With some states starting to hesitantly open up to socially distanced public activities more and more high school basketball events have been allowed to go on, giving college coaches a chance to recruit potential future talent.
We’re also seeing more and more players from the 2021 class announcing their decisions, making for an active time around basketball recruiting. Here are some updates regarding the Gators and their targets.
The Gators Don’t Look To Be Taking A Point Guard In 2021
There was once a time where Florida was making a point guard a priority in 2021, actively recruiting multiple lead ball handling targets. Rahsool Diggins, Tyrese Hunter, Darius Johnson, Carter Whitt…sound familiar? The Gators were in the mix for all of them. However, they slowly went off the board, finishing with Whitt making his announcement just the other day that he’ll be heading to Wake Forest. He was the last name on the board that the Gators were really considered to be in the mix for and while they still are technically in on a few names (Lynn Greer, Madison Peaster) it doesn’t appear they are leaders, or trying that hard to land them.
This could mean a few things for the Gators. Maybe they are really liking what they see from Ques Glover and are predicting two seasons of him as a major-minute starter. Or, perhaps they see Niels Lane as more of a point guard than an off ball threat now that they’ve had him on campus. Or, they could be banking on landing an experienced point guard in the transfer market, something that could be a possibility considering the fact it is probably the position with the most names in the portal every offseason.
Whatever the case may be, don’t expect a point guard to join the 2021 class.
Florida Is Continuing To Actively Recruit Hamilton Heights
After landing Jason Jitoboh and Samson Ruzhentsev from the Tennessee basketball powerhouse the last two offseasons the Gators are still looking to Hamilton Heights for more talent, particularly a pair of big men.
Bretner Mutumbo is a name you might have heard before as the Gators were one of his first offers a couple of years ago. He’s a prototypical shot blocking, rebounding center who has great length and a developing offensive game. Coach White and his staff have been pursuing him solidly over the last season and when it was announced that Mutumbo would be transferring from Lincoln Academy Prep to Hamilton Heights it definitely appeared that it would help the Gators given the history of the programs recently.
Joining Mutumbo in the Hamilton Heights frontcourt is Czech center Kristian Kocab, an extremely talented 6’11” big man with ball handling abilities. I first saw Kocab a few years ago at a FIBA U-16 event where he dominated with his shot blocking ability defensively and shooting ability offensively. Kocab is in the mold of a lot of the modern European bigs who have the shooting ability and offensive talent that they have been touted for since the 80’s but with defensive toughness and physicality. Kocab is a force on both sides of the floor and his recruitment is certain to really ramp up as more teams see him play. It’s clear why the Gators would want him and they’ll be aggressively recruiting him over the next year.
Alex Fudge May Not Be In The Cards For Florida
Alex Fudge, the 6’8” Jacksonville product who brings great skill at the wing spot has been a player the Gators have made a priority for months now but they could have some serious difficulty in landing him. At first it was looking like the Gators’ biggest obstacle in landing Fudge would be Nate Oats and Alabama, but now it’s another SEC program that many people think is in the lead–LSU.
Not trying to lose objectivity here, but given the rumors and allegations swirling around the LSU program it’s really, really difficult to imagine why players would want to commit to Will Wade right now and truthfully, if a player is that interested in the pitch he has…the Gators may not want to be involved anyways.
Fudge is a fantastic player and he has only recently announced his top eight schools so there could be a lot that still goes on in his recruitment but right now it’s not looking good for Florida.
Tucker DeVries Is A Program Player The Gators Desire
An interesting recruitment to watch will be Tucker DeVries, a 6’6” shooting guard from Waukee, Iowa. DeVries was ranked in the 300’s by most recruiting services when Florida first offered him but has since climbed to 116th in the composite rankings.
Tucker is the son of Darian DeVries, the current head coach at Drake. I hate to reinforce stereotypes, but in a lot of ways Tucker DeVries plays just like a coach’s son. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about the game and plays with great IQ, particularly on the offensive end where he reads screens and makes reads like a professional. DeVries is known for his shooting and has had some huge scoring offensive games in high school when defenses couldn’t keep him from filling it up.
DeVries is probably a four-year college player but has the offensive instincts, size, and shooting touch to be a fantastic player. It’s easy to see why the Gators would want him to compliment the high four-star and five-star players they’re pursuing and he could be a major contributor if he came to Gainesville.
Kowacie Reeves Jr. Stays Impressive
Florida only had one commitment in the 2021 class so far and he’s one you can absolutely get excited about. Kowacie Reeves Jr. has been at every summer showcase in the Georgia area over the last couple of months, continuing to tirelessly work on his game despite the fact that he already has his scholarship locked up and isn’t hunting for more offers. That speaks to his mindset and work ethic, and it also gives us a chance to see him on the court which is an absolute treat. Reeves Jr. is as talented an offensive recruit as the Gators have had in quite some time and he does it all at a bouncy 6’6”. He could win a dunk contest and a three-point shooting contest in the same night, something that speaks to his sky-high ceiling. Florida is still weighing their options as to how else they want to fill their 2021 class but with Reeves Jr. there the Gators are going to be in great shape, no matter what else happens.