For the second time in as many months Florida Gators basketball has boosted its frontcourt for the 2013-14 season after learning Thursday that Virginia Tech Hokies forward Dorian Finney-Smith has decided to transfer to the University of Florida, according to ESPN‘s Dave Telep and CBS Sports‘s Jeff Goodman.
A four-star prospect, the No. 8 forward and the No. 31 overall player in the country as ranked by Rivals.com when he committed to Virginia Tech in 2011, Finney-Smith (6’8” 192 lbs.) was an ACC All-Freshman Team member who averaged 6.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists while starting 30 of 33 games last season.
Like former South Carolina power forward Damontre Harris, who decided to transfer to Florida on May 26, Finney-Smith will be forced to sit out the 2012-13 season per NCAA transfer rules but will fill a major position of need for the Gators when his redshirt season is up. Both players will be able to practice with the team next year, providing senior F Erik Murphy and juniors center Patric Young and F Will Yeguete with talented opponents to go up against each day.
The duo brings much-needed size to Florida’s frontcourt, especially considering the Gators have not received any commitments taller than 6’6” as part of the 2012 (now completed) or 2013 (in progress) classes. UF notoriously missed out on a pledge from five-star PF Anthony Bennett (Henderson, NV) in May.
As OGGOA first reported when Harris made his decision, Florida never stopped pursuing Finney-Smith and had a plan in place scholarship-wise should he join the Gators as all 13 athletic scholarships are currently filled by roster players or incoming signees.
Finney-Smith chose UF over a list of possible destinations including Memphis, Louisville and Iowa State. He visited the other three schools but did not travel to Gainesville, FL as he was already familiar with the campus and head coach Billy Donovan.
OGGOA has reached out to a source close to the program and is awaiting confirmation.
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