Florida Coaches Hit The Road

It's July and that means hoops staffs across the country are in search of talent. Among those hitting the major stops are Billy Donovan and the rest of his staff.

Monday marked the opening of the July evaluation period and Billy Donovan and his Florida Gators staff hit the ground running in Cincinnati at the Takes 5ive Classic on Monday and Tuesday and at the Reebok All-American Camp in Philadelphia on Wednesday. While it's impossible to know all of the guys that Donovan and assistants Richard Pitino and Rob Lanier were watching, we were able to see a few on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Florida Targets in Cincinnati and Philly

Jon Horford - The younger brother of Al, Horford looked pretty good playing with the Michigan Mustangs. A long and fluid big man, he runs the floor well, has a terrific frame to build on and plays both ends of the floor. An outstanding rebounder with excellent hands, his athleticism is starting to blossom and he's really looking like a guy whose skills have maybe been a bit underrated.

Anton Grady - The class of 2011 product from Cleveland is going to be an interesting guy to watch. At 6-foot-7, he's got a long and wiry frame and some traits of a wing player even if he hasn't quite rounded out his skill set. He runs very well, changes directions quickly and has a good overall feel for the game on both ends of the floor. Consistency and strength are two areas that will improve naturally with time and maturity. It's easy to see why high majors are tracking this young man closely.

Trevor Releford - Billy Donovan spent some time tracking the Kansas City point guard. He wasn't alone either as he was one of the most closely watched players in Cincy drawing a consistent following from the likes of Kansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, UCLA, Missouri and others. To his credit, the 5-foot-11 point guard delivered the goods in quite entertaining fashion. He gets by defenders at will off the bounce, set up teammates and even delivered a 39 point scoring outburst during a loss to Pump ‘N Run out of Los Angeles. His stock continues to rise.

Austin Hollins – This long and lean young shooting guard from Memphis is a guy to watch down the road. While many schools showed up to see Nashville Celtics teammate Casey Prather, it's Hollins who ended up generating more buzz. The son of Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, he's clever, shoots well and plays with poise. He lacks strength and needs to mature physically, but he's catapulted onto the high major radar for good reason.

Fab Melo – When the big guy decides that he really wants to play, there aren't many in the class of 2010 with more potential. Great hands and good feet given his size, he's got the skill to play with his back to the bucket or facing. He's got a little bit of baby fat left to drop, but his body is coming along very nicely. Florida continues to chase even though whispers are that Louisville and Syracuse may be ahead of the pack.

Rodney Hood - The lefty from Mississippi struggled mightily with his jumper through two rounds of games at the Reebok All-American Camp. He's got some ability to score off the dribble and is one of the more versatile wings with size in the class of 2011. The buzz with him up to this point has been potential. Now, it's time for the rubber to meet the road and for him to start offering up a little more production.

Patric Young - Would love to write glowing things about him, but the fact is he hardly touched the ball during the game we watched. He did, however, seem to really enjoy getting physical in the lane with 2011 big man Chris Coleman.

Stacey Poole – Looking like he wants to pick up where he left off in June at the NBPA Camp, Poole showed up looking to score in Philly. He's very quick off the bounce and is a surprisingly good finisher with his left hand, even out to around 8 feet. Shot selection isn't always so great, but he looks to be one of the better wings in attendance.


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