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Wichita State transfer Jaykwon Walton commits to UCF men’s basketball

Hours after receiving a commitment from UMKC 4-star transfer Shemarri Allen, UCF men’s basketball landed a pledge from a second top prospect out of the portal Thursday night.

Wichita State guard Jaykwon Walton announced his intentions to join Johnny Dawkins and the Knights for their inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference.

A 4-star transfer on 247Sports.com, Walton ranked as the nation’s No. 91 overall prospect in the portal, according to the recruiting website.

The move, however, comes with controversy.

Walton, who averaged a career-high 13.9 points as the Shockers’ leading scorer last season, was bound to transfer to Alabama but those plans shifted quickly after he was arrested last month.

The Georgia native was arrested and charged with second-degree possession of marijuana, according to AL.com. Following Walton’s arrest and his later release on a $500 bond, Alabama coach Nate Oats said in a statement the Crimson Tide were no longer recruiting the 6-foot-7 junior.

Walton transferred following one season at Wichita State. The 2019 4-star prospect out of George Washington Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., began his college career at the University of Georgia.

There, however, Walton barely saw the court due to various injuries and illness, according to his Wichita State profile online. As a true freshman during the 2019-20 season, he only appeared in seven games. He entered the transfer portal two games into the following season.

Wichita State guard Jaykwon Walton announced Thursday night he is transferring to UCF. (Courtesy of Wichita State Athletics)
Wichita State guard Jaykwon Walton announced Thursday night he is transferring to UCF. (Courtesy of Wichita State Athletics)

Walton ended up at Shelton State in Alabama. During his one year at the junior college level, he averaged 12.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 22 games, helping his team reach the NJCAA national tournament.

A top junior college transfer, Walton originally signed with Mississippi State but ended up at Wichita State for the 2022-23 season.

With the Shockers, Walton made 27 starts and averaged 32 minutes while shooting 53.5% from the floor. Scoring almost 14 points per contest, he added 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

Because Walton already used his one-time transfer eligibility waiver, he will need an NCAA waiver to immediately play for the Knights, according to AL.com.

The Knights were in need of help at guard. CJ Kelly exhausted his eligibility and three more reserve guards — Tyem Freeman, Jayhlon Young and PJ Edwards — entered the transfer portal following the season.

The addition of Walton is the third for UCF from the portal this offseason. He joins Allen from UMKC and Jacksonville forward Omar Payne, who announced his pledge to the Knights on April 26.

Email Jason Beede at moc.lenitnesodnalro@edeebj or follow him on Twitter at @therealBeede.

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