Todd Golden and his staff have landed their first transfer portal target with Yale big man EJ Jarvis announcing that he’ll be attending the University Of Florida.
Jarvis fills an immediate area of need for the Gators after a year where their frontcourt was plagued by injuries all season long, to then have multiple players leave due to graduation or the transfer portal.
Last season at Yale Jarvis averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, playing 22.4 minutes per game on a talented team that went deep into their bench and had no one playing large minutes. Primarily a center at Yale, Jarvis will bring the ability to play either the power forward or center spot for the Gators, though it’s likely Golden will see him primarily as a power forward who can also play minutes at center. Standing at 6’8” and 220 pounds he isn’t a monster, though he won’t be out of place on an SEC court. He also won’t be out of place from an athleticism standpoint as he is a mobile, explosive player who dunks everything around the rim and uses his burst to beat opposing post players off the bounce and finish strong. His athleticism is also apparent on the defensive end with his 1.5 blocks, many of which were highlight reel swats well above the rim.
One of Jarvis’ budding skills that Florida’s coaching staff will be banking on his outside shooting. Jarvis actually shot 41% from three last season which will jump off the page for an athletic frontcourt player, but on further examination we see that he took only 32 attempts from beyond the arc last season, nearly all attempts where he was left uncovered. While the remarkable 41% number is a bit of fools gold, he has shown the potential to hit those shots–and if they fall for him at even a 33% clip Florida’s coaching staff will be extremely happy. Colin Castleton and Jason Jitoboh were given the green light to try and launch from behind the arc but neither showed the ability to do so which limited the offensive effectiveness Florida’s coaching staff wanted to have from their centers. If Jarvis can increase his attempts while keeping a respectable percentage, he could quickly become a key pivot in the Gator offense. If you’re a believer in free throw success being an indicator of future three-point success–Jarvis was a decent but not incredibly 72% last season.
Jarvis comes to the Gators as a graduate transfer after playing three years at Yale and sitting out during the COVID year–as all Ivy League schools did. The Ivy League does not allow graduate players to compete in athletics which meant Jarvis had to transfer if he wanted to play another year of college basketball and the Gators will benefit from that.
When it comes to Jarvis’ fit, he projects as a high-level role player at the SEC level. His biggest strength is the ability to put the ball on the floor a bit, pass it a bit, and shoot it a bit–all while being an outstanding athlete. Golden isn’t going to make him a primary initiator on offense but will use him as a cutting threat away from the ball who will move the ball intelligently and pick his spots when to attack. Defensively, he’ll be best used away from the ball where he can use his anticipation and athleticism to rotate and block shots as a help side defender.
Jarvis ultimately chose the Gators over Georgia Tech, VCU, Miami, Northwestern, Cal, Georgetown, and Notre Dame.
This is far from Florida’s last take in the transfer portal as they’ll continue to look for players at multiple positions.
You’re the best Eric!!! Great article by you and great news to hear!