Big Three Days for Donovan's Gators

Billy D needs a few good men for next season and the next three days will go a long way in figuring who they just might be. It has been speculated that Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan wants to add at least one more guard and one more big man in the 2010 class to go along with star forwards Patric Young and Casey Prather. The next four days will tell us a lot about how the class will finish.

The late signing period for high school recruits began on Wednesday and continues until May 19th. In that period of time, Florida will host several big time prospects with a few they hope can help right away.

The Gators have already inked scholarship letters from Jacksonville (FL) Providence and McDonald's all-American power forward Patric Young (6-8, 220) to go along with sensational Jackson (TN) Northside swing man Casey Prather (6-5, 180). Young looks to make an immediate impact in 2010 after averaging 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots a game. Prather is an elite athlete and a high flying scorer who averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and an astounding 5 steals a game in high school.

The Gators should be a better team in 2010 with just adding those two, but are looking for more. They especially need help in the back court with only three scholarship players returning at the two guard positions and one (Nimrod Tishman) played in a total of seven games and 16 minutes the entire year.

With that in mind, this looks to be a big weekend for the 2010 season and beyond. Three guards are due in to visit on the weekend. All three are looking to reclassify their signing status to the 2010 class rather than other classes.

Up first is Rutgers transfer candidate Mike Rosario (6-3, 190). Rosario has opted to and been granted a transfer from Rutgers after averaging 16.7 points and 3.9 rebounds a game as a sophomore. Rosario would have to redshirt in the 2010-2011 season and then be eligible as a junior for the following season. The prevailing thought has been Florida leads for Rosario and his visit this weekend could seal the deal quickly.

"There's going to be some schools calling," Rosario told Brian Dohn of earlier this week. "Florida is one of the schools I really like. That's the school that I think would fit my style of play. That's one of the schools that I am considering.

"I think they have a great coach there. I think Billy Donovan is a great guy, a great coach, and I think with the success they had, they built a tradition there, and I think he's done a great job there. That's why I really like Florida. I love the style of play because it reminds me a lot of my high school.''

Another prospect that will visit the campus this weekend doesn't have very far to go. 2011 point guard Scottie Wilbekin of The Rock School in Gainesville is expected to be touring the campus as well. Wilbekin averaged over 13 points and six assists a game as a sophomore when leading The Rock to the state finals.'s basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep wrote last week at a national AAU circuit tour stop, "The college coaches are going to love him. He does everything to enact winning and showed that he's improved since last season. He's got quick hands, a high GPA and he's a competitor. ...Heading into the spring, we would have pegged him to be a standout mid-level player but with the entire package, he's a guy that will draw attention across the board and the bigs will need to see him.

Wilbekin has a great chance to finish school early and actually enroll in college a full year ahead of time, putting him in the 2010 class and eligible to play for the 2010-2011 season.

The exact same reclassification scenario could happen for former University of Indiana point guard commitment Matt Carlino (6-2, 165). Carlino, who averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game for Bloomington (IN) actually moved from Arizona to Bloomington to be closer to the school he committed to, but has walked away from that commitment now with more opportunities ahead of him. basketball analyst Evan Daniels wrote about Carlino last March in another AAU event, "Up against one of the top guards in the 2010 class – Kyrie Irving -- Carlino brought his "A" game. The 6-foot-1 smooth floor general pushed the tempo at every opportunity, and made crisp passes in transition. Although the southpaw wasn't on from long-range, he managed to get a handful of buckets at the rim and did a great job creating shots for his teammates."

The Gator basketball staff will be pushing hard for one or two of the above guards this weekend, but their attention will have to turn quickly Monday when Melbourne (FL) Florida Air Academy power forward Will Yeguette (6-7, 210) will make his intentions known as to what school he will attend for the upcoming season.

Florida Air coach Aubin Goporo told Telep on Friday. "He will make a decision on Monday and he has Georgia Tech, Indiana, and Florida,"

Again the prevailing thought is that Yeguette who averaged 17.5 points and over 15 rebounds a game will end up in Gainesville. Telep really likes the intangibles that he would provide the Gators.

"Hard-nosed forward who relies on his motor for success," Telep wrote for his bio. "Can rebound his area and in traffic. Could be a mid-range perimeter threat in college. Pursues basketballs hard and is tough to account for. Classic undersized, blue collar forward."

There are at least four others to watch as May 19th and the close of the signing period approaches starting with Washington DC Friendship point guard Brandon Young (6-3, 175). Young was signed and sealed for DePaul before the Blue Demons decided to make a head coaching change. He has not been released from his LOI just yet, but all indications are he will be as soon as he meets with new coach Oliver Purnell and if he still doesn't want to stay on.

Schools cannot contact Young, but the prevailing thought is he has high interest in the Gators if in fact he does want to drop DePaul and move on. The quick charging guard is an assist machine and also scored 13.8 points a game in his senior season.

Yet another prospect that has been released from his LOI and with mutual interest in Florida is former Clemson signee and small forward Marcus Thornton (6-7, 215). Thornton is from Atlanta (GA) Westlake, the same school as Gator football signee Michael Taylor and averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, and 4.5 blocked shots a game.

And yet another prospect that was already signed to another program has already backed out of his LOI and has at least some interest in Florida. Cody Larson (6-9, 225) of Sioux Falls (SD) signed an LOI with Iowa before they lost their coaching staff. His 19.9 points, and 7.8 rebounds a game are impressive, but his 4.1 assists per game as a senior certainly raises eyebrows and makes him a possible great fit for the Gators.

Last, but certainly not least, Florida looks to get a late weekend visit from one of the counties best power forwards when Raleigh (NC) Word of God Christian Academy star C.J. Leslie (6-8, 185) is expected in. Leslie is on everyone's all-American team and's number three rated power forward. Florida does not appear to be on the inside with Leslie, but stranger things have happened when prospects come for visits.

There are still more rumors an innuendo going around about transfers and guys opting out of LOI's. This stuff happens when a lot of coaches are fired or move on to different jobs. Florida is in a position to want and need to look at a great deal of these players and is getting that chance. The next month should be fun as we follow Florida's basketball recruiting.

Fightin Gators Top Stories