Even though Florida has already pulled four players from the transfer portal, they likely aren’t even done yet.
The Gators still have one open scholarship, and may have another opening depending on the status of Keyontae Johnson which is yet to be determined. With that scholarship remaining open, Mike White, Darris Nichols, and Al Pinkins have all been active reaching out to some of the best players in the portal.
As of right now, these are the names you need to be aware of. Here are the players Florida is in with that you should keep an eye on.
A 6’1” sniper from Puerto Rico, Alfonso Plummer is someone that is going to provide elite shooting wherever he goes.
Two years into his college career the sharpshooter has proven his consistency as a shooter hitting 42% from deep in his freshman season and 38% this past year. What makes his shooting so special is his ability to sprint into catch and shoot attempts and balance himself off of movement to get the space he needs to get free.
Averaging 13 points in the Pac-12 he has shown he can contribute at the high major level, though he was only a part time starter for a mediocre team. That’s largely because of the size limitation to Plummer’s game. While he’s only 6’1”, he’s not a point guard. At times matchups made it difficult for him to fit on the floor as a small two guard, something that might also hurt the fit at Florida. Three of Florida’s acquisitions (Brandon McKissic, Myreon Jones, Phlandrous Fleming) are really two guards that shouldn’t be in primary ball handling situations much and if they were to get Plummer he’d be in that same mix.
Right now his final five consists of Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Texas Tech, and BYU, and he’s set to announce on Saturday. With the commitment coming soon, keep an eye out for his decision.
After four years where he got heavy minutes at Maryland, Morsell is looking to find a new home. Well, maybe. In an act of college basketball that was extremely 2021, he announced he would be entering his name into the NBA Draft, entering the transfer portal, and remaining open to returning to Maryland. Talk about keeping your options open.
While he could technically do any one of those things, most expect the transfer to be the most likely option. Morsell is a 6’5” guard who was an All-Conference Big 10 player, but his lack of an offensive game limits his pro potential. Morsell offensively hasn’t really gotten better since his freshman season, something you can see in his points per game from season to season. He averaged 8.7 points as a freshman, 8.5 as a sophomore, 8.5 as a junior, and 9.0 as a senior. If nothing else, he is a model of consistency.
One of the limitations of his offensive game is his three-point stroke, or lack thereof, as he averages 26.7% from deep on his career.
His shooting isn’t going to threaten defenses, but he can actually handle the ball and distribute better than he’s given credit for. He’s also incredibly experienced as a four-year starter in the Big 10 and he is a stellar defender.
Right now the leaders are considered to be Arkansas and Florida with Clemson and Miami right there as well. The Gators are a bit crowded at the wing but Morsell could see a role at the three, and considering he also played some point guard at Maryland that might be a role Florida’s staff sells him on to back up Tyree Appleby at times.
Considering he’s going to try to make a run at the NBA Draft, his decision wouldn’t be for a while.
Cheikh Mbacke Diong
This might be a familiar name to you as the Gators recruited him two seasons ago when his coach at UNLV was fired. Ultimately he decided to return when TJ Otzelberger was hired, but Otzelberger just took the job at Iowa State and Mbacke Diong is ready to move on.
A 6’10” center, Florida would definitely see him as someone to back up Colin Castleton. He’s a solid rebounder and defender, someone who overwhelmed a lot of his matchups in the Mountain West. His offensive game is limited to put back attempts and drop offs for dunks, but sometimes that’s all you need from your center. He did average 9 points a game on 61% shooting from the floor so he’s not someone who is going to force things and he has shown he can convert when given the opportunity.
Considering Florida is likely to return Colin Castleton they might not have the best pitch to a player entering his fifth season but Mbacke Diong said that the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament was going to be a big part of his recruitment. The Gators have shown they can consistently get there, and they have roster pieces already on their way in that they could use to show him they are set to do it again.
Mbacke Diong is also weighing his pro opportunities, so his decision might take a while. Florida State has offered, and considering their success with big men they could be tough to beat out.
Time for another player Florida has already recruited in the past, Mac McClung.
When he was leaving Georgetown last season the Gators got in the mix for his services and now he’s leaving Texas Tech. McClung has consistently scored in the teens throughout his college career averaging 15.5 points per game last season for the Red Raiders in his first season as a full time point guard. He’s far from a traditional point guard, but he’s someone who is more than comfortable handling the ball and is someone who brings a unique element to the position. When it comes to scoring in isolation, McClung is as good as it gets, and with the ball usually in his hands he is always putting pressure on opposing defenses.
Right now Florida really only has one point guard on the roster in Tyree Appleby. While they’re likely going to be comfortable with him as a starter, it wouldn’t be shocking at all if they sold McClung on the idea that he could come in and usurp Appleby.
McClung is another guy that will look at the NBA before making his college decision, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest in that level. If he comes back would he follow coach Chris Beard to Texas? Perhaps, but it seems like he is looking for a new home, and one that can really get him to the NBA.
Something that should be noted here is that McClung has signed with an NCAA certified agent to go through the NBA Draft process–the way in which he keeps his eligibility. That agent? Daniel Hazan. Hazan is Tre Mann’s agent, someone who has seen how guards can flourish at Florida. If Hazan was happy with Mann’s development at Florida, he could make an attempt at pushing McClung in that direction.
Those are the names to be aware of and as you know with the Gators this offseason, a commitment could happen at any time so stay on your toes.