The Florida Gators have lost out on another top recruit now that Julius Randle has announced his intentions to play college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats.
This adds Randle to a list of important recruits head coach Billy Donovan has missed out on in 2013 (Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker and Dakari Johnson).
After Randle’s announcement for Kentucky, it begs the question: Where do the Florida Gators go from here?
Targets left in the 2013 class?
At this point in the recruiting process, most 2013 recruits have narrowed down their choices. And since the Gators haven’t closed on anybody since Chris Walker and Kasey Hill, the prospects of adding another 2013 recruit are looking slim. However, there is still some hope left.
As Gatorhoopsrecruits.com has been reporting, the Gators have expressed strong interest in 2013 forward MiKyle McIntosh (22Ft Academy/ Jackson, Ky.). According to Ryan Schmidt, McIntosh’s head coach, Florida will try and see McIntosh practice at the end of this week. If they are unable to see him personally, they still will probably extend a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior.
If the Gators do offer him a scholarship, McIntosh will likely make plans to take an official visit to Florida soon after receiving the offer. Time is running out to recruit this year’s seniors, so it won’t be long before McIntosh needs to make a decision. The longer the Gators wait, the less likely he could be in the class.
McIntosh projects as a three on the floor. At 6-foot-6, 225-pounds, he can bring a little more power to the small forward position, but he also has skills in multiple areas. At 22Ft Academy, McIntosh is the team’s primary ball handler, even at 6-foot-6. He also saw a lot of time in the low post at his former high school, so McIntosh has a well-rounded game. He’s effective in the low post or with the ball in his hands at the top of the key. He’s also shown he can be effective driving the lane and making a highlight play or two.
Afte the 2013 class, the number of quality big men is strikingly low. There are very few top low-post players that are considering the Gators and one of the only ones was 2014 center Karl Towns, who has already verbally committed to Kentucky.
Other options at the 4-spot include Trey Lyles and Payton Dastrup. Lyles included the Gators in his final six schools back in February, but has yet to make it down to campus. The one-time Indiana commitment still has a long way to go in his recruitment, so the Gators can still make a run at the 6-foot-11 forward. Dastrup unofficially visited Florida a few weeks ago, but his recruitment has been quiet thus far.
As usual, the Gators are in the running for plenty of quality guards including Grayson Allen, Rashad Vaughn, JaQuan Lyle, and 2015 shooting guard Andrew Fleming, among many others. As always, Donovan will get his guards in each recruiting class because the offense predicates itself on the Gators’ guard play.
Jalen Lindsey and Justise Winslow are also two names to look out for. The two are some of the best small forwards in the 2014 recruiting class and the Gators are still in the running for both. In a recent interview with GHR, Lindsey detailed his interest in the O&B and also talked about his plans on visiting Florida.
The future still looks bright for the Gators. The additions of Kasey Hill and Chris Walker, along with transfers Dorian Finney-Smith and Damontre Harris eligible for 2013-14, will keep the Gators competitive for the next few seasons.
Donovan still remains one of the top coaches in the country, so don’t doubt the Gators’ ability to recruit. Florida will certainly see its fair share of talented recruits come to Gainesville throughout the next several seasons.