Pickett Talks Gators

Thanks to a terrific sophomore year playing on a loaded Miami-Dade squad, Rico Pickett has emerged as one of the most highly recruited junior college players in the country. Among those showing interest are Billy Donovan's Gators.

Looking back on things, Rico Pickett will be the first one to tell you that there are some things he regrets about his first stint in the SEC. After playing his freshman year at Alabama and averaging nearly six points, a little over three assists and 21 minutes a game, the 6-3 guard has impressed during his sophomore season at Miami-Dade junior college.

If anything, the versatile Pickett has learned that he can't take anything for granted from here on out.

"The first thing I learned is being coachable, that was the very first thing," said Pickett about his year in junior college after starting his career in the SEC. "Also not taking anything for granted and working harder. It helped me a lot in terms of staying hungry and understanding that things aren't given."

That hungry attitude and willingness to work shone through this year. Playing for an absolutely loaded juco squad, Picket averaged just under 18 points and over four assists per game according to njcaa.com.

"I think that I'm scary in the open floor," said Pickett of his game. "That's where I thrive, in the open floor. There and the mid-range I thrive there. My game is all about attacking." His numbers and his ability to be equally comfortable playing as a shooting or point guard have caught the attention of plenty of schools.

Among those who have shown interest are LSU, Maryland, South Florida, DePaul, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida State and Manhattan (where he'll take an official visit this weekend).

Also showing interest are Billy Donovan's Florida Gators. So far, UF has made a strong impression on Pickett.

"They've got a winning tradition and that's what me and Coach Donovan talk about," Pickett told Fightin' Gators. "I could come and win. My game is also their offense, the up and down type. Playing with Nick Calathes and Kenny Boynton has really been the big talk."

Although he hasn't yet set up a visit with the Gators, Pickett says that he plans to visit and feels that the Florida program could be a good fit.

"I've got a really good feeling about Florida," said Pickett. "I think they would be a good fit if that's what I decide to do. Coach Donovan is a great coach. Who wouldn't want to play for him?"

According to Pickett, he's got four visits to use after his Manhattan visit this weekend and he's planning to use all of them. He hopes to narrow things down a bit by the first of April and go from there.

Wherever he decides, his decision won't be based on whether or not he's recruited as a point or shooting guard, even though he prefers the point. It will be based more on a chance for redemption and comfort level with the coaching staff.

"I want to be on the floor and I know that I would feel best at the one but I don't really care. Whatever college I go to, I'm not going to be picky. I just want to be on the floor," said Pickett. "It's where will I feel most comfortable? Not only basketball, but outside of basketball. I just want to go where I feel at home again."

Fightin Gators Top Stories