During a weekend visit to Gainesville Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby committed to the Gators. The 6’1” guard was one of the most electric mid-major talents in the country last year averaging 17.2 points and 5.6 assists per game, dominating the Horizon League and making him an extremely desirable piece to high major teams.
One of the connections between Appleby and the Gators was Tyree’s brother Raheem who played basketball for Mike White while at Louisiana Tech. That familiarity helped the Gators in what was a fairly quick recruiting process and one that came out in their favor.
In Appleby the Gators get a scoring point guard, something they haven’t had on the roster in multiple years. The point guard position has been filled by more pass-first minded players over the last decade and Appleby’s ability to score the ball will really change the way the team is able to play. Evasive with the dribble he can dance his way around defenders and if they give him space he’s lethal from the perimeter sporting a shot off the dribble as good as any in the country. As an instant-offense type player he could either be a focal point of the offense as a starter or could play the role of 6th man coming into games and immediately pressuring defenses.
The Gators now have two transfers that will be sitting out next season as Appleby joins Louisiana Tech transfer Anthony Duruji. Both will come into the 2020-21 season as 4th year juniors and should both be expected to produce solidly in that season. Having veteran players stepping in will make up for the loss of talent this year’s team should have and these moves really help the long-term outlook of the roster.
Appleby’s final two schools were Florida and Texas A&M while it was also rumored that he was sniffing around Arkansas. As an Arkansas native the Razorbacks may have been in the mix at some point but ultimately he’s a Gator and we can look forward to seeing him in a year.
Florida’s three main transfer targets this offseason were Kerry Blackshear Jr., Anthony Duruji, and Tyree Appleby and they were able to get every single one of them. The program has shown to be a hot location for transfers and that could be an excellent way to augment the talent Coach White is bringing in through recruiting.