Finally, a bit of good news for Gator basketball.
After a bit of a soap opera, Florida signee KeVaughn Allen (a consensus four star recruit) has decided to stick with his commitment to UF in the end. The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
Allen originally committed to play for Florida last April. He then signed his letter of intent after a year of deliberation, passing up the chance to sign in the early signing period, and ended all the talk among his fellow Arkansas natives about him signing with the home state Razorbacks. But that was before Billy Donovan left the Gators for Oklahoma City, prompting Allen’s dad to phone into a sports talk show in Arkansas and announcing that Allen’s request to be released from his letter of intent was “coming.”
But Allen leaving didn’t make sense, at least not the extent that Noah Dickerson leaving did. Dickerson had more of a reason to leave, since he was a perfect fit for Billy Donovan’s system, and projected to see lots of playing time as a big man that last year’s team simply didn’t have. By contrast, Allen is a guard, and Mike White’s team can never have too many of those. The only reason Allen would have realistically left was to be closer to home, but he committed to a program, not a system. And it’s a program that’s an even better fit for him now than it was under Donovan.
Anyway, this is a major win for White. At one point in time not too long ago, Florida appeared to be in a scholarship crunch; with the futures of Michael Frazier, Chris Walker and Eli Carter seeming to lie with the Gators, spaces were limited. As it was then, Florida would have been at 14 scholarship players next year- one over the allowed limit. But now Florida has none of those three, and they also don’t have Dickerson, who factored into that equation, leaving Florida with just eleven scholarship players: freshmen Allen, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes, Kasey Hill, John Egbunu, Dorian Finney-Smith, Brandone Francis, Alex Murphy, Devin Robinson, Chris Chiozza and DeVon Walker. That’s two less than the team is allowed to have; it would have been three less without Allen.
So White won’t have such a bad young nucleus to work with after all.