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Tuesday June 25, 2013 Hoops notes: Donovan's U.S. under-19 team, Walker, Boynton, Hill

Updated: 3:39pm, June 25

Kenny Boynton

Kenny Boynton finished as UF's second all-time leading scorer and hopes to make an NBA roster.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – With Gators coach Billy Donovan in Prague preparing the U.S. team for the FIBA U-19 World Championships, Florida assistant Matt McCall spoke to reporters on Monday’s SEC media teleconference.

Donovan’s U.S. squad, which features Gators guard Michael Frazier, opens play Thursday against Ivory Coast. Meanwhile, Frazier’s teammates welcomed a new member to town this week: freshman point guard Kasey Hill.

Hill was scheduled for orientation Tuesday and will start classes when the Summer B semester opens next week.

“Obviously this is an exciting time when you’re able to get some of your new guys on campus and have your old guys back and start working with them here,” McCall said.

The most notable item from McCall’s conference call related to signee Chris Walker, a McDonald’s All-American expected to join Hill in this year’s freshman class.

Walker’s status remains uncertain as he works toward fulfilling the academic requirements for admission to Florida. A product of Holmes County High in the Florida panhandle, Walker is a 6-foot-9 forward and one of the most highly touted recruits in the country.

“Chris is still working toward some different things academically,’’ McCall said. “I think the biggest thing [is] everything has to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse. We should have some more information later on in the summer. Right now, he’s continuing to work. The one thing I will say about Chris is that he is committed to the process and he has really done an unbelievable job.”

CBSSports.com columnist Gary Parrish has more on Walker in this column.

As for the Donovan-led U.S. under-19 team in Prague, The Washington Post’s Brandon Parker writes that Jahlil Okafor and Jerami Grant should play key roles for the U.S.

Finally, in other news from the SEC conference call, Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun gauged how coaches feel about the new block-charge rule in college basketball.

“If it helps the officials, then great, because it is one of the more inconsistent calls in the game right now,’’ McCall said. “If it helps that call become more consistent, then I'd think we'd be all for it.”

BOYNTON’S PROSPECTS

The NBA Draft is Thursday and Gators guard Kenny Boynton, the second all-time leading scorer in school history, hopes to hear his name called.

Boynton news has been relatively quiet leading up to the draft. He has worked out for several teams, including the Bulls, Rockets, Timberwolves, Magic and Blazers.

I did come across this radio interview Boynton did with Sports Talk 180 in Orlando prior to his workout for the Magic.

Asked if his shooting ability was what would get him drafted, Boynton said the Bulls and Timberwolves both told him after workouts that his touch had improved since Florida’s season ended.

Still, he said there is another part of his game that can help him earn a spot in the NBA.

“I take a lot of pride in my defense,’’ Boynton said. “I would say definitely my defense is a top strength of mine.”

As for the potential of going undrafted, Boynton said that won’t stop him from working toward the NBA.

“Whether it’s second round or undrafted, I’m just relentless and I wanna make a roster any way possible,’’ he said. “I know I have the talent to do so, I just have to put it forth and keep pushing.”

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