Early Monday morning, it officially was announced that Florida assistant men’s basketball coach Norm Roberts would be taking the same position at Kansas. The move by Roberts seemed like the natural move because it not only reunites Roberts with his long-time friend Bill Self, but Roberts’ son, Niko, is a sophomore guard for the Jayhawks.
Anytime a coach leaves a school, the likely question is if the coach’s departure will have any effect on recruiting. Although Roberts was only at Florida for a short period of time, he developed relationships with several prospects on the recruiting trail.
Here are a few recruits’ reactions to the Roberts’ departure and if it affects their opinion on the Gators:
Joel Berry-2014 PG: “Well, I haven’t talked to him a lot and really don’t know about him. However, he seems like a great guy and he’s really energetic and that’s what I like about him. So, it really doesn’t have an impact on my decision. The thing that is a problem is that they have four leave the program the last two years, so it is a possibility that someone else might leave. I just hope no one else leaves. The only assistant coach that I really have a strong relationship with is [Matt] McCall.”
Adonys Henriquez-2014 SG: “Well, he is a good coach, but it doesn’t really impact me that much. Florida is still at the top of my list.”
Jalen Lindsey-2014 PF: “My opinion on Florida doesn’t change. They are still high on my list.”
Markel Crawford-2013 SG: “It doesn’t have much to with me because he doesn’t recruit me.”
Richard Lee-2014 SG: “Well, this won’t affect my decision if I decide to go to Florida.”
Dimitri Thompson-2014 SG: “It has no impact on my interest. They lost a great assistant coach, though, and that’s tough.”
It remains to be seen what kind of long-term impact Roberts’ departure will have, but the initial feedback indicates there is minimal damage currently on the recruiting front. Once again head coach Billy Donovan will have the tough task of finding a replacement that benefits the program as well as minimizes any negative effect on recruiting.