The April evaluation period offered Florida basketball coaches a chance to get on the road and scout top prospects from the Class of 2018.
Florida’s Elite Eight run in its second season under Mike White showed that the Gator basketball program is healthy post Billy Donovan. As a result, UF has a chance to put together its best recruiting class under White.
White and has staff have done significant legwork on a number of four and five-star prospects in the 2018 class. Here’s a look at some of the top targets:
— Nassir Little, 6-6, 190 pound forward, Orlando Christian Academy: White and his staff began recruiting Little when they first arrived at UF in 2015. That relationship building and early identification of Little’s talent could pay dividends before signing day in November. Little is a rising four-star prospect who looked terrific last week at the Adidas Gauntlet in Fort Worth, Texas. But as a result, Little has generated interest from more schools throughout the country, including Notre Dame, Louisville, Cincinnati, St John’s, Wichita State, Creighton and Kansas. An Orange Park native, Little possesses the perimeter skills and defensive ability that would be an ideal fit in UF’s up-tempo, pressing style of play.
— Devon Dotson, 6-1, 170 pound point guard, Providence Day School, Charlotte, N.C.: Dotson visited Florida two weeks ago, which puts the Gators in a favorable position to land the explosive, four-star prospect. However, Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts also has put in significant time to try to convince Dotson to become a Jayhawk. North Carolina, N.C. State and Arizona also have offered Dotson, so White and co. are going up against some bluebloods here. Dotson is a smaller guard, but makes up for it with elite speed with the ball and an ability to finish at the rim. Florida can sell Dotson on the chance to win the starting point guard job outright as a freshman in 2018-19 after Chris Chiozza departs at the end of next season.
— Emmitt Williams, 6-8, 210 pound forward, IMG Academy, Bradenton: An elite power forward prospect, Williams is a Phi Slamma Jamma throwback with his rim-rocking dunking ability. Williams averaged 22.8 points in four games over last weekend at an EYBL event in Indianapolis. LSU was considered the early frontrunner for Williams, but the departure of Johnny Jones has opened things back up for the five-star prospect who is ranked seventh nationally in ESPN.com’s latest 2018 top 60. Florida is in the mix here, and the Gators have a relationship with IMG’s coaches after signing IMG grad Isaiah Stokes to their 2017 class.
— Khavon Moore, 6-8, 185 pound forward, Westside High School, Macon, Ga. — Moore has offers from four SEC schools, Florida, Georgia, Auburn and LSU, plus an offer from in-state rival Florida State. A five-star prospect, Moore could also get an offer from Kentucky soon, as the ‘Cats are showing strong interest in the highly-skilled, athletic five-star wing player. Georgia Tech is making a push as well. Moore said he’s looking to play in an up-tempo system. Florida certainly fits that style of play.
— Elijah Weaver, 6-4, 195 pound point guard, Oldsmar Christian School — Weaver is a bigger point guard, and White and his staff have targeted bigger guards to get more size in the backcourt. Florida held off on an offer to Weaver until earlier this season. As a result, Villanova and Louisville are the two early leaders in the clubhouse. But there is time for Florida to make up some ground. A four-star prospect, Weaver may be more of a combo guard than a pure point, but averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists at Oldsmar this past season.