Two of the four members of the Florida Gators‘ 2015 men’s basketball signing class – four-star guards KeVaughn Allen (North Little Rock, AR) and guard Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) – put ink to paper on their National Letters of Intent during National Signing Day on Wednesday.
The Gators have not announced their 2015 signing class, which also includes two other four-star prospects in forward Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL) and Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL). A source told OnlyGators.com last week that Dickerson and Hayes had previously signed their NLIs.
Allen remained committed to Florida despite heavy pressure from those close to him to remain in state and play for Arkansas. Stone as long been a dedicated UF commit who was simply waiting until signing day to make his pledge official.
Florida hauled in the 16th best class in the country, according to 247Sports, with all four of its players nationally ranked. Allen (6-foot-2, 165 pounds), a talented shooting guard and the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in Arkansas, was the highest-rated at No. 57 overall on the company’s composite ranking.
Dickerson (6-foot-8, 245 pounds), a powerful big man who spoke to OnlyGators.com about his commitment, checked in at No. 69 overall, while Stone (6-foot-7, 240 pounds) and Hayes (6-foot-9, 205 pounds) were rated No. 97 and No. 104, respectively.
Hayes, who has drawn comparisons to Will Yeguete, was UF’s first 2015 pledge after agreeing to join the team 22 months ago.
The Gators’ four-member class, assuming all get athletic scholarships, will effectively put Florida one over the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships per team.
From the 2014-15 team, the Gators have seen Dillon Graham transfer, senior Jon Horford graduate and junior Michael Frazier II declare for the 2015 NBA Draft.
Redshirt junior F Dorian Finney-Smith, a potential early entree candidate, announced that he will return for a fifth season. Florida has two other potential fifth-year players on its roster in G Eli Carter and F Alex Murphy.
Junior G/F DeVon Walker missed the 2014-15 campaign while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the offseason. Sophomore C Chris Walker initially planned to leave after one – then two – season(s) in college but has realized that it is his best interest to continue developing his game, a source told OnlyGators.com.
Freshman G Brandone Francis was a non-academic qualifier last season but has reportedly improved his standing and should be cleared for the 2015-16 campaign.
Head coach Billy Donovan has faced similar issues in the past with those situations eventually working out. The Gators may not officially announce their 2015 signing class until they are sure that they will enter the 2015-16 campaign with only 13 players holding athletic scholarships on their roster.