Ogbueze Enjoys Gators' Championship

If you are going to play for a championship and going to look good doing it, you might as well have your biggest recruiting targets on hand to witness it. That is exactly what happened Tuesday night as the Florida Gators clinched an SEC title and star point guard Braxton Ogbueze was on hand. Florida played well and it made the trip very enjoyable for the Gators top target at the point.

It was the first trip to Gainesville for Braxton Ogbueze, so he really didn't know what to expect. A seven-hour drive from his hometown of Charlotte (NC) meant he wasn't going to get to see a lot before the game but he came early anyway.

"We left Tuesday and made it to the shoot-around at 2 o'clock," Ogbueze said Thursday night. "They were starting to get ready for the game, so we let them do that."

He was able to watch a Florida team that probably had their best half of basketball in two or three years, shooting the ball well, rebounding, and playing tenacious defense that caused a 30-30 halftime tie to turn into a 78-51 beat down to the SEC's second best team. Ogbueze said he enjoyed the game a lot.

"I thought it was good," he said. "They opened up really after half time. After halftime they came out on fire. Their guards came out with confidence and they established a post presence. I liked how the guards played with confidence. They were shooting it in the first half but the shots weren't falling. I like that they had the confidence to come out in the second half and still shoot even though they weren't falling in the first half."

Ogbueze made the trip to Gainesville with his father Godwin and they both loved the overall feel of the program in the short time they were on campus.

"It was a great atmosphere, a lot of fans out there to support the team," he said. "It was a great environment for the team. My pops liked it too. He thought the same things I thought. He liked the confidence of the guards and Coach Donovan's way with the team."

It wasn't until after the game that Ogbueze really got to talk to the Florida staff.

"We talked to the staff a little bit after the game," he said. "They said that in my recruiting class (2012) the point guard position will be wide open for me to come in and play right away. My dad and I both really liked the conversations we had. When they tell me they needed a point guard, I haven't committed to anywhere else so it was good to hear. Now we are just going to have some discussions with where we are at."

He also got to meet briefly with a few of the Florida players that have made this a special basketball season for the Gators.

"The players seemed like a good group of guys," he said. "If I was to go there I think I would be surrounded by a good group of guys."

A decision could be soon or it may not be. The Gators have made an impression that may speed up the process.

"We are getting closer and closer to making a decision and Florida is definitely in the lead," he said. "I don't have any other visits planned yet. Whenever a decision feels right I will just make the decision."

He knows what the deciding factors are going to be.

"It will be about the environment at the school, are the people good people," he said. "The education is big for me as well."

At 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds a game, Braxton Ogbueze is a prospect the Gators feel will fit quite nicely with what they do. It appears the feelings are mutual.

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