Class of 2015 big man Karl Towns made his first unofficial visit to Florida this past weekend.
The 7-foot-0, 240-pound sophomore from St. Joseph in Metuchen, N.J. had never been to Gainesville before, so this trip was a chance to get an initial impression of the university and it seems as if head coach Billy Donovan made an impact on Towns.
“The weekend was amazing,” Towns said. “I really had a good visit at Florida and couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Although the Gators offered Towns a scholarship back at the beginning of September, this past weekend was the first opportunity to meet Donovan and the rest of the coaching staff.
“It was the first time I ever met the coaches,” Towns said. “I loved the coaching staff and I really enjoyed them a lot.”
Donovan highlighted to Towns the Gators’ past success at putting big men into the NBA and having successful careers. Specifically, Florida’s head coach mention former Gator and Towns’ teammate on the Dominican Republic National Team, Al Horford.
“We just talked about how Donovan has a history of getting players into the NBA Draft and just showed me how big men come to Florida and have a history of doing well,” Towns said.
Despite spending a significant amount of time together this summer, Towns added that Horford didn’t try to sell him on Florida, but rather concentrated on their qualifying Olympic goals and game planning for their opponents.
However, Horford made sure he kept in contact with Towns during his visit at Florida to make sure the sophomore center had a good time.
“Al was just really helping me out with my trip,” Towns said. “I talked to him and he said the real Gators here are really big, so I went out to Lake Alice. I just really appreciate everyone showing me a great tour [of the campus],” Towns said.
Towns, who was coached by Kentucky’s John Calipari on the Dominican men’s team, also has a noted interest in the Wildcats. Towns announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he will be visiting Lexington, Ky., on Friday for Big Blue Madness — UK’s version of Midnight Madness.
It was Towns’ first trip to Gainesville and only his second time even being in the state of Florida, but he emphasized that location would not be a factor.
“For me, I just really want to go to the school that gives me the best opportunity to accomplish my goals. So I don’t care where the school is,” Towns said.
Towns also expressed his intent of making a return trip to Gainesville sometime in the future.
“I definitely want to go back to Florida and take another visit,” Towns said. “The first visit was really good, but the second visit could only get better.”