The Florida Gators landed a premier prospect for their 2015 recruiting class, as 4-star power forward Noah Dickerson announced his commitment Sunday to play college basketball in Gainesville.
Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com reported the news, including a quote from Dickerson regarding his thoughts about the man who will help him grow on and off the court.
"Coach [Billy] Donovan is a great coach," said Dickerson. "He develops players, and he has great character. That's one thing I love about him. He's a great person outside of a coach."
Dickerson also confirmed his commitment through Twitter:
Excited to say I have committed to the University of Florida #GatorNation 🐊🐊— Noah Dickerson (@NDickerson41) August 17, 2014
According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Dickerson, who hails from Montverde Academy in Florida, is the 52nd-ranked overall recruit in his class, and the No. 10 power forward. The site lists shooting guard KeVaughn Allen and center Kevarrius Hayes as the other members of Florida's current 2015 class. Both are 4-star prospects, too.
Corey Evans of Hoops Intel compared Dickerson favorably to a current NBA player and past college star:
Noah Dickerson pulling his DeJuan Blair impersonation. Nuisance on the glass with nimble feet on spins in the lane— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) August 16, 2014
Dickerson's profile on 247Sports lists him at 6'8" and 245 pounds, which gives him better bulk than most athletes with his skills have at age 17. His classmate Hayes is 6'9", 205 pounds, so it should be interesting to see how both players coexist in the paint if they wind up on the floor together.
Several strengths stand out about Dickerson's game when checking out some of the skills he's shown at this stage of his development.
Being a crafty tactician with his back to the basket should allow Dickerson to make an immediate impact more quickly at Florida than perhaps other first-year players. Dickerson's rebounding, energy level and ability to attack the rim and score under duress while altering his shot angle also translate well when making the leap to the collegiate level.
National championship-winning coach Billy Donovan had a squad that was favored to win the most recent NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, only to lose to Connecticut in the Final Four. That team was loaded with leadership and seniors.
It is vital for the Gators to build a strong foundation to ensure sustained success in the next several years. Donovan is laying the groundwork for that by landing Dickerson and two other strong recruits already for the 2015-16 roster.