Florida basketball adds key piece to '14 class


Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.

Florida added another important piece to its 2014 recruiting class when forward Devin Robinson announced his commitment to the Gators on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8, 180-pound Robinson, from Chesterfield, Va., is a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com and a four-star recruit according to ESPN.com. Scout.com rates Robinson, a Christchurch (Va.) School standout, as the fifth-best power forward in the 2014 class. Robinson has averaged 18.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in his past two seasons.

"Coach (Billy) Donovan has a record of developing his players and helps get them to the NBA,” Robinson told ESPN.com. “That's my ultimate goal.”

With Nick Calathes (Memphis Grizzlies) and Erik Murphy (Chicago Bulls) making opening day rosters, Florida currently has 12 players in the NBA entering the 2013-14 season. That’s tied with UCLA and Connecticut for fifth most, behind only Kentucky (22), Duke (15), North Carolina (15) and Kansas (13).

Robinson is UF’s fourth commit of the 2014 class and first forward, joining shooting guard Brandone Francis (6-5), point guard Chris Chiozza (5-10) and preferred walk-on guard Zach Hodskins (6-4).

Robinson projects as a combo small forward/power forward and should fit in well in UF’s running, pressing style.

“He’s that new age, hybrid forward who at 6-foot-8 can put the ball on the floor, pass and shoot,” said Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels. “He’s got terrific hands and he’s very athletic.”

Daniels also said that Robinson showed tremendous improvement over the summer playing travel-league ball for the Richmond Squires.

“It was night and day,” Daniels said. “His jump shot was more consistent. He was one of the better players in his class by the end of the summer.”

Whether Robinson is bulky enough to play forward in the Southeastern Conference remains to be seen.

“He’s very slender,” Daniels said. “I don’t see him putting on a ton of weight, but I see him putting on enough weight. With the way college strength programs are now, he should have no problem getting bigger.”

Robinson visited the UF campus on Oct. 12, and Donovan followed it up with an in-home visit in Virginia the following week.

With Florida losing senior frontcourt players Casey Prather, Patric Young and Will Yeguete in 2014, Robinson should have a chance to get immediate playing time for the Gators when he arrives on campus.

“It’s a good fit for him and for Florida, considering the style that they play and what he wants to do,” Daniels said. “He’s going to step in and I think contribute for them.”

Young CLASS nominee

Florida senior center Patric Young was named as one of 60 nominees for the 2013-14 senior CLASS award, given to the Division I college basketball senior who excels most on and off the court.

Young is a two-time men's basketball SEC scholar athlete of the year (2012, 2013) who also takes time to visit sick children at area Gainesville hospitals.

Other big-name CLASS nominees include Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft, Memphis guard Joe Jackson, Syracuse forward C.J. Fair, Creighton forward Doug McDermott and Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier.

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