20 season begins.

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