Florida head coach Billy Donovan hasn't strayed far from Gainesville to give his Gators the early lead in the race for the nation's top Class of 2013 talent haul.
Donovan has received verbal commitments from three in-state prospects, including Top 10 talents Kasey Hill
and Chris Walker
. Hill is a heady and athletic point guard for one of the nation's top programs at Montverde Academy
, while Walker is an explosive 6-foot-9 power forward from tiny Holmes County (Bonifay)
Hill and Walker helped the Florida Rams (who morphed into Florida Elite after the club was connected to an agent) win several high-profile tournaments over the summer and finish No. 4 in Five Star Basketball's final power rankings.
Florida's place at the top is far from secure. Just eight of the nation's Top 25 prospects have picked a school and Kentucky, which has finished with the top class each of the last four years, is just getting started.
Seniors will have their first opportunity to sign from Nov. 14-21 and again in the spring from April 17 to May 15.
The weekend commitments of Allerik Freeman
(UCLA), Jordan Mathews
(California) and Semi Ojeleye
(Duke) brought the grand total of Class of 2013 Top 100 pledges to 48.
Read on for an alphabetical look at the programs joining Florida with hot starts on the recruiting trail.Brigham YoungVerbal commitments:
No. 65 Nick Emery
(6-1, 175, SG), NR Jakob Hartsock
(6-7, 205, PF), Eric Mika
(6-8, 210, PF), Braiden Shaw
(6-8, 190, PF), NR Luke Worthington
(6-8, 230, PF/C)Quick take:
Cougar fans are hoping for a Jimmer Fredette-like impact from Emery, one of two commitments from in-state powerhouse Lone Peak (Highland)
, along with Mika.CaliforniaVerbal commitments:
No. 22 Jabari Bird
(6-5, 180, SG/SF), No. 66 Jordan Mathews
(6-3, 195, SG)Quick take:
Mike Montgomery's return to college basketball in the Bay Area has been solid but lacked sizzle. Bird and Mathews can help the Golden Bears take the next step.
No. 7 Kasey Hill
(6-1, 175, PG), No. 8 Chris Walker
(6-9, 210, PF), NR Schuyler Rimmer
(6-9, 235, C/PF)Quick take:
The Gators are still in the mix for several top 2013 talents, namely No. 2 overall prospect Julius Randle
and five-star shooting guard Keith Frazier
. Don't bet against Florida ending Kentucky's stranglehold on the recruiting rankings.DukeVerbal commitments:
No. 10 Matt Jones
(6-4, 190, SG), No. 23 Semi Ojeleye
(6-6, 215, SF)Quick take:
Jones and Ojeleye are stars with some staying power. They will make major contributions and likely stick around for a few years.
No. 90 Stanford Robinson
(6-4, 190, SG/SF), No. 98 Luke Fischer
(6-10, 210, PF/C), NR Devin Davis Jr.
(6-6, 185, SF), NR Collin Hartman
(6-6, 185, SF)Quick take:
Tom Crean has struck early and often for the second year in a row. No stars here, but lining the roster with solid contributors can't be a bad thing.Iowa StateVerbal commitments:
No. 67 Matt Thomas
(6-3, 185, SG/PG), No. 76 Monte Morris
(6-2, 170, PG)Quick take:
Thomas and Morris comprise an intriguing backcourt combination. Thomas is the sharpshooter while Morris is the unselfish setup guy. The Cyclones are on the rise.KansasVerbal commitments:
No. 28 Conner Frankamp
(6-1, 160, PG/SG), No. 31 Brannen Greene
(6-7, 200, SF)Quick take:
Frankamp, a lethal scorer at the high school level, saw his stock rise significantly over the summer after a spectacular showing with USA Basketball's U-17 team. Greene is a versatile wing who played alongside Gator commits Hill and Walker for part of the summer with the Florida Rams.MarquetteVerbal commitments:
No. 74 Deonte Burton
(6-5, 230, SF), No. 81 Duane Wilson Jr.
(6-2, 170, PG), JC Jameel McKay (6-8, 205, PF)Quick take:
Buzz Williams tapped the local market for Burton and Wilson, both all-staters in Wisconsin as juniors.MichiganVerbal commitments:
No. 26 Zak Irvin
(6-6, 180, SG/PG), No. 42 Derrick Walton Jr.
(6-0, 175, PG), No. 73 Mark Donnal
(6-8, 210, PF/SF)Quick take:
Expect Irvin's stock to continue soaring as a senior at Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.)
. He averaged 18.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as a junior, and that was with Michigan State signee Gary Harris in the lineup.North CarolinaVerbal commitments:
No. 17 Isaiah Hicks
(6-8, 200, PF), No. 78 Nate Britt
(6-1, 170, PG)Quick take:
Hicks is the latest in an impressive string of star forwards headed to Chapel Hill under Roy Williams, including Marvin Williams, Tyler Hansbrough, Brandan Wright, Ed Davis, John Henson and James Michael McAdoo.Saint Mary'sVerbal commitments:
No. 70 Calvin Hermanson
(6-6, 195, SF/SG), NR Cullen Neal
(6-4, 170, SG), Dane Pineau
(6-9, 190, PF)Quick take:
Hermanson and Neal are two of the more highly regarded recruits to head to Moraga under Randy Bennett. The Gaels primed the Australian pipeline once again to land Pineau.UCLAVerbal commitments:
No. 32 Zach LaVine
(6-3, 165, PG/SG), No. 43 Allerik Freeman
(6-3, 195, SG)Quick take:
On the heels of a recruiting class with two potential one-and-dones in the backcourt with Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad, LaVine and Freeman could wind up playing major minutes as freshmen for the Bruins.USCVerbal commitments:
No. 45 Roschon Prince
(6-5, 210, SF), NR Kendal Harris
(6-4, 190, PG/SG), NR Kahlil Dukes
(5-11, 170, SG/PG)Quick take:
Following a 6-26 record in 2011-12 (including 1-17 in Pac-12 Conference play), getting this trio on board is an extremely positive development for Trojan head coach Kevin O'Neill.10 more making noise: Alabama, Arizona, Fresno State, Harvard, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Missouri, Purdue, Wisconsin.
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