New Florida Gators head basketball coach Michael White has only been on the job a week but nevertheless managed his first signature win on Monday by ensuring 2015 four-star signee KeVaughn Allen (Little Rock, AR) will stick with his commitment and join the program ahead of next season.
Allen, a talented shooting guard rated as No. 60 in the 247Sports Composite and No. 51 overall on the ESPN 100, was Florida’s highest-ranked signee for next season but looked to be on the outs with the program after the departure of Billy Donovan.
His decision was first reported Monday by ESPN‘s Jeff Borzello and Jeff Goodman.
A source close to the process told OnlyGators.com both on Friday and Sunday that Allen was leaning toward remaining committed to the Gators, which he ultimately did, despite continued pressure from his family and local community to change his mind.
Four-star forward signees Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) and Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL) reaffirmed their status as Florida signees on Wednesday. Both players had extensive meetings with White, as did Allen. A source tells OnlyGators.com that White and Allen spoke thrice in total – once in person and twice on the phone.
Though Allen, Stone and Hayes are all sticking with the Gators, four-star F Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL) requested a release from his NLI last week.
Dickerson was a consensus top-70 player and the second-highest prospect in Florida’s class. Stone (No. 80) and Hayes (No. 103) are also rated in the 247Sports Composite.
The Gators, which once needed to find two scholarships just to sign their 2015 class, wound up one below the NCAA maximum of 13 after three players with eligibility remaining departed in the offseason (to go along with one midseason transfer and one graduate).
Florida is now two scholarship players short for White’s first season, the 2015-16 campaign, though redshirt junior Eli Carter is reportedly at least giving consideration to staying with the Gators.