FOUR BITS: Rivers, Denson, Thompson, Haden

By Adam Silverstein
April 2, 2010

OGGOA STORY UPDATE » Assistant basketball coach Richard Pitino has interviewed for the Iona head coaching job, per FOX Sports.

1 » A week ago, OGGOA reported that the North Carolina Tar Heels and Florida Gators 2011 five-star guard commit Austin Rivers shared a mutual interest in each other. Now, Rivers’ consideration of UNC seems to have increased, and he is starting to lean away from Florida in favor of opening his recruitment back up. “It would be Duke, Florida and [North] Carolina,” Rivers told this week. “And just because I might open it back up doesn’t mean that Florida wouldn’t be one of my schools, because they would. I like Florida – a lot.” Should Rivers decommit in order to open up his recruitment, gaining his commitment back against the likes of the Blue Devils and Tar Heels would seemingly be tough for Gators head coach Billy Donovan.

2 » Tuesday, OGGOA mentioned three-star 2010 point guard recruit Chris Denson (Midland, GA) as a prospect Florida is going after to help fill out its incoming recruiting class. Denson spoke with Thursday and said that the Gators are one of the teams leading for his services. “I’d say the top of my list are Western Kentucky and Florida […] they’re closer to home and that’s a big part,” Denson said. The site does not list UF as having offered Denson a scholarship yet, instead pointing out that he has already received them from WKU, Buffalo and UNC-Greensboro. Perhaps an offer is all it would take to acquire the 6’2”, 180 lbs. PG.

Two more BITS on Deonte Thompson and Joe Haden…after the jump!

3 » Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson was upset last week – that is obvious. More than upset though, Thompson was surprised at how what he said was misconstrued. “he called me last week upset about it, and then I saw it on the Internet, too, and I was like, ‘Whoa,” his older brother, Terrance Roberts, told the Palm Beach Post. “I was upset about it, because I knew he didn’t say it that way. […] I actually called [head coach Urban Meyer], told him ‘thank you’ for looking out for my little brother.”

4 » Friday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns completed a five-player deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, acquiring (among others) cornerback Sheldon Brown. A nine-year veteran who grabbed a career-high five interceptions last season, Brown adds depth to Cleveland’s secondary. Could this acquisition pave the way for the Browns to pass on former Florida cornerback Joe Haden in the upcoming 2010 NFL Draft? Doubtful, considering the team’s lack of talent at the position and need for a young starter, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Photo Credit: ESPN Rise


  1. Mitch says:

    Is there anything positive to say about losing Rivers and Knight, and trailing Western Kentucky for a 3 star guard? I’m looking forward to some posts saying how we are in great shape for the future.

  2. Mitch, you are assuming and exaggerating. 1) You assumed Rivers is gone or will not choose Florida in the end. 2) As I said above, the Gators have not even offered Denson yet, With UF’s minimum interest in him, he already has them at the top. That’s actually a positive.

    Matt Elam decommitted, committed to Florida State, and came back. Different coach and program, but recruiting is a fluid situation until signing day occurs – always!

  3. Daniel M. says:

    Am I seeing a basketball recruiting pattern here or what?

  4. Mitch says:

    I enjoy your positive attitude, but 1st impressions are usually accurate. My impression is the big dogs got on Rivers and Knight and we cant compete. Now saying that, we were a big dog that lost much of our bite and we dont seem to be getting it back. When UF has to pray for a 3 star guard with the offers he has, you cannot say we are in great shape. Now if we had Rivers and/or Knight, he would be a good back-up, but we need guards that can play at a high level now. No sense beating a dead horse. Billy is a great coach, but that edge he had coming off back to back never materialized, and we will struggle to be a top 20 program from now on.

  5. Dude says:

    Knight was never committed to us, so we didn’t lose him. He is most likely a one-and-done guard, so why wouldn’t he play for Calipari? Look what he did with Rose and Wall.

  6. Mitch, I don’t have a positive attitude. I’m just giving you the facts. You have decided to continue making assumptions and exaggerations to try and get across some false point that Florida cannot compete with some of the top-tier programs for players. The fact that they are named as top options for guys like Knight and Rivers is proof that they are in play for the best talent in the nation – even if they don’t always land them.

    As far as Knight, he was never committed to Florida and, as a one-and-done guard (like Dude said), I don’t know why he wouldn’t go to Kentucky. I would (look at the trend – Rose, Evans, Wall). Plus he’ll get…nevermind…

    Florida is NOT “praying” for a three-star guard. They haven’t offered him because they are waiting on the five- and four-star guards to make their decisions. If he gets an offer from the Gators, I would tell you to be confident that he would accept (unless it is really, really late in the process and he is comfortable with an already-made decision).

    Though UF (with Donovan) has had plenty of success, it is still not and probably will never be that top-of-the-mountain program that is able to pull in five-star recruits based on name alone (UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse, UConn, etc.)

    The Gators won titles with a bunch of four- and three-star players. Not a single one of those guys was a five-star. Donovan has two four-star forwards coming in, two five-star guards committed for 2011 (Rivers, Beal) and is still working. Not sure where the lack of faith comes from with some UF fans – it is unjustified (in my opinion).

  7. ReptilesRule says:

    On a positive note, Carl Moore is back at practice as we speak.

  8. DC Gator says:

    I know he’s still committed to UF and this is all speculation and conjecture, but the more I hear about the Rivers situation the more bleak it seems. Please tell me we still have a shot with McCallum.

  9. Rowdyreps says:

    I agree with Adam. Nothing is set in stone yet and Florida landed 2 5 star players so we have to wait and see. I think if the Gators offered Denson he would sign in a second. I think Florida knows this as we play this waiting game.
    On Rivers, I am upset with him. for 2 years he talked up the Gator faithful, saying he wanted Florida and he was comin, and just a few weeks ago, he sorta re-affirmed, and then opens talks with UNC, and Duke. You know what if Rivers does not wanna be in Florida, then I don’t want him. Denson is a great looking athlete. And you’re correct also in that we won back to back titles without a 5 start “STUD”

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