Florida has been named one of the final five schools for 5-star 2019 recruit Bryan Antoine, a 6’5” shooting guard that has been firmly seated in a top-10 position in his class since he was a 6’3” 8th grader shaking defenders and throwing down vicious slams. Alongside the Gators are Duke, Villanova, Kentucky, and Kansas in a recruiting battle that reads like a laundry list of the most successful programs in college basketball history.
Currently playing at Ranney School in Eatontown, New Jersey, Antoine is an electric wing with prototypical size and length at the shooting guard position. Though he isn’t looking to be a full-time point guard, he has mentioned the desire to have some primary ball-handling duties as one of the things he’s looking for with his college decision.
“Let’s say a school is recruiting a point guard and me,” Antoine explained of the pitch, “if that point guard commits there and I go there, he’s a point guard and he has the ball, but if he then gets subbed out and I’m out there, then I’m the point since I’d have the ball. Or, if he takes a play off from handling the ball, then I’m the point guard.”
With Andrew Nembhard projecting to be the only true point guard on the roster in 2019 and no current commitments in the class the Gators could promise him that role and work around him as a cornerstone of the class, something the other four programs would currently be unable to do given their roster construction.
Though Florida has it’s hands full recruiting against the biggest name coaches in the country it looks like they have an outside shot at landing the top rated shooting guard in 2019.
“I’ve known Coach Mike White and the coaching staff for a while, ever since eighth grade,” Antoine said. “Freshman year I took a couple of visits down there and I enjoyed them. I have family down there and I think they are only like an hour away from campus so, I guess you can kind of say it’s my second home. It has a great vibe, great weather and I like the coaching staff and just the people at the school. That all has impressed me.”
Originally from Florida before moving to his current home of Eatontown, New Jersey, Antoine could be looking for a mix of family connections and a destination from his now-familiar Northeast that only Gainesville could offer.
With all the blue-bloods after Antoine he has a difficult decision on his hands, but he has a clear idea of what he’s looking for in a school.
“The most important thing is if I feel comfortable at the school because I can’t go to a school I don’t feel comfortable at. I want to go in there and fit in, which goes along with being comfortable. I want to feel comfortable on and off the court. I have to be comfortable in the gym, in the classroom and just on campus in general. I will look for the coaches to help me in life and mentor me. I just want to make sure to be around people I can trust and do well by me.”
Another element of this story is Antoine’s relationship with Scottie Lewis, his teammate at Ranney and longtime friend, who the Gators are also coveting in the 2019 class. A fellow top-10 player and a fellow 6’5” wing known to be a bit more of slasher as opposed to Antoine’s ball handling, Lewis is considered to be far more of a Florida lean than Antoine is currently. Both Antoine and Lewis have both discussed the possibility of them being a package deal, though that historically hasn’t happened very often despite many high school teammates discussing it. If they did decide to play with each other at the college level the lucky program to get them would have one of the most dynamic wing combinations in the country and I’m sure coach Mike White is working tirelessly to make sure that opportunity with the Gators is in place.
Duke is considered to be the frontrunner for Antoine but the Gators being named in his final schools shows there is still a chance and seeing their name alongside Duke, Kentucky, Villanova, and Kansas is an encouraging sign for recruiting in the future.
No date has been named for Antoine’s decision.