Egor Koulechov will transfer to Florida

Rice graduate transfer Egor Koulechov is headed to Florida. What led him to the Gators?

Rice transfer Egor Koulechov just verbally committed to Florida, he told Scout. 

"I finally made up my mind, I chose Florida," Koulechov said. "It was one of those really hard decisions that could determine a good chunk of my career. It just feels right."

"I'm fully committed to it and fully invested in it," he added. "It's a load off my chest. It was a really hard decision because of my relationship with Carlin Hartman because he coached me."

 Koulechov, arguably the nation's top available graduate transfer, picked the Gators over Oklahoma, who he visited two weeks ago. Iowa State was also vying for a visit.

"I just believe there's great opportunity there," he said. "I have a lot of faith in the staff at Florida. I really do. It's a good team. They have high aspirations. I went to high school in south Florida. It just feels right. That connection is there. I had a great connection with the coaching staff there. I just really believe they have great coaches and I believe we can make that jump next year."

Koulechov met with Lon Kruger on Monday. He followed that up with a meeting with Mike White on Tuesday afternoon, which came just two days after taking a visit to their campus.

"It didn't completely seal it," he said of the in-home visit with White. "It was a good meeting and the meeting with Oklahoma yesterday was very good too. I was back and forth every hour and I just came back to the starting point. This just feels right. Now that I've made the decision, I feel like it's a load off my chest and I feel good about it and I'm not going to look back.

As a junior at Rice, Koulechov put together the best season of his career, averaging 18.2 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. But where Koulechov thinks he can helps the Gators is his with his leadership and energy.

"They are losing pieces from their Elite Eight run," he said about Florida. "I can bring toughness. I play hard. I'm an older guy. You saw the Final Four this year. The national championship game didn't have a kid starting under 21. I think I can lead by example and be in the gym all the time. I can bring that dimension and play as hard as I can."

A long distance threat, Koulechov improved his three-point percentage from 34-percent to 47-percent from his sophomore to junior year. He's connected on 161 three-pointers in the past two seasons.

Prior to Rice, Koulechov played a season at Arizona State, where he averaged 3.7 points in 14 minutes of action a game. 

Koulechov was born in Russia, but grew up in Israel. Koulechov came to the United Stats as a junior and played his final two seasons of high school basketball at Weston (Fla.) Sagemont.

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