Gator pg commit climbing in recruiting rankings

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In his first year playing in America, Florida 2017 point guard commitment Shai Alexander is developing nicely.

And recruiting analysts from throughout the country are starting to take notice. Off a strong showing last month at the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Meyers, the 6-foot-3 Alexander has risen to the 40th best prospect in the nation, according to ESPN.com’s Super 60 2017 rankings.

Alexander, an Ontario, Canada, native, is playing this season at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“From the moment he got here, his focus has been on becoming a better basketball player,” said Hamilton Heights Christian coach Zach Ferrell. “He’s not worrying about where he’s ranked or what other people are saying about him. He’s got great physical tools.”

The Florida coaching staff was impressed enough with Alexander’s physical tools, he’s a 6-3 point guard with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, to offer him a scholarship last November. Ferrell said that Alexander has developed into a more confident and consistent scorer in his first season at Hamilton Heights.

“As a point guard he’s known as a distributor and a facilitator and that he does very well,” Ferrell said. “But he’s been able to develop his game in his ability to score off the dribble, at the basket, from the 3 (-point line) and pull-up mid-range. He’s really¬† been able to give himself options to score in game settings.”

At 175 pounds, Alexander stressed a desire to get physically stronger. Ferrell said Alexander has been dedicated in the weight room.

“He’s maintained (his strength) pretty well,” Ferrell said. “Once we get to the postseason we’ll be able to focus a lot more on putting natural muscle mass on him.”

Other notes:

— A handful of Division I prospect will be playing on Saturday at the Vince Murray Memorial Challenge at Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala. The doubleheader will feature Arlington Country Day vs. Gulliver Prep at 6 p.m., followed by Vanguard vs. Trinity Catholic at 7:30 p.m.

The Arlington Country Day-Gulliver game will 6-foot-11 Gulliver center Victor Uyaelunmo, a four-star Class of 2017 propsect who has offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, FIU, Georgetown and Wake Forest. Arlington Country Day’s roster includes senior 6-9 forward Koch Bar (signed with Bradley), Class of 2017 guard Alonzo Verge (offers from Illinois and Bradley) and 2018 shooting guard Luguentz Dort, who took an unofficial visit to Florida a few weeks ago.

The nightcap will feature Vanguard 6-foot-8 forward Simeon Kirkland, who has offers from Stetson, Buffalo, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Milwaukee-Wisconsin vs. Trinity  Catholic 6-foot-6 forward Myron Hagins, who has football offers from Tulane and UCF.