Florida basketball recruiting: Five-star 2019 F Scottie Lewis commits to the Gators

By Adam Silverstein
October 2, 2018
Florida basketball recruiting: Five-star 2019 F Scottie Lewis commits to the Gators

Image Credit: Under Armour

Continuing their massive recruiting haul for the Class of 2019, the Florida Gators on Tuesday earned a verbal commitment from a top-tier prospect for a second straight day. This time, it was five-star forward Scottie Lewis (Eatontown, NJ) who announced he will continue his career in orange and blue via a video published on Twitter.

Lewis (6-foot-5, 185 pounds), the No. 11 overall player in the 2019 class, committed to Florida over Kentucky on Tuesday. The No. 2 player in the state of New Jersey and No. 4 small forward in the nation, per 247Sports, he is the top-ranked player in the Gators’ class and head coach Mike White‘s highest-rated future signing since he was hired by the program.

Just 24 hours earlier, UF gained a commitment from four-star center Omar Payne (Montverde, FL), the No. 38 overall player in the nation. Those two join five-star point guard Trey Mann (The Villages, FL), the nation’s 25th-ranked player, and two-star guard Alex Klatsky as Florida’s four-member Class of 2019. Klatsky’s father is a UF alumnus and the director for the Under Armour team for which his son and Lewis play. The pair are also teammates at Ranney High School. Klatsky will join the Florida as a preferred walk-on.

With Lewis’s commitment, the Gators shot up to No. 4 in the national team rankings, per 247 Sports, behind only USC and ahead of both Louisville and Kentucky. White hauled in the 19th-ranked class a year ago.

The Lewis pledge is a big-time win for White, who made the prospect a top priority just months after being hired at Florida before Lewis was even a high school student. White and the Gators staff have been on top of him constantly over the last three-plus years, holding off an aggressive push from the Wildcats, particularly after a recent official visit to Lexington, Kentucky, in September. Lewis also visited Florida last month.

Lewis is considered an extremely athletic wing who is effective on both ends of the court as he is roundly praised for his energy, shot-making, rebounding and defense. Though it is not guaranteed that Lewis will be a one-and-done player, fans should expect him to be heavily scouted during his freshman season as many analysts believe he can be a lottery selection should he develop according to plan.

“He got the launching pad athleticism. As soon as he touches a certain area of the floor, he’s gonna bounce,” said NBA superstar Kevin Durant while watching some of Lewis’s highlights. “Long arms, so he’s going to be able to play defense. Goodness! Tough. [Being able to go] Euro to the left-hand finish is rare for that age.”

With only three Gators expected to depart the program via graduation this season, it appears as if Florida’s incoming class is now full, though that does not mean UF will stop speaking with prospects. There are a number of other talented players the coaching staff has in its sights should it believe additional scholarships will open up following the 2018-19 season.

Lewis is the Gators’ highest-rated commitment since Chris Walker (No. 7 overall) and Kasey Hill (No. 8 overall) joined the program in 2013. The 2019 class is also the first since 2013 with two five-star commitments in tow.

Scottie Lewis (12)
Tre Mann (26)
Omar Payne (43)
Jason Jitoboh
Ques Glover
Alex Klatsky

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