In what can only be considered a surprising turn of events for Florida Gators fans, the team and head coach Billy Donovan have decided to take themselves out of consideration for the services of five-star 2010 guard Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL), according to Scout.com national recruiting director Dave Telep.
It was widely believed that Knight was choosing between Florida and the Kentucky Wildcats, but with the Gators dropping out it appears to be a certainty that the talented guard will be headed to Lexington, KY, to replace freshman John Wall.
Speculation would have one think that Florida either already knew Knight, who recently won his second-straight Gatorade National High School Player of the Year award, would not be choosing them or cared more about retaining their commitment from five-star 2011 guard Austin Rivers (who is also considering the Duke Blue Devils).
Expect the Gators to focus on signing four-star point guard Ray McCallum (Detroit, MI) to add backcourt depth that is sorely needed.
In related news…
Florida has also decided to end its pursuit of star junior college forward Ricardo Ratliffe, according to The Gainesville Sun. Ratliffe, of Central Florida Community College, is considered by most scouts to be the best JuCo prospect in the country. He attended at least two Gators game this season and worked out with the team last summer. However, being able to start is important for Ratliffe, and with five forwards/centers returning and two more being signed, Florida was not a great fit.