Billy Donovan's Recruiting Class for Florida Hoops Looks Promising

Jim FolsomContributorApril 26, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 18:  Head coach Billy Donovan of the Florida Gators reacts as he coaches against the BYU Cougars during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men�s basketball tournament at Ford Center on March 18, 2010 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He didn't get Brandon Knight or Ray McCallum, but the class being brought in by Billy Donovan may turn out to be a very good one after all.

Recruiting can be a crap shoot as all Gator fans have found out in recent years. Highly rated high school players can disappoint and not so highly rated ones can surprise.

It is true that we never really know going in what will become of a recruiting class. But reading about some of the guys Florida has coming in and some of the ones who aren't, I'm liking this class a lot.

This class reminds me of Donovan classes of old that came in and did very well. There are some blue chippers like Patric Young,'s No. 28 rated player. And there are some "three star" guys too.

Three star guys are not going into the NBA draft right away. Those are the ones who end up being juniors and seniors down the road. These are the guys a successful program is built upon.

Guys like Cody Larson, a forward from South Dakota who was ticketed for the Big Ten's Iowa Hawkeyes until the coach got fired. He is a player who has a chance to get better with experience.

So does Will Yeguete. He is fairly new to basketball and is low on experience. But he is rapidly inproving. Florida beat Georgia Tech out for his services.

Casey Prather is another guy with a lot of potential. He is a great athlete who is rated highly on the recruiting websites. But he is unlikely to be a "one and done" guy.

Scottie Wilbekin is a point guard that would have been a fast riser among the 2011 point guards, but he will finish high school a year early and enroll at Florida next year. He is also the son of his high school's coach. I like the sound of a point guard who is smart enough to graduate from a private school a year early and is also a coach's son.

None of these guys will be good enough to start right away, but that's okay.

Florida already has its starting five from this year all returning, assuming Alex Tyus has enough smarts to pull out of the draft. What they will do is strengthen the bench. If Eric Murphy and Kenny Kadji also contribute next year, this team will be very deep.

It will also have something the Gators have lacked in recent years. A good mix of experience and youth.

The young guys on this team will be looking to get better instead of looking to be the star. The last time Florida had a mix like this was 2005, when a young and not really high rated class came in and studied under established guys like David Lee, Matt Walsh, and Anthony Roberson.

That class ended up being pretty good.