MEN'S HOOPS: Speights Impresses At Adidas Camp

With the July summer camps in full swing, basketball recruiting is going full blast for Florida Coach Billy Donovan and his staff. They've been a visible presence at all the big shoe tournaments each day this month. Below is an overview of where UF stands at each position. One thing to keep in mind is basketball recruits can change their list quicker than an afternoon thunderstorm rolls in.

A recruit can go one week from not listing a school to committing to that school a week later. It's just the nature of college summer recruiting. I am guessing the UF takes three kids in the 2006 class with the positions being a center type, a power forward type and a wing.


UF is already in good shape with a commitment from Marreese Speights. national recruiting analyst Dave Telep watched Speights at the Adidas Camp and said, "The Gators got themselves a good one. One of the more improved guys we've seen. This powerful center finishes strong at the rim, showed an improved measure of skill and blocked a few shots. He's a legit 6-foot-10 and if asserts himself like this he's going to have a national awakening at this camp. He's a fifth year player, but he's young so it's not like he's done developing just yet." Even though he was somewhat under the radar when he committed to UF he should be viewed as a big time prospect.

I think UF will also try to bring in a Power Forward type. Two other recruits that the University of Florida is heavily involved with are Palm Harbor's A.J. Tyler and Miami Norland's Zachary Peacock.

Tyler is the younger brother of Garrett Tyler, a reserve forward who plays for the Gators. Tyler is a 6-9, 220-pound kid with good range on his jump shoot. He also carries good grades. He is being heavily recruited by the likes of West Virginia, Clemson, UF and several other schools.

Zack Peacock is a 6-7, 220-pound power forward. He had a 7-1 wingspan when measured at the Nike camp last week. UF is thought to be at the top of his list along with several other schools including Miami. Another recruit to keep an eye on is Darris Santee out of Texas. I have not seen an update on him lately but UF was always mentioned in his top three back in the spring.

One name that has held Gator fans interest for several years is Jason Bennett from Jacksonville. However, at this point in his recruitment, it does not appear that the University of Florida staff is that interested. The style of play the UF likes to use is not conducive for a 7-2, 245-pound center. Cincinnati and Miami appear to be his top two schools.

Lance Thomas from Fanwood, NJ is also a player that has mentioned UF in a list of several schools but he is expected to remain local when he decides on a college.


Unlike the Center/power forward area, this one is a little harder to get a handle on in terms of who UF is really looking at. The players that UF are looking at seem to change daily. One player that has consistently mentioned UF in his top three is Dallas wing guard Derrick Roland. He is a 6-5, 180-pounder who can really shoot the ball.

The newest emerging player on this list is Statesville (NC) Christian 6-5, 180 wing guard Doneal Mack. He claims a UF offer and lists the Gators in his top three with Virginia Tech and UConn. Coach Donovan was on hand for several of his games at the recently completed Peach Jam. He has mentioned an August visit date to UF.

Another high scoring wing that UF has on its radar is 6-4, 190-pound Memphis guard Brandon Powell. One recruit that has been hard to get a read on is South Carolina small forward Mike Jones. He is a national recruit but has always had a long list of schools that included UF.

Jodie Meeks is a 6-4, 185-pound guard from Norcross, GA. that the UF staff has been following the past week. Alabama is considered a slight leader at this point in his recruitment.

It appears that UF is no longer involved with Obi Muonelo out of Edmond, OK.

POINT GUARD: It appears UF's philosophy here is to try and hit a home run and if they don't, simply move on. Taurean Green and Walter Hodge are already on board and UF already has a commitment from Nick Calathes in the 2007 class who may play point guard. UF made the final cut on Atlanta point guard Javaris Crittenton before he decided last week to stay home and play for Georgia Tech.

They are also involved with two other elite point guards in Tory Jackson of Saginaw, MI. and Will Kemp of Bolivar, TN. In-state Michigan is thought to be the big leader for Jackson who made a June visit to the UF campus and Kemp does not really have a leader but is getting offers from just about every big time program in the South. He is expected to make an official visit to Florida in the fall.

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