With point guard Michael Okauru signing his letter of intent on Wednesday, here’s an updated look at Florida’s incoming 2017 men’s basketball class, which ESPN.com ranks ninth in the nation:
6-4 | 180 | G | Raleigh, N.C. | Brewster Academy
Rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247sports.
Rated the No. 8 player out of the state of North Carolina.
Great size and athleticism with playmaking ability.
ESPN.com bottom line: “Okauru is a talent but he may be a bit of a long-term stock for the Gators. He’ll contend for a spot in the rotation early on, but he has a chance to be a totally different player in a couple of years if he can continue to develop his ball skills and confidence, and could consequently prove to be a late bloomer.”
6-6 | 195| G | Atlanta, Ga. | Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy
Rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and 247sports and a three-star recruit by Rivals.
Ranked 65th in the ESPN 100 rankings for 2017.
Great length and motor and a versatile scorer.
ESPN.com bottom line: “Ballard is a high major wing that is a versatile scorer who is capable of big numbers and has excellent upside.”
6-8 | 205 | F | Ripley, W.V. | Huntington Prep
Rated a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit by 247Sports.
Combo forward with the ability to play a stretch-4 position.
Great athlete with a knack for finding the ball.
ESPN.com bottom line: “He’s a young and blossoming forward with notable upside because he combines athleticism, a foundation of skill and a good nose for the ball.”
6-8 | 273 | F/C | Memphis, Tenn. | IMG Academy
Rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.
Ranked 60th in the ESPN 100 rankings for 2017.
Strong and powerful with a great post arsenal and a solid jump shot.
Brother of Jarnell Stokes, a two-time All-SEC player at Tennessee.
ESPN.com bottom line: “He’s said to be very similar to his brother [Jarnell] at the same stage of their development, but he has a shad of Kennedy Meeks in his too as his wide frame, quick feet, and solid skill set inside of 15 feet make him a major mismatch problem.”
In addition, redshirt junior guard Jalen Hudson will be eligible next season after sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules after transferring in from Virginia Tech. Hudson was among the most talented offensive players in practice this past season, according to Florida coach Mike White, but needs to work on being more consistent on the defensive end of the floor.