In an effort to turn around a 16-17 season, Florida coach Billy Donovan is once again trying to go to the transfer well.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Rothstein, the Gators are hosting Fordham transfer Eric Paschall this weekend. A rising sophomore, the 6-foot-6, 205 pound Paschall averaged 15.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 assists per game as a freshman while playing in the Atlantic 10.
Those who have watched Paschall play describe him as an athletic, hard worker who isn’t afraid to mix it up and rebound in traffic. Though Paschall shot just 41.9 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from 3-point range, he did shoot 79.4 percent from the foul line and got to the free-throw line 4 times per game. Free-throw shooting, of course, was an adventure for the Gators last season. Florida shot an SEC-worst 63.5 percent from the foul line this past season.
Paschall is deciding to leave Fordham because the coach who recruited him, Tom Pecora, was fired last month. He’s also visited Villanova and Providence is in the mix.
The Gators currently have five transfers on their roster — guard Eli Carter (Rutgers), forward Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech), center Jon Egbunu (USF), forward Alex Murphy (Duke) and walk-on center Shuyler Rimmer (Stanford). While Donovan has had some success on the transfer market, there was a thought that last season’s team was over saturated with transfers at the expense of four-year players who could develop. This past season, fifth-year transfer Jon Horford (Michigan) started at center but didn’t provide the impact the Gators had hoped for. Another transfer, Damontre Harris (South Carolina) ran into a myriad of disciplinary issues and never stepped foot on the court for a game for the Gators.
Per NCAA transfer rules, Paschall would have to sit out a year and wouldn’t be eligible until 2016-17. Another issue is that Florida doesn’t have the scholarship room to add him at this point. The Gators are currently over-signed for their allotment of 13 scholarships and need one more player to leave to announce its 2015 signing class of guard KeVaughn Allen, forward Keith Stone, forward Kevarrius Hayes and center Noah Dickerson.