Possible Frontcourt Transfer Portal Targets

When it comes to Florida’s job in the transfer portal this season there’s no doubt where the focus will be–the frontcourt. Last year the Gators largely built their identity around their starting frontcourt and with Tyrese Samuel graduating and Micah Handlogten suffering a devastating injury there will be a ton of available minutes. Even with the emergence of freshmen Alex Condon and Thomas Haugh the Gators will be looking into bringing in multiple big men as they look to make it a featured unit on the roster.


Last year we saw the market for big men extremely competitive, and Florida is lucky to have got who they needed out of the portal as many teams weren’t so lucky. There simply aren’t enough players gifted with high-major size to satisfy demand, and if you don’t get those spots filled quickly you could be in for a rough time.


Luckily for the Gators there have been a bunch of intriguing frontcourt players that have hit the portal recently and they’ll be evaluating most of them, so these are some possible names you should be aware of. 


Cliff Omoruyi


Florida just had a lot of success with Tyrese Samuel, a four-year player from a high-major who averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds. Well, let me introduce you to Rutgers’ big man Cliff Omoruyi, a four-year player who just averaged 10.4 points and 8.3 assists. That isn’t to say Omoruyi and Samuel are similar players, they play a different style, but it’s a reminder that proven high-major production is often underrated while teams get overwhelmed by huge numbers by players in mid-major leagues. Omoruyi is known more for his defense than his offense, particularly in the paint where he can either bully opposing centers for position or provide elite help defense averaging 2.9 blocks per game. With the scarcity of proven centers in the portal the 6’11”, 240 native of Nigeria is going to have his pick of just about anywhere in the country and the Gators will almost certainly find themselves in the chase. 


Vlad Goldin
Florida Atlantic


Oftentimes when portal season comes around you’re probably learning a lot of names for the first time–but this is a player you’re likely aware of after the Cinderella run by Florida Atlantic in last year’s NCAA Tournament. A large reason why they were able to not get overwhelmed by high-major size in The Dance was Goldin, a 7’1”, 240 pound center who started his career at Texas Tech. This year he took another step, particularly offensively, and improved to 15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. More than the counting stats, Goldin jumps off the page from an analytics standpoint ranking extremely well in advanced shooting percentages, rebounding on both sides of the ball, drawing fouls, and not committing fouls himself. These are all categories that Florida’s staff is going to be drawn to, so they could certainly be intrigued with the possibility of Goldin. 


Tarris Reed



Recently the Gators have tried to bring in players with multiple years of eligibility remaining and with 6’10”, 260 pound Tarris Reed having just completed his sophomore season he’s someone who could contribute for two years. You might remember Reed from early in the season when the Wolverines played the Gators and Reed had a solid night with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Averaging 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game his numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page, but they did come in a Big Ten loaded with quality big man and with multiple years remaining the Gators could see him as someone whose best is yet to come. Reed was also a heralded high school player and you saw some of those high-end flashes this year with his ability to score inside, and those flashes will tantalize prospective coaches. 


Maxime Raynaud


It wasn’t a banner year for the Stanford Cardinal but everytime they played their 7’1” center from Paris Maxime Raynaud always jumped out as a much-watch talent. Averaging 15.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists Raynaud was a major contributor who could bring much of what Florida had in the frontcourt last year and more. Scoring around the paint? No problem. Defensive rebounding? 13th in the country. Passing? Stanford often played out of Raynaud in the high post. He’s even shown flashes as a shooter hitting 36% from three on just under two attempts per game, while hitting 78% from the free throw line–something the Gators could desperately use from a post player following a year where that unit struggled to convert. Raynaud is a productive player who is academically focused and the Gators could have an enticing pitch. 


Danny Wolf


One of the big winners from the NCAA Tournament this year was 7’0”, 250 pound Danny Wolf who was on full display in Yale’s surprise takedown of Auburn where he had some big buckets and dimes on his way to 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Only a sophomore, Wolf has multiple years of eligibility remaining yet already plays with a high basketball IQ. Yale loves to play through him on the perimeter and his 2.4 assists from the center position is a nice bonus next to his 14.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Ranking 10th in the country in defensive rebounding he can use his huge frame for position as well as just about anyone in the country, and Florida’s staff will like to see that national ranking pop on his profile.


Brandon Huntley-Hatfield



Once the 23rd ranked player in the class of 2021, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield’s career hasn’t gone exactly to plan. He started his career at Tennessee where he had a role off the bench, before choosing to go to Louisville when Kenny Payne was hired. Well, things didn’t go particularly well for two years as the Cardinals had generationally bad years, though there was one bright spot–Huntley-Hatfield. Even while the Cardinals were out of games he was bringing full effort and showing off his athleticism at 6’10” and 235, one of the only highlights of the Cardinal’s season averaging 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds. Look–grabbing a player off a Louisville team that was a laughingstock isn’t going to be particularly palatable to a lot of teams and there is a chance he gets overlooked and if the Gators see something they like this could be an excellent reclamation project once he’s out of a terrible situation at Louisville.

Eric Fawcett
Eric is a basketball coach and writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His work has been found at NBA international properties, ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @ericfawcett_.