Gators Land Key Recruit

Even though he isn't a five-star prospect, the pledge of Braxton Ogbueze is one of the most important.

Billy Donovan didn't win back-to-back national championships by accident. The man knows what he is doing, and with that he took one look as his current depth chart and saw a major hole that needed to be filled. That hole was at the point guard position, and the big problem was it was the worst possible year to be in need of a lead guard.

There is no question that Florida already possessed a lot of talent in their backcourt for the 2012-13 season. Players like Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario, Michael Frazier, and depending on the NBA Brad Beal all were already signed up or committed to the Gators. However none of them profiles as a point guard.

Seeing that, Donovan knew he had to get an elite point guard in a class lacking point guards, not an easy task. The first target for the Gators was Ryan Arcidiacono. They put a lot of time and effort into his recruitment, but Arcdiacono elected to stay close to home and attend Villanova. That decision left the Gators in a must get situation.

With many of the other top point guards off the board, Braxton Ogbueze was their best shot to land the impact guard they needed, and to their credit the Gators were able to pull it off.

Ogbueze sighted his relationship with the coaches as well as the depth chart as reasons that put Florida over the top.

For Florida this means they have the player slated to run the show for them for some time. Ogbueze is a scoring point guard more than a distribution guy, so that is something to watch going forward, but no doubt he will be able to provide a presence at the position for the Gators.

Interestingly the Gators landed Ogbueze over a trio of Big XII schools. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Baylor all were the finalists for Ogbueze, but in the end it was Florida that won out. What this does is put those three schools in a position where they have to come home with players such as Nino Jackson, J-Mychal Reese, and L.J. Rose who are all from the heart of the Big XII footprint, as they are the top remaining floor generals in the class.

Without Ogbueze the Gators would have been forced to land a point guard from outside of their region against teams sharing the same need as them. That is never a comfortable position for a coach to be in, even a coach with two national championship rings at a power program.

Now Donovan and his staff can sleep well at night. Not only do they have a big time shooter in the 2012 class in Frazier, but they have the man who will be able to get him the ball in the right spots at the right time.

In terms of importance, not many kids have made bigger commitments than Ogbueze, and the folks in Gainesville are thrilled to death to have their biggest need filled and filled emphatically.


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