Florida basketball: 5 transfer portal targets for Todd Golden, Gators this spring

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Iona's Walter Clayton Jr. (1) rebounds against Connecticut's center Donovan Clingan (32) in the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 17, 2023, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Like many programs throughout the country, Florida basketball will look to the transfer portal this spring to revamp its roster.

The Gators have six open scholarship slots after five players entered the transfer portal last week. All-SEC forward Colin Castleton, point guard Kyle Lofton and combo guard Myreon Jones have exhausted their eligibility. The Gators are adding two players out of high school, 6-foot-9 forward Thomas Haugh and 6-10 forward Alex Condon of the NBA Global Academy in Australia, who will sign in April.

Florida coach Todd Golden and his staff have already reached out to several players since UF's season ended at 16-17 with a first-round loss to UCF in the NIT.

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Here's a look at five of the top transfer targets for the Gators:

Walter Clayton IV, Iona

Clayton visited the Florida campus this past weekend and it will likely come down to Florida and St. John's, based on Clayton's relationship with Iona-turned-St. John's coach Rick Pitino.

Last season, the 6-foot-2 Clayton averaged 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists, earning MAAC player of the year honors. Clayton shot 43.1 percent from 3-point range (72 of 167) and a nation-best 95.3 percent from the foul line (102-107). He's a scoring point guard, which Florida sorely lacked last season, with Lofton averaging 8.7 points per game.

The chance for Florida to lure Clayton away from St. John's will come down to Clayton's desire to return to his home state. Clayton is from Bartow, where he was a dual-sport football/basketball standout who was offered a scholarship by former UF football coach Dan Mullen to play safety. He is a former high school teammate of Florida defensive lineman Gervon Dexter Sr., and the two remain close friends.

E.J. Jarvis, Yale

The 6-8, 220-pound Jarvis is visiting Florida this week after a breakout senior season in which he averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He would arrive to Florida as a grad transfer with immediate eligibility.

Jarvis has a stretch-forward element to his game, as he shot 55 percent from the floor and 40.6 percent from 3-point range (13 of 32) this past season.

B.J. Mack, Wofford

Florida has conducted an in-home visit with Mack, who at 6-8, 245 would provide the combination of physicality and skill that Florida lacked last season.

Mack proved to be an effective low-post scorer, averaging 16.6 points and 5.6 rebounds to earn All-Southern Conference first-team honors. He was durable, starting all 32 games last season, and led the Terriers in points scored (530), 3-pointers (52) and blocks (14).

Joe Girard, Syracuse

Florida is one of five SEC teams who have reached out to Girard, a 6-1 combo guard with four years of ACC experience.

Girard moved from the point to off the ball in Jim Boeheim's last season at Syracuse and thrived, averaging 16.4 points per game while shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point range.

Josh Cohen, Saint Francis (Pa.)

Florida has conducted an in-home visit with the 6-10, 220-pound Cohen. An adept post scorer and rebounder, Cohen averaged 21.8 points and 8.3 rebounds this season and brings four years of experience as a grad transfer.

Cohen rose to the occasion facing high-level teams this past season, including posting a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) against Ohio State and scoring 30 points and grabbing 9 rebounds against Final Four-bound Miami.