The Florida Gators have plenty of guards on the roster with one of the most talented backcourts in the nation, and that rotation only figures to get deeper next season.
On Monday, the university officially announced its fall signees for the 2012 recruiting class with three new guards inking national letters of intent.
Point guard Braxton Ogbueze, shooting guard Michael Frazier and shooting guard Dillon Graham all became Gators.
“I’m excited about the guys that we’ve signed,” coach Billy Donovan said. “We feel like we’ve addressed some needs. Obviously there’s a lot of kids that we’re still recruiting that haven’t signed yet that we’re still involved with. But I’m happy with the guys that have signed and I feel like they’re all going to be very, very good players for us.”
Ogbueze is the highest-rated recruit of the three, a consensus Top 100 player who can play either the point guard or shooting guard positions.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard from Charlotte, N.C., averaged 20 points and five assists per game last season for United Faith Christian Academy.
He turned down scholarship offers from Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee among numerous other schools.
“I think that with losing Erving (Walker) being a senior, Braxton Ogbueze is a kid that’s as good as any point guard out there,” Donovan said. “We felt like we got a really, really good player with him.”
Frazier is also a consensus Top 100 recruit. The Plant High star from Tampa averaged 29.7 points and 9.7 points per game last season.
“Frazier is a phenomenal three-point shooter and a guy that we’ve kept an eye on for a long, long time,” Donovan said.
The 6-4, 180-pound guard recently transferred to Monteverde Academy, where he will play with point guard target Kasey Hill, a high-profile Class of 2013 prospect.
Florida currently leads the race for Hill and could receive a verbal commitment from the talented athlete soon. Hill plans to visit Gainesville for the Gators’ game against Arizona on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Graham is not as highly rated as the other two guard signees in the 2012 class, but he boasts good size at 6-4, 175.
He is a strong shooter with great athletic ability and can finish at the rim through traffic. He is also Hill’s AAU teammate.
“Dillon Graham (is) another really talented perimeter player who’s got obviously range to shoot it and put it on the floor,” Donovan said.
With the three guards on board already for the 2012 signing class, the Gators will likely focus their remaining efforts on signing a quality big man.
Despite having players like Udonis Haslem, David Lee, Al Horford and Joakim Noah excelling in the NBA, Florida has missed on a handful of top-notch prospects in Mitch McGary, Alex Poythress, Robert Carter, Kyle Anderson and Brice Johnson.
“We have had a lot of guys right now playing in the NBA. That’s part of it, that’s a selling point,” Donovan said. “At the end of the day, these kids take their four or five visits, they’re seeing things. It’s a lot more than just there’s NBA guys there at Florida. There’s a lot that goes into a decision for a family. I just try to trust and respect the fact that the decision has been made for them, whether they come here or go somewhere else, that’s part of the process. Unfortunately in this, you get told no a lot more than you do yes.”
Florida will likely put the full-court press Anthony Bennett now with some of the other targets off the board.
Bennett will likely wait until after his high school season to make a college decision, meaning the Gators may not get word on where he’ll head until spring.
The 6-8, 230-pound power forward from Canada currently plays his high school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, Nev.
He boasts offers from nearly all of the nation’s premier programs, including Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Ohio State and West Virginia.
Bennett is best known for his ability to finish at the rim with power. However, he also has a nice shooting touch away from the basket and can extend his range out to the three-point line.