VILLANOVA, Pa. – Former Wildcat standout Chris Walker is returning to Villanova as an assistant coach, it was announced today. Walker, a 1992 Villanova graduate, rejoins the Villanova family after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of New Mexico.
“We are thrilled to have another Wildcat alumnus join our staff,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. “Chris was an outstanding point guard while I was an assistant here and was one of the hardest working and committed players on our team. He has had an outstanding coaching career since his graduation and we are very fortunate to have him here as a teacher and mentor for our student-athletes.”
Walker, 39, came to Villanova from his native Houston, Tex., in 1988 to play for head coach Rollie Massimino. Wright served as an assistant coach in each of Walker’s four seasons on campus. During his days as an undergraduate, Walker started 96 games at point guard and helped the ‘Cats to two NCAA and two National Invitation Tournament appearances. His 404 career assists rank 13th on the school’s all-time list and he was twice chosen to the All-Philadelphia Big Five squad.
This marks Walker’s second stint as a Villanova assistant coach. He spent the 2000-01 campaign on the staff of former head coach Steve Lappas before accompanying Lappas to the University of Massachusetts. He was on the sidelines in Amherst for three seasons from 2001-05, including a one-year hiatus in 2004 when he served as the president and CEO of Spearhead Sports LLC in Houston. Walker has also served as the associate head coach at Vanderbilt (1996-99) and Pepperdine (1999-00) and head coach of the T-Mac All-Stars, a Houston based amateur unit.
The hiring of Walker fills the void created when former associate head coach Patrick Chambers was named head coach at Boston University in April.
With recruiting nearly finished and pre-draft workouts still not upon us, this is perhaps the slowest time for college basketball of the entire season. Naturally, Villanova basketball is no exception, however some notes of interest have surfaced over the last 10 days:
- Former Villanova guard and current New Mexico assistant head coach Chris Walker seems to be the frontrunner to replace Pat Chambers at Villanova next season. Walker graduated from Villanova in 1992. Since 1992 he has been heavily involved in coaching, making stops at Loyola Marymount, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, Villanova, UMass and New Mexico. He has significant ties to Texas recruiting, which would open up another avenue for the Wildcats.
- Corey Fisher will be a part of the United States team in the World University Games that will take place in Serbia this July. Incoming freshman Maalik Wayns will attempt to make the U-19 FIBA World Championship team for the United States in June.
- The field is set for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off next season. Aside from Villanova, the tournament will also feature Boston University (led by Pat Chambers), Dayton, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State and Ole Miss. Villanova should be the favorites and will most likely meet either Dayton or Georgia Tech if they advanced to the finals.
- Early predictions have Villanova and West Virginia as the class of the Big East this season. If Scottie Reynolds returns, expect the Wildcats to be the preseason pick to win the league.
- Kentucky has surpassed Villanova as the top recruiting class according to Rivals.com. The recent additions of DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe have pushed Kentucky to the top. According to Adam Zagoria of SNY, Kentucky may also land #1 recruit PG John Wall, who is deciding between Kentucky and Miami.
- Kyle Lowry has been a key part of the Houston Rockets run in the playoffs. He has served as the backup point guard to Aaron Brooks, but has logged at least 15 minutes in all but one game this postseason. He is averaging 5.5 points per game for the Rockets this postseason.
– David Cassilo