UF Basketball Signs Three

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Florida men's basketball program took a step towards securing its future on Wednesday, receiving National Letters of Intent from three players, all with Florida ties, on the first day of the early signing period.

The Gators received National Letters of Intent from guards Derwin Kitchen and David Huertas, both of Jacksonville, and power forward Jimmie Sutton of Boca Raton.

Kitchen, a 6-3 guard out of Raines High School, averaged 19.0 points 9.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 5.0 steals last season in helping his squad to its second consecutive Florida Class 5A state championship. Kitchen hit a game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of the 2003 title game.

"Derwin is an extremely versatile perimeter player with a great understanding of the game," said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. "He can handle the ball well and is an outstanding shooter. He has great quickness and athleticism."

Joining Kitchen from Jacksonville is fellow shooting guard Huertas, a 6-5 standout for Arlington Country Day. Huertas averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game as a junior when his Arlington Country Day team finished with a 20-5 mark.

"David is a very tough, hard-nosed, competitive player," said Donovan. "He adds another strong perimeter threat to our team. He's also very young, having recently turned 17, so I think he has a great future with us."

The Gators also addressed the frontcourt with the signing of the 6-10, 245-lb. Sutton, one of the premier post players in the state. Sutton averaged 11.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game last season for North Broward Prep.

"I've had a chance to watch Jimmie play for a few years now and I've been extremely impressed with his overall growth and development," said Donovan. "At 6-10, he adds size, strength and physicality to our frontcourt."

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