The Battle For The Rankings event in Coral Springs, hosted by Source Hoops and Team Breakdown, was one of the fall's premier exposure events in Florida with an impressive field playing in a three-court facility. The Battle For The Rankings brought out over one hundred players and a variety of national scouting services.
Florida had a 2014 commitment in the event and a small handful of underclassmen targets, including a 2016 guard who received a scholarship offer from the Gators just last month.
Starting with the UF commitment, Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day guard Brandone Francis was sensational. He led ACD to two of their three wins (he sat out the third game) and put together an MVP-type performance. He was one of the best scorers and most productive players at the event. He can create off the bounce, and his vision and passing feel have improved in the past year. His pull-up game was exceptional on Saturday and he defended well, including when assigned to defend the smaller/quicker Corey Sanders (2015 UCF Commit) of IMG Academy. He repeatedly cut off Sanders dribble-penetration, reducing his effectiveness.
2015 Lakewood (Fla.) St. Petersburg small forward Anthony Lawrence was mentioned him in the Recruiting Period Primer as a name to keep in mind. Lawrence played quite well at the Battle For The Rankings, scoring 30 points in one game in a variety of ways. Lawrence, whose father coaches his high school team, defends well, rebounds in-and-out of his area and is a good passer. He also plays with a high IQ. According to his father, Lawrence may come up to Gainesville on October 18th for an unofficial visit to watch practice and visit with the UF coaches.
2016 Miami (Fla.) Norland power forward Dewan Huell is a long and lanky player that is still adding layers to his offensive game, but his hard work is starting to show on the court. As recently as late June, his game was almost exclusively from five feet and in. But this weekend he showed some of his face-up skills including a nice dribble drive past his defender and finishing on a play where he started fifteen feet from the basket. And he is a very willing defender, sometimes picking up his man 90 feet from the rim. In addition to Florida, Huell listed offers from Florida State, Stanford, Miami, Ole Miss, Alabama, South Carolina and Kansas.
2016 Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day point guard Lamonte' Turner was first noticed by ITG in Orlando during July's AAU Super Showcase and AAU Nationals while watching Atlanta Xpress 16U play. Turner can get it done at different speeds on or off the ball. He can go both ways, sees the floor well, is a vocal leader on the court and has a good crisp release on his jumper. Though he's not a "true" point guard, he made it clear that he is learning the position and doesn't want to be a combo guard. Billy Donovan extended a scholarship offer to Turner a few weeks ago and the reclassified sophomore said that he hears from Gators assistant Rashon Burno who was the lead recruiter for Turner's ACD teammate, UF commit Francis. Turner mentioned that he's "supposed" to be going to the Gators next home game but ACD has been playing Fall games so he cautioned that the visit date isn't official yet. In addition to Florida, the reclassified sophomore listed offers from Oklahoma, Auburn, Wichita State, Murray State, Jacksonville, Mercer, Kennesaw State.
2016 Coral Springs Christian Academy power forward Sherack Malokwo is new to the United States coming over Nigeria. He's raw, but runs very well, contests shots around the hoop, has good hands and is athletic. Although not as tall, once he adapts to American basketball and with the right coaching he could have a similar arc to that of Joel Embiid.
Stay tuned for more fall ball updates. Inside the Gators will be at the annual Florida Fall Festival, hosted by Hoop Exchange this weekend in Orlando.