Evan Daniels on Prather, Gators

The addition of Casey Prather was another positive step towards the future of Gator Basketball. After not getting many breaks in recent years, Florida has followed up the recruitment of Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy with two more top 50 caliber talents in power forward Patric Young and swingman Prather.

Wednesday afternoon I spoke with Scout.com basketball recruiting analyst Evan Daniels about the significance of the Prather commitment, the strength of the Young/Prather tandem and the chances of the Gators adding a top flight point guard to the class of 2010.

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LV: Evan, how highly pursued was Casey?

ED: He was pretty highly pursued, especially early on in his recruitment. He's a guy that we have in our top 60 (No. 55). He's about a 6-5, 180-pound small forward. He's a high level athlete. His jump shot is getting better, but his athleticism is what really sets him apart at the small forward position. Billy Donovan targeted him. He went after him and they got him.

LV: Was this a case of Donovan simply choosing Prather over Stacey Poole Jr. who is headed for Kentucky?

ED: Well, to Florida Prather was better. I think it varies as far as rankings are concerned. I know we have them pretty close (Poole is No. 58), but to Florida Casey Prather was the guy.

LV: What is your assessment of Casey's skills?

ED: Well I think the first thing you look at is his athleticism. I can't stress it enough. He's just a high, high level athlete. When he gets to the rim he finishes pretty well and he adjusts well when he's in the paint. He's going to have to improve his jump shot a little more, but it's already getting better, He's also a really good kid. He rebounds very well for his size and I just think he gets a lot of things done.

LV: What about defense? Not many guys coming out of high school play great defense, but I've heard some good things about him.

ED: I think he plays hard on both ends and he takes pride in his defense. I wouldn't go out on a limb and say he's the best defender I've seen in high school, but he's a pretty good one.

LV: With Prather joining Patric Young, how strong is that as a top two at this stage of the recruiting season?

ED: That's a pretty good class when you can get a top 50-60 player and a top 20-25 player in Young. I'm a big fan of Young. He just plays so hard, he rebounds and he's just a big factor inside. I'm going to a showcase in Florida (Boca Raton) this weekend and I hope to see him play.

LV: The one thing the Gators still need to add is a point guard and all eyes are on Brandon Knight from Ft. Lauderdale. Maybe you'll bump into him this weekend. What are you hearing where he's concerned?

ED: I hope I do. Brandon's a guy who really doesn't show his cards. It's clear he's looking more into this recruiting process. He was at Kentucky two weeks ago and he was at Connecticut last week. I think Florida is in there and Miami is in there and Syracuse is throwing its hat into the mix. Brandon has said he wants to wait until the spring so I would assume that's still the case. I think all of the schools have a shot.

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If Knight does not end up in Gainesville two other guards on the radar are Cory Joseph from Nevada and Ray McCallum from Detroit. Daniels told me he thought McCallum would end up at either Arizona or UCLA but that the Gators had a very good home visit with Joseph so that might be a possibility.


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