Florida’s Stokes looking to transfer

Florida redshirt sophomore Isaiah Stokes enters transfer datebase. [Brad McClenny/Staff photographer]

Florida’s crowded roster opened up a spot Wednesday.

Redshirt sophomore Isaiah Stokes decided to transfer seven days after Florida gained transfer big man Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Stokes (6-foot-8, 270 pounds) sat out a year as a redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in high school and played in 26 games last season for the Gators.

He averaged 2.7 points and 1.0 rebounds a game in his one season in Gainesville while dealing with a weight issue.

Florida now has 12 players on scholarship, one short of the maximum. 

Stokes is part of UF’s 2017 recruiting class no longer on campus after transfers: Chase Johnson (Dayton), Mike Okauru (UNC Wilmington) and Deaundrae Ballard (South Alabama). Keith Stone (Miami) also transferred after the season.

Blackshear joins three returning starters and a top-10 recruiting class that features McDonald’s All-Americans Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann.


      • I agree that he might be missing a great opportunity to grow even more than he did the last month of the season when he began to seem (at least by stories written about it) to take seriously the work ethic the coaches had been trying to get him to do in order to get into game condition. The possible lineup opportunities, especially going big, was there to help expand his game, and even the work ethic that Kerry Blackshear obviously brings with him, as he came out of HS ranked around 120th overall, 30th PF, even the 3rd rated recruit of the VT class that year, to an all-ACC player (which can easily be related to an all-SEC football player caliber). That’s something only a strong work ethic can produce. I do believe that until he started actually getting on the floor finally in Feb., I didn’t think he was going to stick around here much longer, but once his conditioning and minutes started to improve, I was really looking forward to how he would be able to be part of the program. As with anyone who transfers though, I wish him the best, and hope he finds what he’s looking for. Hopefully Jitobah jumps into the conditioning program 100% from the beginning and Payne is able to have some early contribution as a Freshman. If those two things happen, then I also agree that Stokes transferring isn’t going to be a very big loss to the opportunity for coach White to have a big lineup still if needed.

        • I wonder if it’s a matter of work ethic and dedication. Seems to me that Blackshear is versatile enough to play all three front court positions, so Stokes could’ve had opportunities to be on the floor at the same time and benefit from the defense doubling Blackshear. If Stokes doesn’t want to work or compete, I think you’re right that it won’t be a very big loss.

          You mention Jitoboh, but I read there was some thought that he might need to redshirt to recover from some injury I can’t recall at the moment. Do you have info in that regard?

          • That’s what I read as well when he had originially signed, but I also read an article written by Chris Harry on the UAA website that there really isn’t a definite guarantee that he’ll redshirt as it would probably depend on how he does with his conditioning and workouts once he got on campus. Of course, the article was written before KJ was signed, so circumstances very well may change with that. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he does redshirt though. Gives him a year of training, conditioning, and practicing with the team (which helps the guys that are going to be on the floor at gametime) as a big body to go against, without taking minutes away from Blackshear, and gets more time for Ballard and Payne to get on the floor. Plus…that’s another scholly for the next recruiting cycle. As of now, there’s only two guaranteed openings for the 2020 class (Blackshear and now Stokes), but odds favor a potential one-and-done with Lewis and Nembhard leaving after next year if he makes the improvements the NBA scouts told him to make. I totally expect Keyonte Johnson to test the waters after this next season, if he repeats or improves from last season.

  1. I saw some talent, but there comes a day when you wonder if someone is really passionate about the sport they are playing, or if they are just going through the motions. Hopefully, he will find his passion wherever he ends up, whether its basketball or something else.

  2. I get it. After the injury and waiting so long, Isiah is now strong and healthy. He needs minutes to get better as a player. That will not happen at Florida this season with the Blackshear’s transfer.

    I was a fan. We’re losing our investment in Stokes, a bit of the future and the next best big man on the UF roster. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for Isiah at Florida and wish him the best.

  3. Never seen so many Gator transfers in bball & football for various reasons. Stokes hasn’t played enough due to injury. Weird time to transfer imo. I thought with others leaving Stokes would be psyched to have a great shot at real playing time. Oh well, go if you must.

  4. He can always return to UF if he doesn’t get picked up by another school and I hope he does. I haven’t seen a lot of kids come out of that transfer portal across the country to go to a better school than UF.